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UK Athletics unveils diversity programmes

UK Athletics (UKA) has revealed their key activities as part of its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) programme.

UK Athletics unveils diversity programmes

Some of these activities include a a new mentoring programme, alongside its offering of inclusion workshops and the publication of its Diversity Action Plan to build on its 'Let's Talk About Race' initiative, launched following the tragic death of George Floyd in the US.

UKA hope that their Diversity Action Plan helps move the organisation forward to forming their vision of being one of the most diverse and inclusive sports across the UK. The plans will specifically outline the actions on engagement, recruitment and retention and progressing talent from within.

Additionally, UKA have stated that they will launch a 12-month mentoring programme that builds on a previous collaboration with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which will the governing body offer its expertise to another body that has not yet been announced.

Later into 2021, young athletes, as well as coaches, officials and parents/carers, will be offered LGBT+ inclusion workshops from Diversity Role Models - an organisation that is working to provide young people with inclusion and empathy.

“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 at 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.”

Members of staff from the UKA will attend a unconscious bias online workshop, run by recruitment and training organisation Vercida, who has already worked with UKA in the past on its commitment to become an inclusive employer and to attract diverse candidates for its roles.

Author: Jake Wilkin