Race Representation Index: Basketball England awarded top grade in Sporting Equals study

Basketball England has received an ‘A’ grade in the inaugural Race Representation Index, which tracks race representation across UK sports bodies.

The study was commissioned by the Sports Monitoring Advisory Panel with charity Sporting Equals following by protests by the Black Lives Matter movement over the death of George Floyd in 2020.

It aims to hold NGBs to account for pledges made and provide a baseline on racial diversity in sport, tracking year on year.

The Index scores the progress made by sports bodies on policy and strategy, workforce, coaching and elite talent profile.

Basketball England CEO Stewart Kellett (pictured below) said:

“Basketball is the most diverse sport in the UK and it is our aim to make it as fair and accessible for everyone to be part of. The release of the Race Index findings is a positive reflection of the sport and the partnership between the basketball community and Basketball England.

“We had some challenging and constructive conversations with a range of people in the basketball family following the protests about George Floyd’s death and pledged to do more to listen to people’s concerns, elevate under-represented voices and assess how we could take a stronger approach to tackling inequalities of all kinds which have provided a clearer path forward.”

Basketball England formed an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2021 to help the organisation take a stronger approach to tackling discrimination and promoting fairness and respect across all roles in basketball.

BE sought to recruit independent, knowledgeable, inspirational and skilled individuals from within and outside basketball to support, advise and challenge the BE board.

And the organisation is also and in the process of recruiting and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager and a Club and Community Support Officer, who’s remit will be focused on clubs and communities in the most need.

Chair of the BE Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Benny Bonsu (pictured below) said:

“The formation of the ED&I Committee is helping us gain a better understanding of what needs to improve. We are also boosting the resource that goes into tackling inequalities with our external funders Sport England.

“We have started some positive work with a truly committed group of people that are passionate about our sport and our community. We are proud of the A grading and committed to doing what it takes to make further improvements. This is a good starting point, and we know there is so much more to do in the next phase.”

Sporting Equals said on their website:

“The Panel wanted to give organisations including Sport National Governing Bodies a year after they offered commitments and made statements about tackling racial inequality within sport. Post these findings both the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel and Sporting Equals feel the importance of the Race Representation Index. It is essential to continue this data monitoring exercise to deliver meaningful data-driven Equity, Diversity and Inclusion based interventions within the sport and physical activity sector.”

BE was one of three national governing bodies (NGBs) to be given the top rating, with 10 out of 35 marked A, B or C and 15 D-F.