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15 Jun 2020

Black Lives Matter: sports sector 'hasn't done enough' on inequalities
BY Tom Walker

Research from 2018 shows that 40 per cent of black and minority ethnic participants have endured a negative experience in sport or physical activity settings – more than double that of white participants

Research from 2018 shows that 40 per cent of black and minority ethnic participants have endured a negative experience in sport or physical activity settings – more than double that of white participants
photo: Shutterstock.com/Rawpixel.com

The sport and physical activity sector "hasn't done enough" to tackle persisting inequalities within the industry, according to a statement signed by more than 80 leading UK sports organisations.

The unprecedented statement was published by the Sport and Recreation Alliance (SRA) and was signed by the likes of the RFU, UK Athletics, British Cycling and England Netball.

Addressing the global protests and the "powerful message" of the Black Lives Matter movement, the statement said the events of recent weeks had made "every section of society take notice and confront an ugly truth".

"Sport has an influential role to bring about meaningful change and this period has rightly led the sector to reflect, listen, question, learn and openly discuss how to take positive action," the statement reads.

"It is acknowledged that up to this point, we have not done enough."

"It is time to confront racism and inequality that exists across sport, from grassroots participation through to the boardroom."

Research from 2018 by SRA shows that four in ten (40 per cent) of black and minority ethnic (BAME) participants have endured a negative experience in sport or physical activity settings – more than double that of white participants.

The latest activity figures from Sport England show that just over 50 per cent of black people in England meet the recommended levels of physical activity each week.

The Diversity in Sport Governance report (from 2018-19) identified that only 5 per cent of board members, across Sport England and UK Sport-funded organisations, were from a BAME background.

"Systemic change must be made at all levels so that we can become truly reflective of our wonderfully diverse society," the statement reads.

"We can no longer rely on black role models at the elite level speaking out, we must join together to become better and to support every member of the sport and recreation community.

"We must become more inclusive. We must create opportunities which are truly accessible. We must do more."

A spokesperson for SRA added: "We are continuously receiving further support on this statement.

"Many organisations in the sector have released, or plan to release, individual statements too."

The full list of signatories is below:

Activity Alliance
Angling Trust
Archery GB
Associated Board of Dance
Association for Physical Education
Association of British Riding Schools
Association of Colleges
Badminton England
Basketball England
Boccia England
Bowls England
British American Football
British Association for Shooting and Conservation
British Blind Sport
British Canoeing
British Cycling
British Dodgeball
British Dressage
British Fencing
British Gymnastics
British Kite Flying Association
British Martial Arts and Boxing Association
British Mountaineering Council
British Nordic Walking
British Orienteering
British Para Table Tennis
British Rowing
British Shooting
British Showjumping
British Student Taekwondo Federation
British Triathlon
British Universities & Colleges Sport
British Water Ski & Wakeboard
British Weight Lifting
British Wrestling
EMD UK
England and Wales Cricket Board
England Boxing
England Golf
England Hockey
England Korfball
England Lacrosse
England Netball
England Squash
English Ice Hockey Association
English Indoor Bowling Association
English Karate Federation
Federation of English Karate Associations
Goalball UK
Golf Club Managers Association
Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby
Karate Union of Great Britain
Lawn Tennis Association
League Managers Association
Leap
Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport
LimbPower
North Yorkshire Sport
Northern Counties Dance Teachers Association
Para Dance UK
Pentathlon GB
Rounders England
Rugby Football League
Rugby Football Union
Skateboard England & Skateboard GB
Snowsport England
Sport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
Sport and Recreation Alliance
Swim England
Table Tennis England
The British Sub-Aqua Club
The Eton Fives Association
The Golf Foundation
The Keep Fit Association
The Laban Guild for Movement and Dance
The National Association of Karate and Martial Arts Schools
The Professional Golfers' Association
Trail Riders Fellowship
Triathlon England
UK Athletics
UK Ultimate
UKA Dance
Yorkshire Sport Foundation
Youth Sport Trust




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