Sport for all? Campaign targets 'ethnicity gap'

Sport England has launched a major new campaign ‘Sport For All’ which addresses the stubbornly low rates of sport and physical activity in many BAME communities.

At the launch of the campaign in Birmingham, Sport England board member Chris Grant urged sports leaders to do more to close the “ethnicity gap” and help black, Asian and ethnically-mixed communities be more active and involved.

“I’m convinced that sport must be a leader, and not a follower," he said.

“That’s why I want to invite the whole of sport to come with us on this journey, and in doing so to be clear-sighted and honest about the ways in which we’re currently excluding and letting down whole swathes of our population.”

The study from Sport England, based on surveys of more than 100,000 adults and children, found the gap is most pronounced for women of black African and Asian heritage.

The new campaign seeks to lower the barriers to participation across the country and improve understanding of the intersectionality between issues such as ethnicity, gender, age and affluence.

“As the amazing example of Ebony Horse Club shows, if you parachute a riding club into the heart of an estate in Brixton, and properly invite local young people into it, some of them will fall in love with riding,” Grant said. “But only a few get the chance to find out where their talent could take them.

“Denying and wasting talent on an industrial scale is not just morally wrong. As a nation, we also need to make the most of all the advantages at our disposal.”

Read more about 'Sport For All'.