When we talk about equality in the sports sector, we are talking about treating people fairly and being accessible to everyone – regardless of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation.
Clubs have a responsibility to be accessible and inclusive to all people, which essentially means considering the needs of all individuals in delivering their services. Everyone should be given the opportunity to play, compete, officiate, or be involved with the structures of a sports club. To do that, you might need to do some things differently for certain people in order for that to happen. In this case, in picture two, a simple move of the boxes means everyone can enjoy the game.
4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR APPROACH TO EQUALITY
Equality Standard for Sport
The Equality Standard for Sport is owned by the 5 sports councils across the UK and is led by the Sports Council Equality Group (SCEG). The standards were created to assist sports organisations and clubs to widen access and reduce inequalities in sport and physical activity from underrepresented individuals, groups and communities. There are 4 levels that sporting bodies can achieve - Foundation, Preliminary, Intermediate or Advanced.
The biggest benefit of championing equality is of course that you are offering sporting opportunities to suit everybody, which should mean an increase in the number of members. Ensuring that your sports club is diverse, inclusive, and actively communicating those factors will bring with it a host of benefits. Not only will your members feel supported and valued, on top of that you will also attract new participants and stakeholder interest, build a positive reputation, decrease risk by improving your governance and risk management, increase sponsorship opportunities, help break down barriers in sport and increase participation opportunities to name but a few!
Diverse Boards and Leadership
A diverse membership should mean a diverse mix of decision makers on your committee too. This will help your club to shape its services to meet the needs of its members and to broaden the reach to new members. Plus, championing equality is good practice and is viewed positively by funders. You can read more about Board Diversity here
Activity Alliance have developed a downloadable Inclusive Communications Guide to help sport providers like yourselves to reach a wider audience using different communication tools, methods and even tone of voice.