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Take the Diversity Challenge

A new online toolkit to drive the inclusion of under-represented groups in sport has been released.

The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) working alongside the other national equality partners- Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation, StreetGames and Sporting Equals- is proud to have led on the resource creation. Called Diversity Challenge, the self-evaluation tool will support National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport to increase the diversity of their workforce and participants.

It has been created under the collaborative 70% proof banner. Together, these charities offer unique and valuable insight and expertise into around 70% of the market- disabled people, women, people from black and ethnic minorities, and young people living in disadvantaged communities.

In partnership with Sport England, the aims of the online resource are to:

  • provide a tool for self-evaluation which is influential and motivating for NGBs
  • increase awareness and opportunities of these under-represented groups in sport and the wider environment
  • challenge negative preconceptions in sport
  • educate, engage and inspire NGBs and their networks on the inclusion of these under-represented groups within their programmes
  • empower the sport sector to promote participation in sport as a valuable lifestyle option to a diverse range of audiences
  • highlight national equality partners as useful hubs of expertise and support

It is hoped all NGBs will use the toolkit to support their work programmes, tied into their Whole Sport Plans and continually use it to re-assess their equality and diversity provision for these and other under-represented groups as they improve.

However, in application it applies to many other organisations too- including County Sport Partnerships, local sport providers, sporting trusts and national sport organisations.

The toolkit development began in December with a stakeholder workshop for selected NGBs and partners, to shape the better practice principles. This workshop helped to advise and inform the resource, followed by research to explore attitudes towards it as well as define the project’s approach.

Responses showed the majority of diversity better practice principles are universal to all under-represented groups, with NGBs’ identifying these groups within their target audience. But they highlighted a need for a continual system of measurement on diversity and the project needed to build on current frameworks like the Equality Standard for Sport.

Key feedback from the respondents indicated NGBs are generally good at considering diversity issues, but do not prioritise the sharing of better practices. They understood, for there to be a sustained level of participation from under-represented groups within their sport, that NGBs need to champion diversity across all levels. Crucially, some NGBs realise that a cultural shift is required in their sport to ensure diversity is pushed up everyone’s agenda.

Four themes were drawn up from the insight- governance and leadership, corporate planning, participation and talent development. Case studies have been collated from a range of NGBs and partners to highlight the better practices in these areas.

The users are taken through a series of questions, tailored specifically for the NGB and their current challenges. The results will show relevant information and provide resources (including case studies) to use in developing further thinking. A main emphasis is that equality and diversity requires a sustained approach to be successful.

As an ever-growing tool, the partners hope all NGBs will share their great work with others, to improve their inclusive programmes and encourage collaborative working and conversations with each other.

This project has now ended. If you require more information, please contact EFDS.

For more information, please email Sarah Marl, Marketing and Communications Manager at EFDS email or call 0161 200 5446