Sporting Equals Chief Executive Arun Kang awarded O.B.E for services to the development of BAME communities

Arun Kang has always been passionate about equality, empathy and diversity. This was reflected through his academic pursuits and consequential career path. He attained a BA (Hons) for Non-Profit/Public/Organisational Management and then opted to focus on Promoting Equality and Managing Diversity (MA) for his Masters, in which he was awarded a distinction.

With this knowledge, he first joined the workforce as a youth worker, then established and became a Director of a race equality organisation. Kang then became the Head of Equality and Diversity for Warwickshire County Council before returning to the third sector with his current role at Sporting Equals.

Kang has been the Chief Executive Officer of the leading diversity and equality charity, Sporting Equals for over a decade. In that time, he has championed multiple projects and initiatives which have impacted the lives of many BAME communities.

One of the first actions he took in his role at Sporting Equals was to pioneer the use of Faith centres as a model, in order to engage with BAME demographics who were very much on the fringe when looking at sport and physical activity. This model was a huge success and has aided in both young BAME individuals becoming more active and indeed the elderly as well, with projects such as 'Fit as a Fiddle' where Sporting Equals collaborated with Age UK in order to reach an array of ages within the BAME community.

With Kang as CEO, the charity has also championed a sports ethnic diversity awards which is now in its sixth year of running. The British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards is more than just an awards evening held in central London, it is an opportunity to showcase to the whole of the UK that diversity is a positive concept. Many diverse communities and abilities are awarded on the night, giving younger generations visible and tangible role models that can inspire them to pursue such paths or even just get more active. 

One of Kang's proudest achievements has been the LeaderBoard Academy. It is in its second year of running and is a project aimed at empowering BAME individuals, with the skills needed to attain board-level roles to ensure diversity and representation at every level of the sports sector.

This project is particularly close to Kang's vision for what Sporting Equals as charity delivers, Kang said: “Diversity is not achievable without equality, representation and empathy. Our work here at Sporting Equals is incredibly important as we are constantly pushing for more possibilities and equality of opportunity with the work we do here. I am incredibly proud and honoured to have been recognised for the vital work we do here at Sporting Equals with my OBE, but there is still work to be done and as an organisation, we are in the best position to deliver it.”

Kang has also had a leading role in the creation of the British Asian Sports and Physical Activity Network which includes a host of South Asian sports sector members who are all passionate about delivering change both in terms of representation and engagement with British South Asian communities. Sporting Equals' most recent project has been the Sporting Equals Charter which seeks to capture, commit and celebrate change towards race equality here in Britain.

The Charter commits sports and physical activity organisations to capture ethnicity, data and intelligence; commit to tackling underrepresentation at all levels through positive action and finally celebrate positive role models and stories. It is clear to see that Kang's academic pursuits and career have been building towards delivering change to BAME communities and the recognition of this OBE is incredibly meaningful but there is still more work being and continuing to be done at Sporting Equals, with Kang being the driving force for equality and diversity.