SPORTS DIVERSITY AWARD
BT – #DiscoverDisabilityFootball
Para and disability football is a key focus within BT’s transformational 4-3-3 sponsorship strategy as lead partner of the England, Wales, Scotland & Irish Football Associations.
With over 14 million disabled people in the UK, disability football receives little or no exposure and has been overlooked or ignored by audiences and sponsors, until now.
To really make a difference to this community, BT developed four campaigns, with #DiscoverDisabilityFootball created as an overarching activation platform and call-to-action:
– Reach Media Partnership
– FA Disability Cup broadcast
– Para Football Adventures content series
– Internal Disability Panel Event
Key objectives: Increase awareness & profile of disability football, educate fans & UK public, drive conversation, inspire participation.
Reach Media partnership created exposure across multiple channels, nationally and regionally, reaching 3.67 million adults
#DiscoverDisabilityFootball delivered 30.2 million impressions driving an increase of 218% in conversation around disability football compared to the previous 7 days and 118% vs 2019
FA Disability Cup broadcast live for the first time ever, the most accessible live broadcast of a football match in the UK to date, viewed live by 260k people with further content seen by over 2M
Para Football Adventures content series viewed over 500k times
England Hockey have historically undertaken activity in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion across the sport of hockey. Eighteen months ago, the senior leadership team brought together an internal working group to critically assess the progress to date in this area.
This group, along with colleagues and our wider membership, have made important steps forward in this area during that period in an effort to embed meaningful and sustainable change to the way hockey approaches, understands and enables best practice E, D+I.
A full range of activities and initiatives have been delivered and are being developed to continue this journey, including (not limited to), hosting external focus groups, a More Inclusive Sport Survey, new dedicated webpages, staff and board E,D+I training, diversifying the make-up of England Hockey Board, implementation of the AGM Resolution (Governance Review), introduction of a new more accessible Talent System, International squad’s Stick it to Racism’ campaign, online Coaching and Umpiring training, recruitment of skilled and diverse representatives to an E, D+I advisory group and the recruitment of a Change Manager.
EH will now create a sport wide strategy that has E,D+I embedded at its heart, and the responsibility of everyone, not just the few.
Everton Football Club
As the world faced the pandemic, and football was dealing with its impact on sponsorship, marketing and activation, Everton and new technical partner hummel sought to deliver a footballing first – a ground-breaking non-player led kit launch that showcased hummel’s commitment to investing in Club charity Everton in the Community, and saw players from Everton in the Community’s Disability programme – celebrating its 20th anniversary year – become the focus.
This activation was part of the wider ‘More Than Eleven’ 2020/21 kit campaign, which spotlighted the strong bond between Everton – The People’s Club – and its worldwide fan community.
hummel’s investment in funding a coaching course for 20 disabled participants to gain their FA Level One coaching qualification – in some cases opening up opportunities into employment – also ensured the kit launch left a lasting legacy.
The uniqueness of the launch and Everton and hummel’s commitment to celebrating equality and diversity gained widespread news media interest and positive engagement, with fans stating their pride at the campaign. The campaign led to a 41% increase on the previous record first day sales for an Everton third kit, while sales for the year finished 28% on the previous 12 months.
The ITTF Foundation uses table tennis as a tool for development and peace. We believe table tennis is a sport for everyone. It shows no preference to gender and people of age can enjoy the benefit of the sport. Having diversity and inclusion of disadvantaged groups at the core of our programmes and projects, the ITTF Foundation initiates and supports projects that introduce table tennis to a wide range of target audience across gender, age, social-economic statues, and fitness level.
Under the tagline ‘Solidarity through Table Tennis’ the ITTF Foundation aims to engage people worldwide, initiate or support projects to empower individuals, foster positive social change and to make table tennis popular, universal and inclusive.
Some of our target audience includes misplaced children, refugees, underprivileged families, patients of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and female population in general. By bring table tennis to them, we are hoping to empower, inspire and eventually helping them to achieve solidarity through the sport.
LTA – Inclusion Strategy
Our vision of ‘Tennis Opened Up’ has inclusion at its core, putting it at the heart of our strategic plans to grow the sport.
From our ground-breaking LTA SERVES programme taking tennis to new communities, LTA Open Court getting a record number of disabled people playing, and LTA She Rallies empowering and expanding the number of women and girls coaching and playing, we’ve made progress and have a strong platform to build on.
Part of the journey, though, is knowing how far you still have to go – and we need to do more. To help us go further, faster, we’ve published an Inclusion Strategy for tennis in Britain, to embed long term cultural change so people playing, working and volunteering in, and watching our sport reflect the diversity of our communities.
Developed from a starting point of listening to lived experiences, it sets out five key areas of work with 25 commitments to drive change, underpinned by 46 priority actions to make the ambition of the strategy a reality.
To help us do that, our IDEA Group and new LTA Council and Board appointments will contribute to the diversity of thoughts and approaches to delivering tennis opened up.
The Walking Football Association
The WFA, an unfunded 100% volunteer organisation, has been very successful in helping to make the sport of Walking Football as inclusive as possible – developing Women only and mixed gender teams and matches, sessions for Parkinsons Disease (PD) and other health conditions and recognising the enormous contribution our sport makes to health and well-being, and developing this in England and globally.
The WFA recently held ‘Inter-gender Internationals’ at St Georges Park with its own women’s national teams playing against the men’s teams – a unique experience which was supported by the Kick It Out charity.
The WFA is the driving force behind setting up sessions for PwP (People with Parkinsons). It has currently set up 3 sessions in England and aims to establish many more as we have seen, first hand, the power that a football can have over people with long term health conditions, such as Parkinson’s – with the walking and the non-contact elements, Walking Football is the ideal sport to encourage such people to get up and get active and have fun in a safe environment. The WFA is currently working on developing a national club competition for women only teams and teams for PwP.
Walking Football is available to all – from any background and the rules that the WFA have introduced help people of all ages and abilities to be able to play together in an inclusive, safe and fun environment.
We are currently working with the Teen Girls initiative as well – there are very few opportunities for teens to start football because teams are usually well established and are attaining a good level, Girls entering at this level are under a huge amount of pressure and the experience ends up being counterproductive. Girls can also play Walking Football without having to get changed and it could also help as an introduction to sports for teens with obesity especially with the Euros in England next year. In Malaysia, The WFA trained Doctors so that they could take the game into schools to help them to deal with the childhood obesity problem they have in their country.
The ‘Guide to Walking Football’, aimed at potential players has been very well received as has the ‘Toolkit’, both written by the WFA to help new clubs and sessions set up. Encouraging participation, raising the profile of the sport and encouraging inclusivity and diversity has been the driving force of the WFA.