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25 May 2021 | 13:13

Active Partnerships has launched a ‘network commitment’ across its 43 partner organisations to being anti-racist and proactively tackling racial inequalities. 

The commitment has been made on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd in the US. Floyd was killed by a policeman, which sparked protests worldwide and created a national debate in the UK. 

Active Partnerships works collaboratively with local partners across England to create the conditions for an active nation, and the commitment follows a year of the 43 partnerships working together as a learning community.


The community aimed to build a more in-depth understanding of the issue in our communities and to agree tangible actions to make a difference at national and local levels. Active Partnerships CEO Lee Mason blogs about the network’s journey to date here.  

The network commitment aims to galvanise action by working with partners, communities, staff and Boards, building a long-term commitment to make a sustained and meaningful difference.  

A statement from Active Partnerships read: “Whilst we are small organisations, we recognise the reach and influence we can have through our whole system approach to tackling inactivity and by building anti-racist practice into everything we do. But this requires us to lead by example, recognising our weaknesses, with individual and collective commitment to taking action to become truly inclusive, anti-racist organisations.” 

Active Partnerships

Dr Karl George MBE has been a facilitator for learning events. He said: “From my very first engagement with Active Partnerships I was impressed with their willingness to learn, their commitment to make an impact and their passion for the cause. You often hear organisations saying they don’t want to go through a tick box exercise or be part of a talking shop, I am pleased to have been a part of their journey to ensure that is not the case.”  

Each Active Partnership will have its own plan working alongside local partners and communities and collectively they will focus on six key areas below which form the ‘Racial Equality Commitment’.   

  • Be open and responsible – this is about embracing personal and organisational responsibility, being open about plans and transparent about the progress being made. Active Partnerships says its learning journey over the last year has demonstrated its commitment to this area and its commitment is just the starting point which will be regularly reviewed.  
  • Be strong allies – this involves organisations leading by example as anti-racist allies to challenge racism and racial inequality wherever it’s seen, reinforced through governance and ensuring organisations become more representative of the communities they serve. Five Active Partnerships have begun piloting the Race Equality Code  on behalf of the network and will share their learning and involvement. 
  • Create systematic system change – this commitment focuses on core purpose, utilising insight, reach and influence across multiple sectors, to identify, challenge and change the systemic factors holding current racial inequalities in place that negatively affect levels of physical activity. 
  • Enable communities – this will mean working with ethnically diverse communities to create community-led, asset-based approaches to tackling inactivity. Active Partnerships’ work over the last year with Sport England delivering Tackling Inequalities funding to encourage community groups to help people stay active has been a great start and something the network is committed to building upon.   
  • Develop the workforce – this will build on work to date to create a more ethnically diverse physical activity workforce, through targeted recruitment, training and development along with progression pathways into and through the sector.  
  • Deliver inclusively – Active Partnerships will utilise all delivery, interventions, funding and resources across all its target audiences to create new opportunities, build insight and evidence, to increase activity levels of ethnically diverse communities.  

What will success look like?   

Success measures will include improved representation in teams, Boards and wider workforce, and ultimately by working collaboratively Active Partnerships will increase the levels of activity amongst ethnically diverse communities. The network will continue its journey, listening and learning, supporting each other, monitoring the effectiveness of this work and ensuring it maintains momentum, holding itself and each Active Partnership to account for the commitment being made. The work will form one part of its wider equality, diversity and inclusion strategies to tackle all inequalities and ensure those who can benefit most are supported to become more active.  

For more information contact Nicki Couzens [email protected]