SPORTS EQUALITY DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AWARD
Argyle Community Trust – Plymouth Argyle Football Club
Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do and we operate a dedicated ED&I working group to share resource and information, ensure we are collaborating with partners, training our staff, and making inclusive decisions to benefit our staff, supporters, and community.
Our work with the Jack Leslie Campaign allowed us to promote Jack’s story of discrimination to influence the mindsets of people, inspiring positivity and challenging racism and discriminatory views through education workshops and the unveiling of a statue and boardroom at the stadium.
Our other work includes LGBTQ+ football, and fixtures for Rainbow Laces and Plymouth Hope. Our women and girls’ player pathway has seen 14 footballers selected for England Talent Camps and two U16s making their England debuts. A ‘Train Like a Lioness’ event was set up in partnership with the FA to discover the next Lioness, and we were named an FA Emerging Talent Centre. We’re also Her Game Too Ambassadors, tackling sexism and championing women in sports.
We introduced our first Powerchair Football Team, who are hoping to compete nationally, and run sessions including deaf, blind and visually impaired football, and football sessions for those with cerebral palsy.
Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Background: Brighton and Hove is a vibrant and inclusive city The LGBTQ+ community is 6 times higher than the national average – 11% of all over 16’s in Brighton identify themselves as lesbian, gay and bi-sexual – the largest LGB+ population in the UK* Brighton and Hove also has the highest proportion in the country identifying themselves as non-binary – six times the national average* (*Consensus 2021) Our Challenge: • How do we reflect our community demographic • Ensure the club is an inclusive environment and experience for all • Help educate by setting the best example internally and externally. We are not about a day of activation – Celebration of difference is our everyday. Representing our LGBTQ+ Community on a global stage We are active in our support – a major partner and sponsor of PRIDE in Brighton for the last nine years. We are proud of who we represent, internally and externally. We stand up for our inclusive values. The Albion Ally scheme makes a pledge and show support to lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people in our community, small acts of solidarity can make all the difference. We stand up for our inclusive values using non-binary language.
Limitless Disability and Para-cycling Programme – British Cycling
In February 2022 British Cycling launched Limitless, a new programme of inclusive opportunities to support disabled people to thrive in cycling.
Co-created with disabled people, Limitless has been designed to address the stubborn barriers they face to getting involved in sport and physical activity, including access to adaptive equipment, regularity of coaching sessions and the number of accessible competitive events.
By working with the organisation’s affiliated clubs and other providers such as disability charities and schools, the programme is already succeeding in its ambition to provide more opportunities to ride and race, and providing grant funding for clubs to spend on equipment, coaching and events. This provision has been extended further thanks to British Cycling’s Official Partner Shell UK, who are generously supporting the programme.
British Cycling has bold ambitions to create a truly nationwide network of Limitless clubs and enable 5,000 disabled people to ride by 2026. After just four months the organisation has already supported the development of 39 Limitless clubs, who have welcomed 800 unique riders to participate in more than 300 sessions. It is hoped that five riders competing at the 2028 LA Paralympic Games will have benefitted from the programme.
LGBTQ+ Pride 2023 – Harlequin FC
Harlequins compete in the top tier of rugby’s elite domestic and European competitions. The Club prides itself on being a rugby club for all, providing an open and inclusive environment on matchdays at The Stoop.
Harlequins’ annual LGBTQ+ Pride celebration match has become a landmark fixture in rugby and remains unique within professional Rugby Union. The match is a centre piece of a wide range of activities that drive engagement across rugby and wider sport to drive change.
Now in its fourth year, the LGBTQ+ Pride celebration continues to reach a new and wider audience, integrating the media, sports clubs, supporters, staff and players, and the Club’s commercial partners. 2023 also saw the first stand-alone Harlequins Women LGBTQ+ Pride fixture at The Stoop.
Harlequins also hosted their second annual International Gay Rugby (IGR) LGBTQ+ Inclusion Conference, driving the conversation around wider representation. Attended by over 200 leading members of the rugby community, the conference provided an open and welcoming opportunity to share best practices.
The Club continues to work hard to provide a holistic approach to amplifying their role in the LGBTQ+ inclusion space, delivering purposeful partner collaboration and creating an authentic impact in the game.
Whether it is LiveScore delivering real-time sports updates or free-to-air live streams to its users across 200 territories, or LiveScore Bet and Virgin Bet offering innovative and trusted sportsbook betting opportunities, we bring our audiences closer than ever to the sports they love and enrich their experiences with our best-in-class products.
LiveScore Group recognises that actions speak louder than words. Though sports and gaming typically lack a representative workforce, we are focused on creating a more balanced employee base that reflects the diversity of our audiences as well as developing products and features that have wider appeal. We are committed to recruiting and fostering the development of a wide range of people from varied backgrounds with unique characteristics to bring a diversity of experience and promote thought diversity within our teams. We passionately believe that you have the right to ‘live your truth’ each and every day, and we are working on reducing barriers to entry (and upward mobility) – particularly for those from underrepresented communities.
Nivea Men – Liverpool Football Club
NIVEA MEN has partnered with Liverpool FC since 2015 and the Dear Liverpool FC series is a fundamental part of the partnerships success For the latest edition they wanted to promote inclusion & highlight the amazing ‘World in one City’ tournament, a month long amateur world cup in the heart of Liverpool which see’s locals of differing heritages compete to be world champions
A lifelong Red, Imad came up with the idea for The World In One City – an amateur World Cup that brings together teams of different nationalities based in Liverpool and the surrounding areas this year .
The World In One City is a hugely popular event that has strengthened the sense of community in and around the L8 area. With the help of LFC & NIVEA MEN Trent Alexander-Arnold paid a visit to talk to Imad and his friends about the competition and its importance to local people. The England international also delivered a special surprise from NIVEA MEN to ensure all participants in this years tournament could play for free.
Project Rugby Programme – Premiership Rugby
Project Rugby is a Premiership Rugby community programme which aims to increase participation in rugby by traditionally underrepresented groups, such as women and girls, people with a disability or from ethnically diverse or low socio-economic (DEC/LSEG) backgrounds. It provides accessible opportunities for people to try rugby and play the game regularly through sessions delivered by community staff at each of Premiership Rugby’s 11 shareholder clubs in 200 locations nationwide.
During 2022/23 Project Rugby has used the power of rugby to change lives, positioning it as a sport for anyone no matter your background or ability. The focus is to engage, educate and provide experiences for young people from diverse backgrounds to reap the multitude of benefits that come from playing rugby.
Project Rugby has provided opportunities for over 84,000 young people to participate increasing diversity – 33% are female, 15% have a disability and 60% are from a (DEC/LSEG) background.After attending 84% want to play more rugby, I50 grassroots clubs have benefitted from new players, and 22 new mixed ability teams having been created.
Project Rugby has broken down barriers to playing and by championing inclusivity has ensured more people have the chance to enjoy the benefits of the sport.
The Community Integrated Care ‘Inclusive Volunteering Model’ – Sport England, Rugby League World Cup 2021, UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, World Gymnastics Championships 2022
Community Integrated Care’s revolutionary ‘Inclusive Volunteering’ model has seen it partner with Sport England, Rugby League World Cup, UEFA Women’s EURO, and World Gymnastics Championships to tackle some of society’s deepest-rooted inequalities.
Creating a ground-breaking template which has redefined the social purpose of major events, transformed the lives of more than 700 people, and successfully enabled thousands of people with the most complex barriers to enjoy sport, this is a society-changing model.
Community Integrated Care is one of the UK’s most successful social care charities, delivering 10 million hours of care annually to people with learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, brain injuries, dementia, and complex care needs.
Through twinning the charity’s unrivalled reach, expertise, and connection with disabled communities with the opportunity of major events, this programme has changed the lives of people aged 12–106.
Delivering more than 11,500 hours of life-changing support, it has had an unprecedented impact.
Evaluation by Substance shows 96% of volunteers report improved confidence and skills, 91% report greater independence and 100% report it as a life-highlight With an equal impact on the sporting partners – enabling them to pioneer disability inclusion and deliver a life-long impact, this is a partnership with unique ambition.
The Walking Football Association
The impact that the WFA has had over the sport continues to be ambitious, innovative and far reaching. This is remarkable considering we are volunteer led and unfunded.
Supporting the huge growth of the sport in all formats in a myriad of ways– mixed, women only, impairment and globally. The sport is the fast growing in the world and the WFA is made up of an entirely voluntary group of individuals who are making impressive progress to make the game more inclusive, more diverse, more accessible and more visible.
The WFA is indubitably placing diversity at the heart of their objectives and engagement.