England Athletics and UK Athletics have been recognised nationally for their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. Both have achieved the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport which is the highest level given by the Sports Council Equality Group, consisting of the five Sports Councils in the UK.
The award follows a joint submission by England Athletics and UK Athletics and the organisations were recognised for the close collaboration in delivering greater equity across the sport, from grassroots and clubs through to elite level.
The Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport is given to those organisations that have made significant progress towards diversity within board, staff, coaches, officials, members and participants, mainstreamed equality through their functions, policies and procedures, and developed further initiatives to address each protected characteristic.
Chris Jones, CEO of England Athletics, said:
“Achieving the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport is thanks to the incredible hard work and commitment of everyone involved with England Athletics and the wider sport. The work that we are doing together to remove barriers to participation and inequalities where they exist is vital if we are to inspire more athletes and runners of all abilities and backgrounds to fulfil their potential and have a lifelong love for the sport. We, of course, remain on that journey and whilst this achievement gives us the confidence that we are continuing to move in the right direction, we must use it to go further. There remains much for us to do at all levels in ensuring that our sport is the most inclusive and diverse activity of choice for all, whatever background, ability, role, or aspiration.”
Joanna Coates, CEO of UK Athletics said:
“UK Athletics is delighted to have achieved the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport, which has only been achieved through the hard work and engagement of so many working toward it both within UKA and from our partners and stakeholders. Meeting this standard is a key part of delivering our new UKA operational plan ‘Age of the Athlete’.
It is an area close to my heart and one I am proud we have demonstrated our commitment towards. But this is just the start! There are areas we know we can develop further and have been challenged to continue improving, and we are absolutely committed to ensuring equality underpins every part of our work.”
The Sports Council Equality Group consists of Sport England, UK Sport, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland and Sport Northern Ireland.
Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England, said:
“UK Athletics and England Athletics can be proud of their progress here. The new version of the Code of Sports Governance asks sports organisations to be even more ambitious about diversity and inclusion. Robust plans are expected to reach higher standards. If sport truly is for everyone, the industry should be leading the way in diversity, representation, equality and inclusion.”
Simon Morton, COO at UK Sport, said:
“We offer our congratulations to UK Athletics in becoming the latest National Governing Body to achieve the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport.
“UK Sport is committed to our high-performance community being truly reflective of the society in the UK. Focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our evolution as an Olympic and Paralympic high-performance community.
“We’re delighted that UK Athletics are making an unwavering commitment to equality through its new operational plan and they should feel proud of achieving this recognition.”