New Sport Strategy Released
Sporting Equals hopeful of an inclusive sporting future following new government strategy announcement
The Government's unveiling of its new strategy for an active nation, "Sporting Future" has been warmly welcomed by Sporting Equals, the charity that works to increase ethnic diversity at all levels in sport. The new strategy is on the back of public consultation that yielded a huge response and recognises that under-represented groups need to be targeted if a significant impact is to be made on participation in sport.
Wide in its scope, the new strategy will aim to address under-representation in areas such as coaching, volunteering and also within the boardrooms of sport as well as try to increase participation in sport and physical activity among inactive communities.
Arun Kang, CEO of Sporting Equals, said:
"The new strategy presents a real opportunity to promote inclusion in sport from playing pitches to boardrooms. We welcome the emphasis on government departments working in a more joined-up way as this will be necessary if we are to tackle the barriers that prevent many black and minority ethnic (BME) communities getting involved. "
"We are particularly pleased that the government are keen to improve diversity within the boardrooms in the governing bodies in sport. Sporting Equals's "LeaderBoard" initiative is already exploring ways to do this by working with Sport England, UK Sport and several National Governing Bodies of sport as we feel that this will lead to improved business performance and better informed decision-making when it comes to attracting under-represented groups into sport. Currently BME communities make up only 3% of board positions in NGBs in sport and this needs to improve".
The significant changes in UK demographics which highlight that 14 % of the UK population is from an ethnic minority and rises to 19.5 % ,when taking new and emerging communities into account, represents a significant opportunity for meeting the strategy's objectives in growing sport and physical activity participation among young people and adults. In "Sporting Future" the Sports Minister has spoken about the need to put the customer first in future and encourages sports providers to better understand the differing needs of different groups and this is to be welcomed too.
"Our research carried out with some BME communities, such as south Asian women for example, has highlighted to need to provide bespoke sporting offers for this group, and it is great that the new strategy is talking about customer-centric approaches. Sporting Equals has been working with faith centres in cities which have significant BME populations and we have been able to develop sport and physical activity projects that are tailored to local peoples' needs."
The new strategy places emphasis on creating partnerships with the private sector to support positive outcomes in sport. This is something that Sporting Equals are also trying to achieve through initiatives such as the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. Supported by Lycamobile, Jaguar, Sport England, UK Sport and Youth Sport Trust among others, these awards shine a light on positive BME elite role models in sport as well as successful grassroots projects and have enabled Sporting Equals to create and nurture dialogue with the private sector.
The awards have been supported by the likes of Christine Ohuruogu, Maggie Alphonsi, Moeen Ali, Denise Lewis and former 100 year old marathon runner Fauja Singh. This year, the awards will take place on Saturday 6th February in The Grosvenor, Park Lane, London and the shortlisted finalists include Lewis Hamilton, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Anthony Joshua and Rachel Choong among others.
For more information on Sporting Equals please visit www.sportingequals.org.uk
For more information on the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards please visit www.bedsa.co.uk
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