UK Athletics announces suite of diversity programmes

18 Jan 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

UK Athletics (UKA) has announced the launch of a number of key activities as part of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme.  

The governing body for Athletics in the UK has set out plans to create a new mentoring programme, as well as offering inclusion workshops and publishing its Diversity Action Plan (DAP) to build on its ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ programme, which was launched following the murder of George Floyd, and brings diverse voices together to inform and advise UKA.

The DAP, which will run from 2021 to 2024, is set to form an integral part of UKA’s overall vision for the sport to be the ‘most diverse, safe, popular and inclusive’ sport in the UK, and will also specifically outline actions around engagement; recruitment and retention; and progressing talent from within.

In January, UKA says it will launch a new 12-month mentoring programme that builds on a previous collaboration with the ECB, and will see UKA sharing its expertise and learning with another, yet-to-be-announced, governing body.

Later in 2021, UKA says it will also offer young athletes, coaches, officials and parents/carers LGBT+ inclusion workshops from Diversity Role Models (DRM) – an organisation who work to embed inclusion and empathy in young people.

“I am excited about these initiatives and, most importantly, the impact they will have on our staff and the wider athletics community,” said Donna Fraser, Equality, Diversity & Engagement Lead, UK Athletics.

“We will continue to learn as an organisation and as individuals and I look forward to following the progress of these activities as this will shape and influence our work going forward.”

Joanna Coates, CEO, UKA, added: “I am extremely proud to be in a position to lead the organisation forward into a new positive era and I will ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion remain at the very heart of what we do.  I am excited by the initiatives we are launching this month and believe these will make a big impact going forward.  We must continually review, learn and develop as an organisation and it is imperative that we continue to listen to all of the athletics community as we progress.”

In addition to its commitments across the whole sport, UKA has also announced that staff from across the organisation will also attend an unconscious bias online workshop, run by recruitment and training organisation Vercida, which has previously supported UKA in its bid to become an inclusive employer and to attract diverse candidates for its advertised roles.