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“Following the pioneering successes of Daley Thompson’s gold in 1980, and his and Tessa Sanderson’s gold in 1984, for the first time since 1996, no black British athlete at the 2020 Olympic Games won an Olympic Gold medal. The only gold medal winner by way of diversity came from Galal Yafai in boxing.”
Prof. Geoff Thompson MBE FRSA DL, Founder & Chair, Youth Charter
Despite Team GB’s overall Olympic successes in 2021, Sport England Board Member, Chris Grant, questioned whether Team GB athletes were still “too white and suburban”. He highlighted the “massive underrepresentation” of the UK’s diverse social and cultural communities, an observation that is supported by the Youth Charter 2020 Games Legacy Report.
The Youth Charter is working with a number of partners to enhance the legacy impact of the Commonwealth Games by reducing inequality and improving quality of life through sport. The Youth Charter has completed its research and analysis of legacy programmes and athlete participation at previous Commonwealth Games and will do the same for Birmingham 2022. This project will support the implementation of the Commonwealth Sport Foundation’s Development Model.
The Youth Charter 2020 Games Legacy Report follows on from its 2012, 2016 and 2018 Games Legacy Reports. With its related research, this will contribute to the work of the Sporting Equals’ Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel (SMAP) and their Race Representation Index. The SMAP was set up to monitor publicly funded British sport and physical activity; its inaugural meeting was in February 2021.
The Youth Charter has completed a longitudinal analysis of Team GB and Paralympics GB Athletes from Sydney 2000 through to Tokyo 2020. This covers the Olympic and Paralympic funding cycle from 1997 to 2021 that has seen UK Sport invest an unprecedented £1.3 billion in Team GB Olympic Sports (£1.116bn) and Paralympics GB Sports (£235m). However, despite receiving hundreds of millions of pounds of public investment, most Team GB and Paralympics GB sports have had very few or even no BAME athletes. This statistic is also reflected in the medals won by British athletes.
Furthermore, the Youth Charter 2020 Games Legacy Report demonstrates how the disparities in athlete participation at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics reflect the Global Inequality between the richest and poorest countries. However, with the UN IOC Accord and the Sport for Development and Peace movement/sector now in place, there is a major opportunity for us all to “Build a Better a World through Sport”.
We are all having to rebuild and reassess after the effects of the COVID Pandemic and the climate and environmental crisis. However, at the same time, we must consider how sport and physical activity can be used more effectively to reduce inequality and improve the quality of life. A Global Social System, including education and health, must be part of the world’s attempts to adapt to and mitigate the impact of these crises. Olympism can be, and should be, included as part of the Global Education System, with Olympic Values contributing to Global Citizenship Rights and Responsibilities and promoting Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Participation in order to provide a 21st Century #LegacyOpportunity4All…
“British sporting institutions seek to encourage greater equality of diversity, inclusion and participation from the social, grass root, development, performance and excellence of our young people and communities. These would all provide benefits that everyone knows would contribute positively to the nation’s overall sense of belonging, belief and identity.”
Dame Sarah Storey DB, Paralympics GB Athlete
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