Racial Inequality Statement - A message from the North Yorkshire Sport Board & Staff Team

Posted: Tue, 25 May 2021 09:00

Racial Inequality Statement - A message from the North Yorkshire Sport Board & Staff Team

North Yorkshire Sport are delighted to be backing and joining a collaborative call to action across the national network of Active Partnerships in England in proactively committing to tackling racism and racial inequality in this country and across North Yorkshire & York.

In March of 2020, we witnessed worldwide protests fighting for equal rights and systemic change. The response to these tragic events escalated real conversations around race inequality and diversity.

There is a firm commitment from boards, CEO's and staff across the Active Partnerships network to better understand social injustice, improve our collective knowledge of the root causes of racial inequalities and to work with national and local partners and communities to bring about meaningful and sustained change.

As a network of 43 Active Partnership nationally; we have a duty to use our collective influence and reach for good and to help tackle the inequalities we see in society.

We are firmly committed to being an anti-racist organisation and to better understanding and addressing social injustice, ensuring that prejudice and fear do not discourage people from taking part in physical activity and sport and leading an active lifestyle.

Whilst tackling Inequalities has been a key feature of our work for a number of years having launched a North Yorkshire Tackling Inequalities Through Sport Report in 2013, we recognise that we need to do more and to be proactive to help address racial inequality within sport & physical activity. This goes beyond programmes; this is about real behaviour change where we develop environments so communities can freely engage with sport and physical activity at any level.

In recognising our starting point, leading by example as anti-racist allies and using our insight, influence & reach, we will work proactively with our multicultural diverse communities and groups to create asset-based approaches to tackling inactivity and to help create a more diverse workforce across North Yorkshire and York who better reflect the communities we serve. However, we do recognise in order to appeal to a wider audience we also need to look inwards too and will be committing to a range of internal improvements. We need to recognise and dismantle systems that may discriminate and address any structural bias. We will be doing this by working with our board and team in setting up an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion group to foster a more inclusive and diverse culture within our organisation to ensure that everyone within North Yorkshire Sport feels that their voice is heard. We recognise we can better reflect our communities and appeal to a diverse workforce to come and be part of our organisations. It's our duty and our social and moral obligation.

At the heart of this work is honesty, being curious about the inequalities at play, holding ourselves to account and a firm and unwavering commitment to tackle racial inequality, both locally and with our colleagues across the Active Partnership Network

Alan Graver, Chair of Trustees for North Yorkshire Sport said "North Yorkshire Sport staff and trustees are committed to better understand the causes of prejudice, bias and stigmatisation and to take notice of and address social injustice and inequity in York and North Yorkshire. We will proactively seek and work with people who can create change for themselves and others through the power of sport and physical activity. We believe by taking a strengths based approach, being prepared to be educated and working closely with and through communities, we can help secure enduring change. Where there are disproportionate barriers in place for anyone to access sport and physical activity we will work harder, in partnership with others, to eliminate them."

David Watson, Chief Executive comments "I am immensely proud to be part of the National Network of Active Partnership's commitment to Racial Equality. In recent months we have carried out training to ensure that at both staff and Board level our awareness of racial inequality issues is raised and we have established an Equity, Diversity & Inclusion group with staff and trustee involvement. As a charity and member of the Voluntary Sector across North Yorkshire, we have a duty to do all we can to drive out inequalities across our sector and to use our resources to ensure that equality of opportunity exists. But more than that, we have an opportunity to influence and shape the thinking of the citizens of North Yorkshire through our words and our actions and we are determined to use that opportunity and do all we can to create a more equal society through the power of sport and physical activity."

A download of the Active Partnerships commitment to tackling racism and racial inequality is below:

Tags: Equality Diversity & Inclusion, Physical Activity