Equality is becoming a familiar concept in the 21st century, but what does it mean and what is its significance in the context of sport? Why is it relevant to your mountain bike club and its members?
Simply defined, Equality is about fairness, including equality of opportunity. It means recognising and respecting cultural and social diversity. Being equitable means treating everyone fairly and according to their needs, which is not always the same as treating everybody the same.
Everyone involved in sport should be concerned with good practice, with fairness and inclusion and with ensuring participation opportunities are fair for all, regardless of who we are, where we come from or what our beliefs or social backgrounds are. Being an equitable organisation is an essential prerequisite for government funding and underlies Scottish Cycling's strategic objectives.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against anyone on the grounds of – gender, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, disability, race, pregnancy and maternity, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership.
It is also about making sure barriers which stand in the way of under-represented groups are eliminated. The national agency for sport in Scotland sport scotland supports the Equality Standard for Sport, which helps sports meet their legal obligations and develop action plans for equality in sport.
Please click on the links for more information on 'positive action' and helpful tips and resources for attracting girls and young women and black, minority and ethnic groups to mountain biking.
Training courses on Equality and child protection are provided across Scotland by Local Authorities to view the courses available in 2011 - click here
It may also be useful for your clubs board members to prepare an Equality statement. Please download a sample Equality statement which you should tailor to your club - click here.