Sport Ireland chairman John Treacy has said the organisation believes in life-long and inclusive sport for all as it seeks input from the public on its new diversity and inclusion policy. Photo: Sportsfile

Sport Ireland seeking input from the public on new policy

Sport Ireland is currently in the process of developing a diversity and inclusion policy to further broaden the scope of its diversity and inclusion remit.

Inclusion is a core value of the National Sports Policy 2018, and the policy will build on the success of both the Sport Ireland policies on participation in sport by people with disabilities and on women in sport.

The diversity and inclusion policy document will include tangible targets and action areas against which Sport Ireland and the sports sector can work to promote inclusion and diversity in sport and physical activity.

Supporting the development of the policy, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin, commented: “I welcome the development of the Sport Ireland diversity and inclusion policy and encourage everyone to take part in the survey and share their experiences.

“Inclusivity is a core value of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027. My department and I strongly believe that sport must be welcoming and inclusive, offering appropriate opportunities for participation and improvement to all, regardless of socio-economic background, gender, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity.”

The Minister of State for Sport & the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, added: “I recently hosted a stakeholder forum on tackling racism in sport which brought together a range of contributors from different sports and representative organisations. The point was made very clearly that Irish society is increasingly multi-cultural and that we have all seen how sport can make an important contribution to an even more inclusive society.

“Unfortunately, we have also seen instances of racism, xenophobia, transphobia and other discrimination, which is absolutely unacceptable in society and in sport. The Sport Ireland diversity and inclusion policy will include tangible targets and action areas against which Sport Ireland, its funded organisations and partners can work to promote inclusion and respect diversity in relation to participation in sport and physical activity.”

It is recognised that a widespread and comprehensive consultation process to identify barriers, challenges and enablers in relation to participation in sport is essential. To this end, Sport Ireland are currently seeking input from the public, particularly people from minority ethnic communities, including Travellers, people with a disability, and the LGBTQI+ community, with lived experiences to inform the development of the policy.

Speaking at the launch of the consultation, the chief executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, stated: “Sport Ireland believes in life-long and inclusive sport for all. Sport Ireland, the national governing bodies and the network of Local Sports Partnerships have been working hard to reduce the gradients in participation that exist due to gender, disability, socio-economic background and ethnicity.

The diversity and inclusion policy will help us to further understand the challenges and issues around participation in sport among the target groups and develop a strong policy with tangible actions to support the stakeholders in addressing these challenges and promoting inclusive and diverse sport to all.”

Dr. Una May, director of participation and ethics with Sport Ireland, said: “I would encourage as many people as possible to take part in the survey. It is important that we have input from the public and the various target groups to ensure that the research is as thorough as possible. We want to ensure that all voices are heard and that their feedback helps to shape the diversity and inclusion policy, ensuring it is both effective and impactful.

“Organisations involved in the provision of sport and physical activity in Ireland are also invited to take part in the survey and provide their input on the issues of diversity and inclusion.”

The survey is open to everyone at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZN5JC66.

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