Sports: Equality

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with Sport England about the practical application of the Equality Act 2010 in sport; and what were the results of any such discussions.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Government’s sport strategy Sporting Future and Sport England’s strategy Towards an Active Nation set out both organisations’ commitment to creating a diverse sport sector.

DCMS have regular meetings with Sport England to discuss diversity in sport. These meetings cover a wide range of issues including increasing participation amongst under-represented groups, such as those from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and ensuring a more diverse workforce. Outputs from Sport England’s work in this area includes:

  • The ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which encourages women to get active regardless of shape, size and ability and seeks to break down the barriers that prevent them from doing so. The campaign has inspired 3.9 million women to take part since its launch in 2015

  • Work with a range of partners to increase BAME participation in sport and activity. Sport England published their ‘Sport for All’ report in January 2020, showing how people from BAME communities are taking part in sport and physical activity. Launched in response to low rates of participation in many BAME communities, this invited and challenged partners to address the ethnicity gap in sport participation, with Sport England committing to leading a joined-up approach to tackle this across the sport sector.

  • Work with leading board recruitment agency Perrett Laver to increase diversity at board level within national governing bodies of sport, with 65% and 75% of appointments to date being BAME and female candidates.

  • Investment in programmes that help disabled people get active and make sport more inclusive of their needs. Sport England also ensures that programmes for disabled people are included across each of their investment programmes, and are investing £1.6m from 2017 - 2020 into seven National Disability Sports Organisations who represent specific impairment groups. Sport England has also worked alongside leading charities including Age UK to develop the ‘We Are Undefeatable’ campaign, aimed at supporting people with long-term health conditions to be active.

  • Sporting Future asked Sport England to treat LGBT+ people in the same way as it does other groups protected by the Equality Act 2010. This enables sports to get the same expert help from Sport England and its partners with tackling increasing LGBT+ participation as they do with the other protected characteristics groups and they are making investments into key delivery partners to support their work in this space. For example, Sport England has invested £80,000 into Pride Sports to support Sport England with mapping all LGBT+ specific sport activity across the country and to deliver a LGBT+ summit event to offer insight, strategies and good practice solutions for engaging LGBT+ people in sport.

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