Equality, diversity and inclusion week

This week we have another guest blogger with a focus on the equality, diversity and inclusion week delivered by colleagues in the School of Sport and Exercise.

Equality, diversity and inclusion week was an event for students in the School of Sport and Exercise. The event aimed to cover a broad range of topics to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding. This was part of the students’ YFP activities and was run in conjunction with standard lectures during the week. Over the week 10 speakers came to share their stories, research and experiences with students.  

Current students heard from diverse speakers, including University of Gloucestershire graduate Josh Rudd, who now works in performance lifestyle for the English Institute of Sport. Josh also recently set up a ‘Pride in the Water’ initiative, which aims to enhance the support, visibility and engagement of the LGBT+ community across British Swimming.  

Maryka Holtzhausen, a retired Severn Stars and South African netball player who received over 100 caps for her country, discussed her experiences of religion in sport, particularly when playing abroad. 

Edleen John the Director for International, Corporate Affairs and EDI at the FA discussed the recent launch of the leadership diversity code which aims to drive inclusion in the English game. She shared aspects of her wide-ranging role to a large cohort of students. Later in the week students listened to the experiences of Nic Evans, an elite female rugby coach. Nic discussed the broad range of challenges she has faced throughout her career in a male dominated environment. Students asked questions and found the talk inspiring and thought provoking.  

Two PhD students from Loughborough who work in the Gender and Sport mini centre for Doctoral Training. Gabe Knott-Gayle discussed cisgenderism and misrepresentations of transgender athletes in the media. Additionally, Lauren Whitehouse also shared her PhD findings where she has conducted life-history interviews to examine non-binary participation in sport. Both Gabe and Lauren provided an overview of their PhDs and allowed student to consider the binary aspect of sport and its representation in the media. 

We attempted to cover a range of protected characteristics and current issues within sport. Earl McNeish works for Active Communities England, a prominent sport for development organisation that works with a wide range of individuals. Earl explored his experiences of race and ethnicity in sport which is a focal issue within the current sporting environment. Michael Mongi shared his experiences of working in a range of organisations in London. Michael currently works as a community development officer for the Black Prince Trust and shared his experiences of his wide-ranging work and the complexities of day-to-day delivery within the field.  

While students often consider visible disabilities, Chris Bright explained the importance of hidden disabilities. Chris is an international futsal player with type 1 diabetes. Chris has developed the diabetes football community and shared his experiences of playing and setting up this venture. His talk helped students consider the classification of sport and the experiences of an athlete who has managed a life-long condition.  

Finally, Sally Privett, a local hockey player who represents England Masters, shared her experiences of playing for her country. Sally talked about the growth of the Master’s program and how it has allowed her to travel the world and become a quadruple World Champion.  

The week allowed students to hear from a broad range of people working in and around the sporting environment. It is essential that students going out into the sporting environment acknowledge that sport can be exclusive, and more work needs to be done to ensure inclusion of all those who want to take part.  

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter @UoGEquality.

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