Sport Sector

We have undertaken extensive research on the sport sector, which has given us an in-depth understanding of the evolving challenges faced by its institutions, from National Governing Bodies to Clubs and schools. 

Ranging from skyrocketing costs and growing expectations of the sector, to representation and participation, these challenges demand highly skilled and specialised leaders to drive the sector forward, whilst preserving and protecting the games loved by many across the country. 

Our approach

Research-based. Evidence-driven.

Our services use evidence and research at their core to ensure we’re making the biggest impact. We’ve published diversity data for the sector on behalf of UK Sport and Sport England, and are currently working in partnership with the RFL to increase representation at board level for professional Clubs.

Approved industry leaders

Inclusive Boards are corporate members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and our leadership programmes are ILM accredited. We’ve supported a range of organisations working to deliver on the ambitions of the sector.

Wrap-around care

We have a clear care service aimed at ensuring quality throughout the entire process, for all clients and candidates.

Diversity and inclusion experts

Diversity is at the core of who we are. We are a black-owned and black-led organisation with a diverse team, so we bring lived experience, empathy and understanding to our practice.

Our understanding of the Sports Sector

  • Our Understanding

    More than business

    Growing on average 2.7% each year, the sport sector contributes £39 billion to the UK’s economy. However, the importance of the sector extends far beyond its economic reach. For many, sport is more than the games involved. It is a way of life, of connecting to others and experiencing kinship.

    However, people in the UK are around 20% less active than they were in the 1960s, and physical inactivity is estimated to cost the country £7.4 billion each year. Physical activity has significant benefits on both physical and mental health, and widening participation in the sports sector is critical to addressing this situation.

  • Our Understanding

    Diversity in the sports sector

    Of those that responded to the Race Representation Index, not a single National Governing Body (NGB) CEO identified as coming from a minority ethnic background. The average grade awarded for senior management teams of NGBs was an E, and for senior coaching positions, an F.

    Many barriers exist to participation for those with protected characteristics (and beyond) in sport. 22% of women worry about sexual harassment in physical activity. Fans perceive racism as a big problem in football (68%), rugby union (31%) and cricket (49%). 82% of those who identify as LGBTI* have witnessed homophobic or transphobic language in sport in the last 12 months, and 30% of disabled fans feel unable to attend sports or venues due to inaccessibility. More must be done to remove barriers to participating in sports.

  • Our Understanding

    Our work in the sector

    At Inclusive Boards, we’re proud to have worked with a wide range of organisations across the industry who are delivering real change for their communities.

    We’ve placed candidates for sporting institutions of all sizes, from National Governing bodies such as England Handball and Rounders England, to community focused organisations such as Street League and CP Sport. We’ve also delivered advisory and research services to UK Sport and Sport England on how best to improve Inclusion and Diversity within the sector.

Sport resources

All resources
Inclusive Boards Articles

Diversity and Inclusion in Sports

Diversity and Inclusion in Sports   The recent success of the England Women’s Football team in the UEFA European Championship sparked the dawn of a potentially new era in the...

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Inclusive Boards Launches Sports Webinar Series

Over the last year Inclusive Boards has been delivering diversity initiatives to support over 140 Sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and organisations with efforts to improve diversity at board level....

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Inclusive Boards Articles

Tove Okunniwa’s wealth of experience wins her the London Sport’s new Chief Executive role

From 18th September 2017 the former chief executive of Havas Sport & Entertainment, Tove Okunniwa, will take up her post as the chief executive of London Sport. Tove comes into...

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