Equality, diversity and inclusion

Through our work we strive to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to participate in high quality PE and sport, regardless of their background, ethnicity, gender, ability or indeed any other personal characteristic.

We currently have a number of policies in relation to our commitment to equality and diversity:

  • Diversity Action Plan 2022-25
  • Equality and Diversity Policy
  • Transgender People Policy. 

These policies are available to download in full from the right-hand side of this page.

Defining success

We want to ensure that:

  • Every employee and individual we directly work with feels included and valued by the Youth Sport Trust. We measure this through employee surveys and programme evaluations
  • Our organisational policies and practices meet and work to exceed industry standards. We measure this by benchmarking our practice, utilising tools such as the Moving to Inclusion Framework for Sport, Disability Confident and the Best Companies Index
  • The diversity of our leadership is representative, and we continue to proactively advance equality of opportunity for all young people in sport and physical education. We measure this by examining the Diversity Metrics of our leaders, workforce and service reach, equality impact assessments, programme evaluations including positive action programmes. 


Valerie Copenhagen, YST Board Champion Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, introduces Youth Sport Trust Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan and the importance of ensuring every child has access to sport and physical activity.

Our Chief Executive, Ali Oliver, sets out why celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion are central to everything the Youth Sport Trust was founded to achieve:

"Time and again research shows that there are significant inequalities in young people’s physical activity levels, participation in and enjoyment of play and sport, linked to their gender, sexuality, economic affluence, age and ethnicity.

At a time when young people in the UK are facing significant wellbeing challenges linked to their physical and mental health, and parallels can be drawn between the groups of young people most likely to be impacted by these challenges and those least likely to access the life-changing benefits of play and sport, it is imperative that we breakdown these inequalities and find a place for every young person to belong.

We cannot create change alone, we need as many people as possible, from across the spectrum of sex, gender identity, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status or cultural identity, who represent and work with the communities we seek to serve, to become changemakers to help us reclaim play and sport in children’s lives."

This commitment to diversity and inclusion not only runs through all of our work, but it guides the way we go about it.

Ali Oliver, Chief Executive
Ali Oliver

Youth Sport Trust has a strong organisational culture which respects difference, values individuality and unites people around a common purpose – a belief in the future of all young people, and the role sport can play in improving their life chances. 


"Our Equality and Diversity Policy will help us to hold ourselves accountable for ensuring every young person has a genuine and equal opportunity to take part in our work and that this work is actively championing diversity and breaking down barriers. We will do this with a workforce which reflects the communities we serve and where every employee feels valued and has equal opportunities to progress and make their own contribution to improving young lives through sport."

Our Approach

The Youth Sport Trust work with a range of partners to design and deliver a range of positive action programmes and interventions which work to support people with a protected characteristic if they are at a disadvantage, have particular needs or are under-represented in an activity such as sport and physical activity.

When working with partners and designing services Youth Sport Trust considers inclusion by design principles to ensure physical education and sport for every child is always:

  • Inspirational - Every child is inspired to participate (High Quality Engagement)
  • Accessible - Every child can take part (High Quality Provision)

  • Meaningful - Every child feels the positive benefit from participation (High Quality Impact)

Please click on any of the below to find out more about our programmes, partnerships and resources that can support practitioners address inequalities in and beyond their own organisation.

Our success in designing and developing effective solutions will be dependent on strong collaboration, especially with children and young people themselves. The Youth Sport Trust are always looking to develop new partnership and learn from others who are passionate about tacking inequalities for children and young people. If you are interested in knowing more about our work or have anything that you would also like to share with us, please contact or Head of Inclusion, Julie Robbins.