Throughout October we celebrated Black History Month. With the month now over, it is important that discussions regarding opportunities for BAME groups within gymnastics don’t stop.
In recent years, we have been pleased to see improvements made in gymnastics to increase opportunities for individuals from BAME groups, to ensure the sport is more inclusive. This has been evident in British Gymnastics membership. Since 2008, the number of gymnasts and coaches from BAME groups has significantly increased.
Gymnasts from BAME groups are now well-represented in elite squads across several disciplines too. Incredible performances at major events, including those by Joe Fraser, Ellie and Becky Downie, and Elliott Browne to name just a few, have seen them become role models for future generations.
In January this year, we were recognised for our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion with the award of the Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport.
This is awarded to sporting organisations that have demonstrated significant progress towards:
- Achieving diversity across its staff, board, coaches, members and participants
- An inclusive approach throughout the organisation’s functions, policies and procedures
- The development of initiatives to address each protected characteristic.
We welcome the improvements made in the sport, but more still needs to be done.
We are passionate about ensuring equality of opportunity and recognise the importance of diversity and inclusion in our decision making. We are keen to understand the perceptions and barriers which may prevent more individuals from BAME groups from taking part, and want to work with our community on how we can best address these. We are already planning on a number of initiatives to encourage greater BAME representation across our sport in coaching roles, as well as participation, and will continue to do so.
We want to do more to highlight the amazing work taking place in communities and gymnastics clubs across the UK to improve opportunities for BAME groups in our sport.
If your club has made an increased effort to become more inclusive during recent years, or if you know of an inspirational person in the black community that has done so much for gymnastics, we want to hear from you. Please email [email protected].