Basketball England tops latest Race Representation Index

March 29, 2023

Basketball England has been lauded as the top publicly funded national governing body (NGB) in sport for delivering diversity, equity and inclusion within their working practices – evidenced by the Race Representation Index (RRI) 2022 from Sporting Equals.

Sporting Equals – an independent body that actively works to champion ethnic diversity within sport and physical activity – launched the RRI last year to act as a method of measuring and monitoring sport and physical activity organisations against progress with the race equality agenda, with a particular focus on ethnic representation.

The RRI evaluates and grades data submitted by NGBs across four criteria; Board, Senior Leadership/Management Teams, Senior Coaches and Players/Athletes, and then provides an aggregated grade; ranging from A to F. 

For 2022, Basketball England was the only NGB to achieve an overall A grade. Other notable mentions include the Lawn Tennis Association who rose from 23rd to 13th place, and the England & Wales Cricket Board and Rugby Football Union who debuted this year at 7th and 35th place respectively.

Ama Agbeze MBE, former England Netball Captain and member of the Sport Monitoring Advisory Panel set up by Sporting Equals to manage the RRI, commented; “Basketball England has achieved the highest grading, which is not by accident. 

“They attract diverse candidates through their governance, coaching and talent pathways from a wide range of diverse backgrounds. They also have an EDI committee and have put in place EDI training to support recruitment and retention.”

The 2022 RRI saw limited change among NGBs on race representation compared to the previous year, with the overall average grade remaining at a D.

Densign White MBE, Chair of Sporting Equals commented; “The RRI is a baseline for NGBs to work from and show the journey they are making in delivering DEI in the workplace.

“This will be a long process, but we can see from the NGBs who submitted data for this year’s RRI are committed to the journey. By continuing to improve diversity this will mean the quality and equity of participation within each NGB’s sporting activities will be positively impacted.”

2022 saw more NGBs invited to participate in the RRI, and a greater number of those invited did participate; with this year seeing an 86% engagement rate compared to 2021’s 75%. This highlights that there is more cross-sport commitment to monitoring progress and making actionable changes to improve ethnic diversity in the workplace.

Arun Kang OBE, CEO of Sporting Equals added; “We are hopeful that the RRI will continue to be a useful tool for NGBs undertaking changes to better reflect the UK’s ethnic diversity. The rise in engagement illustrates there is an appetite from NGBs to change and to be transparent with the public. Sporting Equals will be there to support and work with them as they undertake this lengthy journey.”