Equality in Sport

The Equality Standard: A Framework for Sport (the Standard) was launched in November 2004 to help address the inequalities that exist within the sports sector. It is a framework to guide sports organisations, including governing bodies of sport, clubs and national sports organisations towards achieving equality.

Why is there a need for the Equality Standard?

Research* shows that there are significant inequalities in sports’ participation in the UK at all levels (including participants, coaches, officials, volunteers and employees). These inequalities can be linked to characteristics which are now protected under equalities legislation. These characteristics include: gender, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, social background, gender reassignment, religion or belief, political opinion, marital/civil partnership status and dependents.

Research indicates that there are various barriers which hinder sports participation by people from under-represented groups. Through the development of robust action plans, the Standard is a vehicle for widening access and increasing the participation and involvement in sport and physical activity by under-represented individuals, groups and communities. The Standard supports sports organisations to develop and implement equality-proofed policies and practices.

Where can clubs and organisations find further information?

For further information on the Equality Standard please visit

For further information on the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland please visit

For a sample policy please visit

*Sport England: Active People Survey 4 Diagnostic 2011
Sport Wales: Active Adults Survey 08/09
The Northern Ireland Sport and Physical Activity Survey 2010

In Partnership with: