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25 Jun 2021 | 1:01

Ethnically diverse communities remain “consistently disadvantaged” across the sports and physical activity system, according to the findings of an independent review into racism and racial inequality in sport published this week.

Following the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests of last year, the five Sports Councils responsible for investing in and growing sport across the UK - Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, Sport Northern Ireland and UK Sport - came together to explore racial inequalities in sport and to look at how reflective the sporting system is of UK society.


Led by the five chief executives of each organisation, the group has met regularly over the past year, and has established the Tackling Racism and Racial Inequality in Sport Review (TRARIIS). This was to help better understand if the Councils were doing enough to understand the context and tackle the issues involved.

Racism reportThe review involved analysis, carried out by the Sport Industry Research Centre (SIRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, of all publicly available data on race and ethnicity in sport, as well as an additional piece of work (shown right) led by AKD Solutions, a Black-led learning and development consultancy, to carry out a lived experience research project in which over 300 people across the UK, ranging from grassroots participants to elite athletes and coaches, shared insights into their involvement in sport.

A joint statement from the Chief Executives read: “The findings make clear that racism and racial inequalities still exist within sport in the UK and that there are longstanding issues, which have resulted in ethnically diverse communities being consistently disadvantaged. 

“The review also highlighted the detrimental impact this has had on individuals, leading to mistrust and exclusion, and makes clear areas where we must see change.

“The review has produced two reports, published in June 2021, identifying where there are gaps as well as common themes. They set out recommendations on how to make meaningful progress.


“UK Sport, Sport England, sportscotland, Sport Wales, and Sport Northern Ireland welcome the depth of the findings and fully accept that the recommendations should now be used to develop and deliver tangible actions to tackle the issues raised.

“The Councils also want to put on record their huge appreciation to all of those who shared their personal stories, a process which we know for many, will have been deeply upsetting.”

The statement added: “Sport across the UK is delivered by a broad range of organisations. We call on them to work with us, as well as diverse communities in the UK, as we drive racial equality across all nations and in all sports.

“While recognising that this process will take time, collectively, the Councils are determined to learn from the review and bring transformational change across sport, harnessing its huge power to drive equality and ensuring all parts of the system are fair, welcoming, inclusive, and diverse and that people have positive experiences at every level.”


The Councils have agreed some initial over-arching commitments which all five organisations will work on to ensure they are aligned to their individual strategies. These relate to people; representation; investment, systems and insights and further details are set out here.

The statement concluded: “Each Council will also now work at pace to develop their own specific action plans to further deliver on these commitments, considering their own local contexts and remits, addressing the recommendations from the review.

“This will involve working closely with relevant groups or communities in the coming months, to co-create solutions for real, lasting change and to earn trust. The resultant plans will be shared publicly to support the wider sports sector to understand and recognise the issues, and collectively bring about change.”

Read the reports.