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Azeem Rafiq Testimony: Resources For Actively Making Your Sports Club More Inclusive

Following former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq describing racial harassment and discrimination in cricket to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, the world of sport – be it professional level or grassroots – is taking note.

Rafiq has said he hopes sharing his experiences of racism will open the “floodgates” for others to follow suit, and tell their stories too.

The Government has since held “frank” conversations with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and others over racism in the sport, MPs have heard – but those conversations need to be happening more widely as well.

Whether you’re a sports coach, player, work on a sports governing body, or even just watch the odd match on the telly, we all have a responsibility to make the sports world one that’s inclusive and positive for everyone. And even if you think you’re fully clued up, and that your club is already welcoming to all, there’s always more to be done.

Here are just a few key resources to support individual and club learning, for the better…

Stonewall

Stonewall’s Rainbow Laces movement is about making sport “everyone’s game” and provides lots of tips for making it more inclusive, particularly to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The charity provides lots of tips on how to be an inclusive organisation and team member, as well as a respectful fan, and offers advice on calling out and tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic abuse in sport (and outside it too).

Stonewall also run specific workshops on LGBTQ+ inclusion in sport, for players as well as anyone who runs a sports club. Email sport@stonewall.org.uk to sign up and find out more details.

Kick It Out

Football’s equality and inclusion organisation, Kick It Out, has worked across the football, educational and community sectors since the Nineties, “to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change”.

Their website and app are packed with educational toolkits and really detailed advice on how to report racist incidents in football, at any level of the game – there’s a form on the website where you can do just that.

You can also get involved on social media via the #TakeAStand campaign – and receive resources via Whatsapp. They’ve recently launched the Qatar 2022 Working Group to help to drive LGBTQ+ inclusion at the World Cup too – and a lot of the work being done is as relevant to football as it is to other sports.

Women In Sport podcast

Women In Sport believes “sport transforms lives” and is dedicated to empowering women and girls across the UK. The website is very useful, but their podcast is an informative listen for anyone – regardless of gender. It covers everything from being active in mid-life and during the menopause, to Seasonal Affective Disorder and the impact of body image.

Show Racism The Red Card

Show Racism The Red – which is largely aimed at delivering educational resources to children and young people – has a range of downloadable advice covering anti-racism, homophobia, islamophobia, and guidance for tackling racism in the classroom and much more. Their educational films feature big name footballers as well.

Sported

Sported aren’t limited to one specific sport, they support a huge network of community sports groups and provide professional expertise, resources and free operational support so every young person has the “opportunity to fulfil their potential” – regardless of background or ability. They’re always looking for partners and volunteers, and for organisations to join their network.

Driven by Diversity podcast

“The lack of representation of minority groups in motorsport is no secret – and we’re here to do something about it,” write Ariana Bravo and Steph Turner of their podcast, on which they interview people from underrepresented backgrounds who work in the world of racing.

You’ll hear stories, find out how people broke into the industry, and how things are – and need – to change further.

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