Posted: 18 June 2014
Scottish Cycling are delighted to achieve the Intermediate Level of the Equality Standard for Sport which helps demonstrate the work that is being done to make the sport open and accessible to all.
Jim Riach, Scottish Cycling’s Corporate Services Manager said “It is fantastic to receive this recognition for a sport that is undergoing significant changes and as our membership grows from strength to strength. Just a few weeks ago we had the Team Scotland announcement of the Cycling Team where we had a 34 strong team announced with 17 women and 17 men an equal gender balance. Women are currently under-represented in the organisation and we have been taking steps to redress this balance”
Research shows that there are significant inequalities in sports’ participation in the UK at all levels (including participants, coaches, officials, volunteers and employees). These inequalities can be linked to characteristics which are now protected under equalities legislation. Across the UK these characteristics include: gender, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, social background, gender reassignment, religion or belief, political opinion, marital/civil partnership status and dependents. Research indicates that there are various barriers which hinder sports participation by people from these under-represented groups.
As a priority Scottish Cycling has identified gender as being the most significant of these characteristics with some 15% of the membership being female and 85% male. We have held women specific coaching sessions and introduced women specific competition structures and are proactively encouraging more women to be officials and part of our Board and other committees.
As well as a focus on addressing the gender imbalance Scottish Cycling have taken steps to open communications with a variety of groups that represent other protected characteristics to ensure they continue to make Scottish Cycling accessible to all.
Scottish Cycling’s Corporate Services Manager went on to say: “One of our main mechanisms for improving accessibility and to help monitor our progress on equality has been our online systems. Clubs and groups with particular interests can affiliate, receive info and newsletters and make use of our club management tool and social cycling tools to communicate with members and our event management tools make it easy for anyone to enter one of our 650 plus events. Add to that the fact that we have 157 clubs around the country and a wide range of cycling disciplines from BMX to mountain biking, club rides, sportives and road racing all under the Scottish Cycling Umbrella.”
“It is encouraging that as the largest cycling membership organisation in the country we are aware of and responding to the needs of all aspects of our membership particularly as we are experiencing an interest from all sectors of the community and hoping for success at Glasgow 2014”