SPORTS DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AWARD
2021 ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships – ITTF Foundation / YUVEDO Foundation
The ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships are the World Table Tennis Championships for people with Parkinson’s Disease. It is an innovative way to demonstrate the physical, social, and emotional benefits of playing table tennis for Parkinson’s fighters. Additionally, the tournament welcomes families and friends of those affected by Parkinson’s to exchange thoughts and experiences, creating a larger supporting system not only for the patients but also the caregivers.
The 2021 ITTF Parkinson’s World Table Tennis Championships, the second edition of the series has seen 135 Parkinson’s fighters from 21 countries and territories competing for medals. The tournament has birthed better-suited rules and classification systems for future editions, with the potential to be extended to the Para table tennis tournament and competitions targeting players with motion and coordination difficulties such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
BT & EE Home Nations – BT Group
BT Group’s ‘4-3-3 Game Plan’ is the UK’s most transformative and game-changing football sponsorship, helping to make the national game more diverse and inclusive than ever before:
4 – Lead Partner of all four Home Nation Football Association’s
3 – Three underrepresented communities most in need of support (grassroots, women’s, para and disability)
3 – Three commitments to make a meaningful difference and legacy
‘4-3-3’ doubles down on the areas and communities often overlooked or underrepresented in the game: women’s, grassroots, para and disability. EE and BT is a lead partner like no other – we’re creating the most inclusive and diverse grassroots workforce, providing products and services to communities in need, and reinforcing to women the beautiful game is their game.
We’ve committed to broadcasting The FA Disability Cup for next three years, introduced disability football to Gen-Zs and assembled a star-studded Home Nations squad to tackle online hate across two international tournaments.
This not a badging exercising, this is about making a meaningful and tangible difference to communities across the four home nations. Ultimately, staying true to the brands guiding purpose: we connect for good to ensure football continues to support and reflect modern society.
Creating the first ‘Home Crowd’ for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team – Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) Sports reaches 130 million people every month, engaging a hugely diverse cross section of fans and broad audiences in more than 200 markets and in over 20 languages.
WBD Sports is driven by its Values and Mission to ‘Unlock the Power of Sport’ for its audiences and diversity and inclusion is at the heart of how it presents sports for its viewers.
During the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC Refugee Olympic Team brought together 29 athletes originating from 11 countries around the world. Whilst the team had the shared experience of living as a refugee, they came together through a passion for sport and a dream to compete at the Olympic Games.
WBD, together with its IOC partner, identified that the team was the sole ‘nation’ of the 206 competing teams that did not benefit from a ‘Home Crowd.’ Missing out on the combined support this brings to all other competing nations, even from home.
To build a community, WBD – the Streaming Home of the Olympics in Europe – called on the power of social media and world-class storytelling to create even greater awareness of the team and built them their first ‘Home Crowd’.
European Tour Group & EDGA
Golf has the potential to be the most inclusive sport in the world. Because of the handicap system, players of different abilities can compete against each other. Nevertheless, there is work to be done to make golf feel truly inclusive. This is especially true for people with a disability. Research shows that when disabled people start playing golf, they have high dropout rates and a small transition into regular participation. This is despite golf’s physical and mental health benefits.
To tackle this challenge, The European Disabled Golf Association (EDGA) and DP World Tour launched a new flagship Tour for golfers with a disability. Called the “G4D Tour”, it has a schedule of seven events held at the DP World Tour’s highest profile tournaments. By playing on the same course, the same week, as the best abled bodied professionals, the G4D Tour is making a profound statement that golfers with a disability deserve the same recognition as their able-bodied counterparts. The DP World Tour is also paying players expenses – ensuring cost is not a barrier to entry. The G4D Tour has garnered significant traction on social media and already led to a big spike in interest to play disability golf.
Harlequins’ Annual LGBTQ+ Pride Celebration – Harlequin F.C. and The Harlequins Foundation
Harlequins’ annual LGBTQ+ Pride match has become a landmark fixture in rugby. The first of its kind within professional Rugby Union, the fixture is committed to driving inclusion and fighting against social injustice. The third edition of the fixture was a sell-out matchday with over 12,500 attendees, featuring Pride stadium branding, over 2,500 LGBTQ+ Progress hand flags and exclusive LGBTQ+ themed merchandise.
Ahead of the event, Harlequins formed the world rugby’s first-ever LGBTQ+ Supporters’ Association, Quins Pride. With a core mission to ensure that Rugby is a game for everyone, supporting efforts to make The Stoop a safe place for all to express their true selves at every match.
The Harlequins Foundation have also offered access to education and discussion of ED&I through a series of virtual panel discussions and academic webinars exploring the key pillars of equality, diversity, inclusion, and how the sports sector can use its platform to help improve representation at every level.
Pride is not just for one month, and Harlequins and The Harlequins Foundation are working hard to ensure that the Club’s yearlong efforts reflect the spotlight that is shone on the LGBTQ+ community during June.
Social Impact Team @ RLWC2021 – Rugby League World Cup 2021
The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years.
The team of 60+ employees and its partners are tasked with delivering the biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup in history RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time. In addition, the World Cup is also staging a Physical Disability Rugby League showcase event.
The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England and will be the most visible rugby league event ever with all 61 games being broadcast live on the BBC.
One of the four key values of the tournament is inclusivity – it’s at the very heart of the tournament This year, for the first time in the tournament’s history, the women’s and wheelchair nations will receive participation fees, with fees equal across all three competitions with the women’s and wheelchair tournaments also receiving prize money for the first time.
At the core of RLWC2021 is a transformational social impact programme driving positive change in communities – this size of programme is unprecedented in the sport’s history.
THE WFA – THE WALKING FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Inspired by our SB Diversity award last year, we have continued to develop and enhance our diversity and inclusion work across 4 elements:
Over 10 regular WFA/PD sessions exist in the country now and over 100 people with Parkinson’s participated in the superb National Cup event at St George’s Park, which has brought the Parkinson’s community together and inspired others to give it a go.
The first Parkinson’s England teams have been selected to further raise the profile of what can be achieved and how important physical activity is to the physical and mental health and well-being of people living with this dreadful debilitating disease.
Our work has now extended to the Transplant community
EXTENDING AGE GROUP ENGAGEMENTS
Establishing an England 75s squad, including players aged over 80, and planning to encourage over 40 participation.
THE WOMEN’S GAME
We continue to promote and grow the women’s game with significant increased participation.
We have worked with over a dozen countries, providing referee training, coach education, supporting with rules and resources.
Our focus on diversity and inclusion is breaking down barriers, building communities, creating positive impacts on participants and their families, giving people hope, and extending and enhancing lives.
Women in Football
Women in Football (WIF) is a not-for-profit network dedicated to empowering women, men and non-binary people with knowledge, expertise and collective support to create a stronger, brighter and more diverse future in football.
We are committed to bridging the gender gap in football by celebrating success, sharing knowledge and expertise and challenging discrimination. We do this in a number of ways, including via our social media channels, our leadership, development and events programme, moving to a hybrid online and in-person format for these to enable more members to benefit, and fighting discrimination however we can – be that with our ‘Report Discrimination’ web page, Barclays’ bursaries for women from under-represented ethnic communities or through thought leadership and our EDI workshops.
We launched our #GetOnside campaign in 2021 to encourage individuals and organisations to show their support for gender equality with pledges that could help change the landscape for women and girls in football which continue to drive real, actionable change. We then held our inaugural WIF Be Inspired Conference at Wembley in 2022 which was free for WIF members to attend to ensure it was accessible for all, thanks to a #GetOnside pledge from our lead partner Barclays.