Sports Diversity Award
1. Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club v homophobia
Brighton & Hove Albion have set a new standard when it come to inclusion and tackling homophobia in sport.
The issue of homophobia resonates particularly powerfully in a city whose vibrant LGBT+ presence has meant fans of the Albion have faced years of homophobic taunting by rival supporters. Our active promotion of our inclusive values and zero-tolerance approach to homophobic abuse a the American Express Community Stadium illustrates our commitment to football being a sport for all.
The club are partners of Brighton Pride, Europe’s biggest Pride festival and over the past 12 months have run a host of initiatives to raise awareness and ensure we are seen as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
These initiatives include: Partners of Brighton pride; Founder members of City Angels; School visits by players to raise awareness of tackling homophobia; Gender identity cards given out to supporters; Zero tolerance to homophobic abuse at the Amex; Huge visual support of Premier League and Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces campaign.
2. British Martial Arts & Boxing Association
The BMABA national Diversity & Equality campaign has taken radical steps to introduce the first universal standards for Diversity and Inclusion in the Martial Arts Industry. Through a range of training, campaigns, surveys, qualifications and policy, we have introduced a national programme aimed at tackling perceptions, better representing minorities and ensuring the Diversity and Equality of martial arts has been brought into the 21st century.
3. Everton Football Club
Everton is known as The People’s Club. Our motto is Nil Satis Nisi Optimum – nothing but the best is good enough – and we can only make this claim by recognising and embracing diversity and inclusion in everything we do. Our strategic vision for diversity and inclusion involves ‘being the best’ in: Business – An inclusive workplace culture; Environment – Accessible facilities for our fans, staff, community, participants and players; Club – An inclusive culture amongst fans; Team – Players who embrace equality and diversity. In 2018 we launched our All Together Now campaign, to celebrate diversity and increase awareness of everything done by the Club and our charity Everton in the Community to promote equality. The campaign and tagline ‘a football family for everyone’ is front and centre of Everton’s brand presence online and on matchdays, placing equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of what we do. We empower and equip our staff and fans to promote diversity, whether that is through matchday activity that captures international attention, or generating ideas in the workplace to make positive change. In February 2020 we achieved the Advanced Level of the Premier League Equality Standard (PLES).
4. Leicester City Football Club
With the aim of creating an inclusive culture in football, Leicester City Football Club has created and implemented it’s own equality strategy, aligned to the Clubs vision to achieve ‘equality of opportunity for all, celebrating and supporting our diversity through an inclusive and positive environment’. Our targets were to significantly improve the participation in equality data audits, increase the diversity of staff and supporters in underrepresented areas, lay a foundation of knowledge across the Club, create tailored initiatives and to use LCFC as a platform for a strong message of equality and inclusion in the local community. We faced a big challenge due to the historic culture of football, traditionally a male-dominated, perceived discriminatory environment, which is hard to overcome as it is often reinforced through language heard on matchdays and reported in the media. However through a combination of strategic and inclusive leadership, data audits, embedding equality into Club policies and processes, widely communicating our work internally and externally and putting into place training, awareness and tailored initiatives, across staff, players, supporters and in the community, we have been able to build the inclusive and supportive environment we set out to achieve.
5. Project Rugby – Premiership Rugby
Project Rugby has so far reached 45,000 young people, increasing participation in the game by people aged 14-24 from non-traditional audiences:
• People from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities
• Disabled people
• People from Lower Socio-Economic groups (LSEGs).
The programme engages thousands of participants per year and is delivered by community staff from Premiership Rugby’s clubs across England, providing accessible opportunities for people to participate in the game at a time and place that can be easily accessed by target audiences. The programme also aims to support transition into local grassroots clubs, enhance wellbeing, reduce social isolation, increase social connectedness and challenge traditional perceptions of the game, positioning rugby as a sport for anyone regardless of background, ability or gender.
6. Rangers Charity Foundation
The Rangers Charity Foundation exists to be a force for good on behalf of the Rangers Family, showing compassion to those in need, tackling inequalities and creating opportunities for people of all ages to change their lives for the better.
Working across six key pillars Education, Employability, Health and Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion, Our Local Community and Champions for Charity, the Foundation reaches thousands of people both locally and around the world each season.
Under its Diversity and Inclusion pillar, the Foundation proudly delivers a range of community engagement projects which not only focus on education, but help children of all background access football. Projects include interactive anti-sectarianism and LGBT+ awareness sessions with students, autism friendly football and visually impaired football for youngsters who struggle to access mainstream sessions, as well as work with Show Racism the Red Card.
The Foundation also proactively supports Rangers Football Club with its diversity and inclusion strategy; helping to launch its first LGBT+ Supporters Club, engaging ethnic minorities and playing an integral role in the ‘Everyone Anyone’ initiative.
7. The 2019 Solheim Cup – VisitScotland/EventScotland
The 2019 Solheim Cup was Scotland’s opportunity break the mould with a golf event. The result redefined expectations of a women’s golf event on and off the course. Remembered as one of the most dramatic conclusions in sporting history with Suzann Pettersen’s remarkable closing putt, outside the ropes it provided a global platform for women’s sport and broke new accessibility and diversity ground for a golf event. It attracted the biggest-ever UK crowd for women’s golf of more than 90,000 with women accounting for 59% of attendees. More than 6,000 children were admitted free of charge while another 8,144 concession tickets were sold and 88% of those attending with children described it as “family friendly”. The event’s accessibility and inclusion programme was praised with 86% of attendees agreeing it was accessible to all while Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, attended in person and blogged about his positive experience. Gender diversity success was mirrored in the volunteering programme with women accounting for 61% of the 1,020 volunteers while a strong legacy is left behind in the 150 female golfing ambassadors in golf clubs across the country.
8. Ready Steady Active
“What family would want a daughter-in-law that can run around kicking a football all day but can’t make round chapatis?”
This quote from the 2002 film, Bend It Like Beckham tugged firmly on the heartstrings of families within communities throughout the UK and sparked household conversations about women’s expectations of becoming conventional housewives and not pursuing aspirations of playing team sports – and not just in South Asian families.
Nominated by Rounders England, Ready Steady Active (RSA) is an enterprise that was founded by Rashida Salloo in 2015 to address the issues and barriers that she faced playing sports while coming from a cultural background which made it difficult to participate. The initiative aims to provide sports and physical opportunities, for which rounders is a key component. RSA provides access to rounders regardless of background, ability, religion, age, culture or experience by making sessions and activities easy for people to access, removing as many barriers as possible and ensuring people feel comfortable and at ease.
It uses sport as a medium for creating social inclusion.