Inclusion in sport – leading the way with Inclusive Employers

In 2021 Inclusive Employers was appointed by Sport England due to our experience and expertise in workplace inclusion. We designed and are now delivering a programme called Leading for Renewal. This is one of the ways that Sport England are aiming to realise its vision to make more equal, united and connected communities.

Our Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant, Michelle Daltry, is a key member of the team delivering the Leading for Renewal programme. Here she explains the motivation for the programme, the different tiers of people that it is designed to support and what it hopes to achieve.

Making inclusion an everyday reality in sport and physical activity

The Sport team at Inclusive Employers have had a super busy two months. We’ve just finished the first block of delivery for the Leading for Renewal programme, which provides a great opportunity to take stock and reflect on some of the learning from so far.

After 6 months of planning the Leading for Renewal programme kicked off in May 2021. Thirty-three sport and physical activity organisations from across England and 300 delegates have joined the programme.

Why Sport England are Leading for Renewal

Imagine a nation of more equal, inclusive, and connected communities. A country where people live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives. This is Sport England’s call to action in their new 10-year vision, Uniting the Movement. And Leading for Renewal is one way they are making this vision a reality, with the support of Inclusive Employers.

They outline a number of catalysts for change, one of which is to ‘realise the power of people and leadership’. They also set out how they will work, their values and behaviours. One of these is that they are inclusive. 

Sport England suggest that an empathy gap often exists between those making decisions and those most affected by them. This is not because decision-makers don’t care.  It’s because they often don’t have the lived experience to draw upon, and important factors get missed.

By the time someone can spot the problems, the rules are normally already in place. It is for these reasons that Sport England is investing in Leading for Renewal. This innovative, non-monetary, support package is aimed at professionals within their partner organisations. 

Inclusion experts leading the way

Inclusive Employers is working with people to help make inclusion an everyday reality in sport and physical activity, as part of Leading for Renewal. As the UK’s leading membership organisation focused on workplace inclusion, we offer fresh approaches, support, and guidance on how to embed inclusion into the everyday. 

As experts in the field, we recognise that every organisation is at a different point in its understanding of, and commitment to, inclusion, diversity and equality. Through Leading for Renewal, people will be guided through the process of embedding inclusion in a way that is supportive and relevant.  

Making inclusion relevant for all roles

We have designed three separate tiers of activity. The tiers have been developed to suit different roles within an organisation: 

  1. Inclusive leadership – specifically for executives. 
  2. Inclusion enablers – designed for those working in senior management teams. 
  3. Inclusion influencers – available to the whole workforce. 

We use interactive blended learning approaches to upskill colleagues in different roles and at different levels within the organisation. We aim to make them feel confident to deliver on inclusion, diversity and equality, so they can drive change and embed inclusion into all aspects of sport and physical activity.  

The experience to progress inclusion in sport

Having worked in the sports sector for over 20 years we know that programmes of inclusive activity have become commonplace in sport and physical activity. We now seek to ensure this learning can become embedded throughout the whole sporting pathway, bringing meaningful opportunities to play, volunteer, coach officiate and work in the sector regardless of who you are.

To keep up to date with the Leading for Renewal Programme follow the hashtag #LeadingForRenewal on LinkedIn and Twitter and join us in Uniting the Movement.

Please get in touch if you feel inspired by Sport England’s commitment to Uniting the Movement. Our tailored approach to workplace inclusion means we will get to know your organisation and its specific challenges in order to support and progress your inclusion journey.