As we work towards a future where every child enjoys the life-changing benefits that come from play and sport, there can be no bigger priority than breaking down the barriers of inequality and discrimination. Time and again research shows that young people who feel they don’t fit in – perhaps because they have a disability, come from a different background or identify as LGBT – are among the least likely to benefit from the power of sport to help them in life.
Every child is unique and one of the aims of our work is to help them establish who they are, and who they want to be. At a time when acceptance, fitting in and self-esteem are so high on young people’s agenda, this has never been more important.
This commitment to diversity and inclusion not only runs through all of our work, but it guides the way we go about it.
It has always filled me with a great sense of pride to work for an organisation which really does welcome all. YST has a strong organisational culture which respects difference, values individuality and unites people around that thing we have in common – a belief in the future of all young people, and the role sport can play in improving their life chances.
Our charity is full of people with different skills, personalities, experiences and identities, all of whom help us make a difference to so many young lives. We believe in allowing people to be themselves, be respected for who they are, and we value the way that individual difference enriches our lives and our work.
I am passionately committed to ensuring that we maintain and grow this strong inclusive culture at the heart of the Youth Sport Trust. We want to ensure that we attract and employ a diverse range of people and appeal to as many people as possible, regardless of their gender, gender identity, age, race, disability, religion, sexual orientation, marital status or cultural identity.
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.