When we talk about equality, we’re talking about being accessible to all people – regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion and belief (including lack of belief), sex and sexual orientation – and treating them fairly.
Clubs have a responsibility to be accessible to all people, this essentially means considering the needs of all individuals in delivering their services. For example take a look at an inclusive marketing guidance document put together by Tom Rogers, Disability Sport Officer, Anglesey.
Sometimes people think they are doing the right thing by treating everybody in the same way. But take a look at picture 1 below and you will see that this doesn’t always work – in this case, being given the same size box means that one person doesn’t get to the game.
Instead, try focusing on the outcome you want – that might be everyone being able to play, compete, officiate or be involved with the structures of your club. To do that, you might need to do some things differently for certain people in order for that to happen. In this case, in picture two, a simple move of the boxes means everyone can enjoy the game.
There is a lot of help available to support you in areas where you feel uncertain.
Who can help?
Click here for a map of all the equality organisations in Wales that can help you.
And take a look at our sample Equal Opportunities Policy for more information and to help you put the right policies in place.
Below are 4 organisations we work with closely.
Disability Sport Wales is on hand to support you; there is a toolkit to help you with inclusive thinking, planning, development and delivery so that you can help deliver sporting opportunities to disabled and non-disabled people. You can find that here.
Disability Sport Wales offers guidance to help clubs write short inclusion statements which should express your club’s commitment to the provision of sport to disabled people, and can be included within your Equality or Equity Policy, and included on your website – so that people know what you can and will do.
Disability Sport Wales also shares guidance on alternative communication formats (eg, Braille, British Sign Language, large print) and the use of images.
The LGBT Sport Cymru Network is urging clubs to sign up to a charter which is a commitment to a vision of a thriving LGBT sporting community within Wales where individuals feel safe and free from discrimination.
You can also turn to your Local Authority or National Governing Body too.
BME Sport Cymru is a Sport Wales funded project that can offer guidance and support on how to make your clubs more welcoming and inclusive for people from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. Training and workshops are also delivered to increase knowledge, awareness of barriers and how to engage with the different BME groups in your areas.
Show Racism the Red Card is the UK’s anti-racism educational charity established in 1996. The majority of the campaign’s output is the delivery of education to young people and adults in their schools, their workplaces and at events held in football stadiums. In addition to the direct education of young people and adults, Show Racism the Red Card produces resources which help promote a message of understanding. Check out a range of downloadable resources for use at home and in the classroom, including planning documents, and suggested external websites for further reading.
The benefits of championing equality:
The biggest benefit is of course that you are offering sporting opportunities to suit everybody, which should mean an increase in the number of members.
By being more diverse in your membership, your club is open to a wider audience of potential volunteers, participants, coaches and sponsors too.
A diverse membership should mean a diverse mix of decision makers on your committee too. This will help your club to shape its services to meet the needs of its members and to broaden the reach to new members. Plus, championing equality is good practice and is viewed positively by funders.
Activity Alliance have developed a downloadable Inclusive Communications Guide to help sport providers like yourselves to reach a wider audience using different communication tools, methods and even tone of voice.