Sport England strengthen Code for Sports Governance

Governance 05 Jul 21

Following a consultation involving hundreds of organisations, including the RYA, Sport England have this week announced a revision to the Code for Sports Governance. 

The revised Code is primarily focused on ensuring that sporting bodies in receipt of substantial public funding from Sport England or UK Sport have a detailed and ambitious diversity and inclusion action plan to increase diversity on their boards and senior leadership teams, as well as across their wider organisations.

The requirement is for organisations to set plans, and publish them, focusing on the work of organisations, which is hoped will encourage transparency about where organisations are making progress and where they are falling behind.

The Code was launched in 2016 by Sport England in partnership with UK Sport to drive improvement across all areas of governance. Since then, the Code has been applied to over 4,000 organisations who receive government or National Lottery funding from either organisation.

Sarah Treseder, RYA CEO, said: “The RYA welcomes the tailored approach taken by Sport England and UK Sport to strengthen and develop the Code for Sports Governance. This feels like a mature, nuanced and positive way to address some fundamental issues, which are already at the heart of our strategy.

"This will build on our public commitment to make boating a more inclusive and diverse activity, by ensuring the right changes are embedded in our governance structures, policies and procedures. Importantly it will also help to ensure we are held to account in a meaningful way on the impact of our work. We look forward to working in partnership to implement the new Code."

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “Today marks a milestone in the evolution of our sector, the way it is run and how we ensure fairness and inclusion for all. We are incredibly proud of the impact the Code for Sports Governance has had since 2016, and the way it has been adopted as a vehicle for meaningful and positive change.

“The changes announced today build on this momentum. We are confident that the new requirements - and the focus in particular on the impact of ambitious Diversity and Inclusion Action Plans - will be welcomed and embraced. It is a further step towards greater diversity of background, experience and understanding of sport and activity environments having a seat at the table at the very top of sporting organisations.”

You can find out more about the Code for Sport Governance by visiting the Sport England website.