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Youth Charter & Sporting Equals Statement on Youth Charter 2020 Games Legacy Report

Joint statement from The Youth Charter and Sporting Equals regarding the Youth Charter 2020 Games Legacy Report findings. Links below for accessible versions: 

Dyslexia Friendly Version
Plain Text Version 


Full Statement:

The positive impact of sport is one that can and has been used as a force of good with largescale games being an opportunity to build stronger community relations and inspire better physical health as well as future athletes. However, as the launch of the Youth Charter's 2020 Games legacy report indicates there is a negative trend between the investment into this positive legacy building versus what is being delivered on the ground and felt at a participation level. 
Sporting Equals is delighted to be supporting the work of the Youth Charter with the launch of this report as it echoes statistics Sporting Equals presented at their 2021 Race Equality State of the Sector event in addition to the British Asians in Sport and Physical Activity advisory board statement regarding the lack of British South Asian elite talent in sport and physical activity which highlighted the lack of specific community representation at an elite level which has a direct and negative correlation to how active these communities are at an everyday participation level.
The Youth Charter has completed a longitudinal analysis of Team GB and Paralympics GB Athletes from Sydney 2000 through to Tokyo 2020. This covers the Olympic and Paralympic funding cycle from 1997 to 2021 that has seen UK Sport invest an unprecedented £1.3 billion in Team GB Olympic Sports (£1.116bn) and Paralympics GB Sports (£235m). However, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds of public investment, most Team GB and Paralympics GB sports have had very few or even no ethnically diverse athletes. This statistic is also reflected in the medals won by British athletes.
In August 2021, Sporting Equals conducted a pulse survey with its network of Associate Members that cater for south Asian communities. 88% of respondents agreed that there should be more South Asian representation on Team GB for both Olympic and Paralympic games. Over three-quarters of respondents felt connected towards Tokyo 2020 athletes who ethnically look more like them. 74% of respondents also perceived that their service users would attend more stadium sport as spectators if there was more South Asian representation in those events. Whilst over 90% of respondents agreed that their service users would be more inspired to participate in sport if more role models came from their ethnic backgrounds. This clearly reinforces the current negative link between role models and participation at a service user and elite level. Where if leadership and investment was more reflective of ethnically diverse communities a more positive link could be established through reflecting on lived experiences and building empathy.
The work of the Youth Charter and Sporting Equals highlight the persistent issue with games being unrepresentative of diverse talent and how the funding has persistently failed to resolve this issue with ethnically diverse and low socio-economic groups of society unable to feel the impact and positive force of largescale games such as the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games. With the COVID-19 pandemic deepening inequalities and inequity within society is imperative that we ensure that those communities are prioritised when reviewing legacy and investment to engage and inspire accordingly. 
As such the Youth Charter is working with the Commonwealth Sport Foundation to enhance the legacy impact of the Commonwealth Games by reducing inequality and improving quality of life through sport. The Youth Charter has completed its research and analysis of legacy programmes and athlete participation at previous Commonwealth Games and will do the same for Birmingham 2022. This project will support the implementation of the Commonwealth Sport Foundation's Development Model. 
Moving ahead it is vital we reflect on the learnings from the Youth Charter's 2020 Games legacy report to be absorbed and channelled into committed actions. Some National Governing Bodies of sport such as England Hockey and England Basketball have begun to understand how the lack of understanding of race equality on the ground directly impacts participation and are making deliberate and conscious actions and interventions to change this. As a sector it is important for us all to reflect on how we can build a better world through sport.
Founder and Chair of the Youth Charter and Deputy Chair of Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, Prof. Geoff Thompson said:
“This report and collaboration provides an opportunity to see equal, diverse and inclusive hope to the young people on the streets and in our communities where lives are being lost and must now be inspired by the diversity leadership of the Boards and organisations of Sport and our Social Coaches who will motivate and engage them mentally, physically and emotionally to develop in life.” 
Arun Kang OBE Sporting Equals Chief Executive said: 
“Sporting Equals is proud to be supporting the Youth Charter and the very vital work this report highlights. We have been campaigning and advocating for greater racial equity across the sector and having reflected on Olympic and Paralympic Games we continue to feel disappointed by the stark lack of diversity in elite talent which this report both echoes and reinforces. It is unacceptable that the benefits of sport are not felt unanimously across all communities. The work the Youth Charter is engaging in to rectify this is commendable and critically important.”


Over the past 28 years, the Youth Charter message has been inspired by over 240 sporting, artistic and cultural ambassadors who have signed the Youth Charter Scroll in support of our work.

The Youth Charter has identified 900 Athletes and 50 Governing Bodies from the current generation of British Sport and we would also like those from the world of culture, art and society to 'sign up' or 'sign out' to support our efforts.

For further information, contact:

The Youth Charter ( is a UK registered charity and United Nations Non-Governmental Organization.

Youth Charter

Dame Mary Glen Haig Office for Sport for Development and Peace

London Stadium Learning

London Stadium


E20 2ST


Sporting Equals is an independent not-for-profit charity, whose aim is to promote ethnic diversity across the sport and physical activity sector. Its mission is to make a sustainable difference to the inclusion of all under-represented communities in sport and physical activity to help increase participation and improve the long-term opportunities and health outcomes of those communities, as well as to grow elite-level talent.  

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