British Cycling has earned the Intermediate level of Sports Council’s ‘Equality Standard’, becoming only the seventh sport or community organisation to do so.
By increasing the diversity of its staff, board and volunteers, British Cycling now plans to focus on attaining the Advanced level of the Equality Standard which was originally targeted for July 2013. Only the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) currently holds the Advanced level.
According to the Sport Council British Cycling had “clearly made strong progress since the Foundation level, and whilst the diversity of staff, board and senior volunteers must remain a key focus to bring about long-term change, there is clear recognition of this and positive action schemes have been introduced. They now need to ensure that the organisation is increasing opportunities for a diverse range of people”
Corporate Services Director for British Cycling, Alan Hawkins, said: “The Equality Standards have proved a valuable tool for integrating equality and diversity into the mainstream at British Cycling and we are well on route to being a truly equitable organisation. We recognise there are sections of the community who do not access any of our services and we will work hard through our activities in schools, cycling clubs and organised rides to make cycling as inclusive as possible”.
This achievement clearly recognises the work that British Cycling has done with the support of its main partners Sky, Sport England and UK Sport of inspiring participation in cycling as sport, recreation and sustainable transport through achieving worldwide success in cycle sport.
The number and diversity of people taking part in cycling activities is continuing to increase with the focus remaining on providing pathways through the club network for riders with the necessary ability to access the elite programmes.
Since achieving the Foundation level in June 2006 and the Preliminary level in December 2010, British Cycling has also:
Ensured that internal policies and procedures pay due regard to diversityIncreased the diversity of people participating and using its servicesGrown awareness of its successes and achievements in working towards equality among people inside and outside of the organisation
The aim now in building towards the Advanced level of the Equality Standard in 2013 will be to focus on appointing a women’s representative to advise the British Cycling board and continue the development of the women’s cycling network, Breeze.
There are also plans to tackle issues in cycling regarding homophobia and transphobia, whilst efforts will be made in researching work that’s been done by other organisations to help better address the use of bikes for riders with a disability.