British Wheelchair Basketball has today underpinned its commitment to championing and embedding equality, inclusion and diversity across the sport with the publication of the four promises.
Committed to ensuring there are equal opportunities for all, the development of our promises will strengthen diversity in all forms across the sport, including ethnicity, gender, disability and LGBTQ+.
Over the last few months, we, as a sport and an organisation, have had chance to reflect on what equality, inclusion and diversity means to our sport; a sport that continues to be regarded as one of the most-inclusive sports, allowing people regardless of age, ability and gender, to unite together on court.
Participation – Wheelchair basketball is an inclusive sport open for all to play. We are committed to removing barriers to participation and GB pathway progression, by working with local communities and partners to ensure that everyone is welcomed and supported in their pursuit of activity.
We will specifically work to identify and address the inequalities evident in the sport and will immediately put in place ‘Equality Impact Assessments’ for all British Wheelchair Basketball activity. We will monitor the success of our interventions and activities through participation data analysis, evaluation and consultative feedback.
Education and Training – We believe in the power of learning, to better enable ourselves, our clubs and participants to benefit from the many educational and training opportunities which will support our sport to embed strong inclusivity, equality and diversity practices.
We have put in place an education programme which is compulsory for all NGB staff to ensure that informed choices and decisions are always made in respect of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. For our clubs and participants, we will deliver an education, training and workshop calendar which will offer development opportunities from understanding unconscious bias to recognising inequality.
Representation – Through the representation of our sport in the media, digital platforms and communication activities, we promise to always project positive and inclusive images/stories of wheelchair basketball and its participants.
We will work to address and challenge inequality in representation through working with media and sporting partners to ensure that appropriate content and positioning are always adopted.
Process and Policies – We are committed to building a world-class national governing body, which can only be achieved if our governance practices support our fundamental belief that wheelchair basketball is a sport open to all.
We will undertake a full review of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Plan, as well as reviewing existing policies and processes in place to effect change which will support the NGBs pursuit of equality.
We recognise that there is still so much we can do to improve the diversity in our sport, and we continue to reflect, discuss and challenge ourselves on what we must do better. On the conclusion of Black History Month, where we have celebrated stories from within our sport, one of the areas that British Wheelchair Basketball’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Group has been looking at the representation from diverse ethnic communities in the sport with the group’s findings for BWB and the wider sport outlined below:
- Currently 29% staff of BWB are ethnically diverse
- Currently 9.3% of BWB’s Membership are ethnically diverse
- Currently 7% of Men in the Paralympic Performance Pathway are ethnically diverse
- Currently 2% of Women in the Paralympic Performance Pathway are ethnically diverse
- Currently 6% of Coaches are ethnically diverse
- Currently 6% of Officials are ethnically diverse
This is in comparison of 2019/20 BWB figures to the 13% of the UK population who are ethnically diverse, according to the combined 2011 censuses for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
We are committed to increasing black, Asian and minority ethnic representation across the sport and we have already developed and begun to implement a number of new strategies to increase representation from diverse ethnic communities across participation, coaches, officials and the Performance Pathway over the next three years.
The publication of our Promises will support us to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion remain at the heart of everything we do.
Today is the end of Black History Month but we are determined to keep the conversation going.
We will continue to listen, support and work towards making change happen because sport should be for ALL.