Scottish Cycling and Equality
Equality is becoming a familiar concept in the media, but what exactly does it mean and what is its significance in the context of sport? Why is it relevant to Scottish Cycling and its members?
Simply defined, equality is about fairness, including equality of opportunity. It means recognising and respecting cultural and social diversity. Being equitable means treating everyone fairly and according to their needs, which is not always the same thing as treating everybody the same.
Everyone involved in sport should be concerned with good practice, with fairness and inclusion, and with ensuring that opportunities to participate are fair for all, regardless of who we are, where we come from, what our beliefs or social backgrounds are. Being an equitable organisation is an essential prerequisite for government funding and it underlies Scottish Cycling's strategic objectives.
UK legislation is now in place to cover the six key strands of equity, making it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of:
Underpinning this legal responsibility within sports is the Equity Standard. The Standard was developed by UK Sport and the four home country sports councils to provide a framework to assist sports governing bodies achieve equity in their policies, procedures and activities.
There are four levels of accreditation within the Standard, based on two broad areas of activity:
1. developing our organisation
2. developing our organisation's services
Scottish Cycling was one of the first governing bodies within Scotland to achieve the first level of the Standard - Foundation, and in 2008 was among only a handful of governing bodies to achieve the second level - Preliminary. In 2010/11 we aim to achieve the third level - Intermediate.
This will be an exciting challenge! Now that we have our equity policies and procedures in place, we must now focus on assessing the impact of these and implement our action plan for improvements.
One of our key objectives is to increase opportunities for groups which we have already identified as under represented in our membership and activities; these include women, youths and people with a disability.
Our long term aims are to ensure that equitable practice becomes fundamental to everything we do and that Scottish Cycling leads by example in making cycling "a sport for all".
By becoming more equitable Scottish Cycling and our sport will benefit by:
- Attracting new members, volunteers, coaches, officials and spectators
- Developing a fair and inclusive culture within our sport
- Helping to prevent unlawful discrimination
- Broadening the skills and knowledge of our staff and volunteers, making our public profile more positive
- Increasing sponsorship and funding opportunities
For any issues regarding Child Protection or Equality, please contact Scottish Cycling on 0141 554 6021