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

By Tom Walker    15 Jun 2020
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 / 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 TrustArchery GB

Associated Board of DanceAssociation for Physical Education

Association of British Riding SchoolsAssociation of Colleges

Badminton EnglandBasketball England

Boccia EnglandBowls England

British American FootballBritish Association for Shooting and Conservation

British Blind SportBritish Canoeing

British CyclingBritish Dodgeball

British DressageBritish Fencing

British GymnasticsBritish Kite Flying Association

British Martial Arts and Boxing AssociationBritish Mountaineering Council

British Nordic WalkingBritish Orienteering

British Para Table TennisBritish Rowing

British ShootingBritish Showjumping

British Student Taekwondo FederationBritish Triathlon

British Universities & Colleges SportBritish Water Ski & Wakeboard

British Weight LiftingBritish Wrestling

EMD UKEngland and Wales Cricket Board

England BoxingEngland Golf

England HockeyEngland Korfball

England LacrosseEngland Netball

England SquashEnglish Ice Hockey Association

English Indoor Bowling AssociationEnglish Karate Federation

Federation of English Karate AssociationsGoalball UK

Golf Club Managers AssociationGreat Britain Wheelchair Rugby

Karate Union of Great BritainLawn Tennis Association

League Managers AssociationLeap

Leicester-Shire and Rutland SportLimbPower

North Yorkshire SportNorthern Counties Dance Teachers Association

Para Dance UKPentathlon GB

Rounders EnglandRugby Football League

Rugby Football UnionSkateboard England & Skateboard GB

Snowsport EnglandSport Across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Sport and Recreation AllianceSwim England

Table Tennis EnglandThe British Sub-Aqua Club

The Eton Fives AssociationThe Golf Foundation

The Keep Fit AssociationThe Laban Guild for Movement and Dance

The National Association of Karate and Martial Arts SchoolsThe Professional Golfers' Association

Trail Riders FellowshipTriathlon England

UK AthleticsUK Ultimate

UKA DanceYorkshire Sport Foundation

Youth Sport Trust

Black Lives Matter  inequalities 
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