Sporting Equals Statement Response to UK Home Sports Councils’ Race in Sport Review

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In light of the recent statement, report and review by the Home Sports Councils we at Sporting Equals wanted to highlight a few points we feel are important to reflect on. We have seen a definitive shift post the summer of 2020 Black Lives Matter protests regarding how society began to view and discuss race. This had impact across all walks of life and for organisations such as ours this marked a point in time where real progress in terms of introspection and intervention could finally begin. 
 
We witnessed many organisations reach out to us to engage in dialogue with people wanting to learn how they can be anti-racist to create truly equal and inclusive spaces. For our organisation it meant the beginning of many community consultations to inform and develop tangible interventions which we have worked to present, deliver and instil in sport in the UK. 
Sporting Equals wanted to take this opportunity to thank and support the Home Sports Councils in their recognition and dedication to resolving the historic issues of racism within sport in the UK. Their adoption and support towards our terminology work within their report, which highlights the need to retire outdated terminology such as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic 'BAME' and use specific terminology or where ethically justifiable the community supported phrases – ethnically diverse communities and diverse ethnic communities. This is significant for all the communities who have supported and informed our work on terminology, to have their views reflected in language changes to allow for respectful and relatable engagement. This is an important first step to our sector becoming an evolved and equal space for all. 
 
We really welcome the five common themes for action that have been reached as a result of the review undertaken. Similar themes were identified within our racism in sport survey, and we feel that Sporting Equals is uniquely placed to assist and enable the Home Sports Councils to achieve and deliver meaningful interventions. The five key areas that require meaningful reflection and commitment to change – the internal system of sport, representation, workforce, insight and investment. It is our sincere hope that with time the commitment to the agenda of racial equality and wider equality in sport does not waver and future actions which are yet to be determined, have a resonating impact for the communities we serve.
 
Throughout our time as the UK's leading sports racial equality charity, we have become all too familiar with the issues that have contributed to the systematic racism that the Home Sports Councils report acknowledges. Prior to the summer Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, we have been working to ensure that we have captured insight before mapping interventions and actions through the Sporting Equals Charter. We have also been working to improve issues around the lack of diversity in workforce and representation through our LeaderBoard Academy. This project enables individuals from ethnically diverse communities to develop their leadership skills and reflect on lived and learned experiences to become pragmatic yet empathetic and knowledgeably anti-racist board members who are more than capable and ready to influence the change outlined in the Home Sports Councils' report.

In the coming months Sporting Equals will be actively working with our Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel to develop and administer the Race Report Card. This initiative will enable us to spotlight key steps already being taken by bodies in the sport sector. As well as determine an accurate picture of the demographic landscape of decision making-roles, the workforce and talent which we feel will be valuable to assist informing future actions for the Home Sports Councils' post the Race in Sport Review. The issue of race and racism is a historic and systematic one which requires real focus, commitment and dedication. We are encouraged to see the reflection and dedication from the Home Sports Councils and hope that moving forward they will seek the support of experienced organisations who have been driving and leading the calls for change. That they engage with organisations across the UK who have appropriate expertise and a view from grassroot level right through to the boardroom to ensure that the committed actions have the real impact and consistency necessary for change. 
 
Sporting Equals look forward to seeing the tangible actions and outcomes from this initial review in addition to continuing to see how we can further work as a sector to measure, reflect and hold ourselves accountable in order to deliver better outcomes for the communities we serve. We are glad to see that the Home Sports Councils have sustained the momentum with this review and report, our sincere hope is that this will continue to inform and allow for real engagement and change.