sportscotland has joined forces with UK Sport, Sport England, Sport Wales and Sport Northern Ireland to tackle racism and racial inequalities across their nations.
The five Sports Councils have made two important appointments as part of the next steps of the Tackling Racism and Racial Inequality in sport initiative.
The aim is to develop a collective plan to help build a sporting community that is properly reflective of the societies they represent.
AKD Solutions has been appointed to create a lived experiences opportunity and have launched the #TellYourStory campaign, asking people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to share their knowledge and understanding of accessing, being involved in, or being excluded from sport.
The Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University has been appointed to bring together existing data on race and ethnicity in sport to identify gaps within these records, gain greater insight into participation and progression barriers. Both pieces of work will make clear recommendations for change that the Sports Councils can take forward.
Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, said: “It is good to be progressing this work collaboratively alongside the other sport councils.
"At sportscotland inclusion is key to the work we do and we don’t believe anyone should be excluded from sport.
"This piece of research forms just one part of a much wider piece of work we are doing looking at inclusion and how we involve all sections of our communities and really listen to their experiences. Only by having these really important conversations can we ensure those views are reflected across the sporting system.”
Sally Munday, UK Sport CEO, added: “Creating the opportunity to hear lived experiences is a much needed and fundamental step in doing everything we can to stamp out racism and build a sporting community that truly reflects the diversity of our society.
"We are offering the platform for necessary changes to be made to ensure the sport we all know and love is truly inclusive. The campaign offers a safe space for those we need to hear from most to be open and honest, and through this we will be presented with clear learnings and recommendations for change.
“The outcomes of the #TellYourStory campaign and the work undertaken by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University will allow us to be in a place to better understand and engage on the issues of racism and racial inequality that exist in our sector and act as a result.
"We recognise that while individually each sports council has sought to tackle the issue, it has not gone far enough or been done collectively.
"Working in partnership as sports councils, we are determined to take the lead and drive the change we want to see.”
Through the #TellYourStory campaign the research will focus on individual interviews and group forums with the aim of collecting hundreds of personal stories.
These opportunities will allow people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to talk frankly about their experiences, including historical and present-day issues, in a safe environment and without criticism or prejudice. The campaign will run until Monday 15 February, 2021.
The data study undertaken by the Sport Industry Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University will focus on the workforce in sport – from volunteers to the paid workforce and senior leadership – as well as participants in sport – from grassroots to talent and high-performance.
Both pieces of work are expected to be completed by March 2021, after which they will be consolidated to produce a final report and a roadmap for action as part of the Tackling Racism & Racial Inequality in Sport initiative.