Friday, May 6, 2011

Pride Sports encourages LGBT Sports participants to help shape sport in England

Last week, Pride Sports, the UK’s LGBT sports development organisation launches a campaign to ensure that the voices of LGBT people are heard in Sport England’s Satisfaction Survey. The Sports Council’s online survey, which yielded a response from 44,000 people, last year, helps to inform the development of sport across England, and ensures the delivery of a ‘lasting legacy’ from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The survey asks respondents to rate their satisfaction with a number of aspects of their sporting experience; social, physical environment, staff and volunteers, coaching and opportunities to progress. However, although the survey asks respondents about their age, gender and ethnic background, it does not ask the sexual orientation question or provide an opportunity for trans people to identify themselves.

Lou Englefield, one of Pride Sports Founding Directors explains, “The problem is, whilst Sport England fail to ask the sexual orientation question or provide an opportunity for trans people to identify themselves, the Sports Council has no way of identifying any trends which relate specifically to LGBT people and sport. For example, the survey could show that LGBT people are more than happy with their sporting experience. It could equally show that we are not.”

Pride Sports are therefore calling on LGBT people involved in sport to use the additional information box towards the end of the survey to identify as LGB or T and to state if they practice sport as part of an LGBT sports group. Lou continues,

“There are now over 100 LGBT sports and physical activity groups in England alone, new ones establishing themselves every year. But many of these are not affiliated to their sport’s National Governing Bodies and have no contact with County Sports Partnerships, which provide support for grass roots sport in England. It is time Sport England began to ask how satisfied we are with our sporting experience and to invest more in LGBT sport”

Pride Sports will be conducting its own survey of LGBT people and their experience of sport over the summer.

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