In March 2023, Sporting Equals launched the results of their Race Representation Index 2023. In the last two years Snowsport England has submitted our data for review within the index.
“The RRI does not collate data of the full workforce. It is intended to collect data on the decision makers within NGBs. Those that decide strategy, budget, interventions and select who enters the talent pathways” – Arun Kang OBE, CEO Sporting Equals
Snowsport England’s ten-year strategy, #InspiringSnowsport, aims to change the trajectory of the organisation. We have recently undertaken recruitment following a re-structure to bring our small but dedicated team back to full capacity, and are now all working hard to bring to life our strategic vision, “inspiring participation in snowsport at every level”. Part of this strategic vision is to move away from the image of snowsport being predominantly for white middle-class participants.
The results of the RRS, whilst disappointing, were not at all surprising. We know we need to do more to improve the diversity of our leaders across the sport, and our intent, is to see an improvement in the RRS by 2025. We are currently building out a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan which will provide clear targets and measurements for success.
To begin the process, we are collating insight from across all areas of participation which will be analysed before moving forward with broader projects, as well as improving the data we hold on our members and workforce. We know we need to collect and understand our audience better, and be able to measure the impact of our work, this will only happen through effective data collection methods, the first of which will be introduced this year ahead of the FIS renewals in May. We will then roll out organisation wide across the year, with the intention that by the next RRS we will have much better understanding our own position.
A project in its infancy, is the Community Innovation Fund (CIF), its aim is to support different snowsport organisations with initiatives to either increase the diversity of participants or workforce, including volunteers. In 2022 the project launched with three community groups including, visually impaired skiers, running sessions targeted at hearing impaired Asian women and supporting a university ski club to offer subsidies to underrepresented groups. The goal is to promote more forward-thinking EDI focused applications and build on these fantastic projects annually, taking the learnings to support future projects.
We will continue to work with partner organisations from across the industry and several working groups to deliver on our targets to support underrepresented groups within the sport. One such partnership, in its early stages is with Mount Noire, a group of inspiration black female leaders, who have brought their passion for snowsport to black skiers and snowboarders across the London region. You may have caught them sharing what they do on BBC’s Ski Sunday, as they aim to “bring colour to the mountains”. We recently caught up with Wenona, who shared her love for the sport, her enthusiasm to grow what they do and work with us to ensure we have an impact with a wider reach as possible. We have invited them to be critical friends across our strategic journey, we don’t claim to be EDI experts and want to engage support from all areas of our community to complement our snowsport passion and knowledge.
Snowsport England understands that the current figures do not reflect the vision, it will take time to impact change but are confident that there will be improvement year on year. Anyone interested in supporting us with their journey towards a more diverse and inclusive sport are welcome to get in touch at email@example.com.