England Hockey strives to ensure that our game is played, watched, delivered, governed and enjoyed by all. We are committed to the principles of fair treatment for everyone, embracing differences and creating a culture where everyone is welcome.
Hockey is proud to be a team sport with equal participation in terms of gender, and with excellent opportunities for our Flyerz community. We are committed to moving towards a Board which is both gender balanced and diverse.
England Hockey recognise the need to listen, engage and understand our membership and this is central to our work in the short term and will allow us to inform our longer term plans. Building on the work with the focus groups held in 2020, we have recently carried out a survey to capture thoughts / experiences and views on the future which will help shape our plans. England Hockey will shortly share the results of the More Inclusive Sport Survey. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is genuine and long term, so if you have any ideas on how to make our sport more diverse and inclusive, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will listen.
If you have had an experience in hockey that you would like to report, please do so via the disrepute reporting process.
Updates from Nick Pink, England Hockey Chief Executive:
Since the last update in December 2020 we have continued our work to tackle Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (E, D & I) barriers in hockey, recognising there is more to do at every level of the sport. As an update, we wanted to recap on our listening and engaging phase during 2020 and share some important foundations we are starting to put in place to enable us to fulfil our objectives for 2021.
Emerging themes from 2020
Through August to December 2020, two advisory groups including clubs, players, volunteers and England Hockey colleague representatives met to share experiences from within the game and ideas for the future. Key themes from this work informing our next stage of research emerged as;
- Diverse Representation – increased diverse representation on the England Hockey Board, Executive Management Team and within the workforce of England Hockey including regions, coaching, umpiring and club management.
- Governance and Leadership – regularly reporting on England Hockey, player and coach metrics across gender, age and ethnic diversity. Provide Inclusion training across the sport and a ClubMark standard regarding E, D & I for hockey clubs from the top to the grassroots level.
- Access & Socio-Economic - senior squads developing closer proximity to state schools through role modelling and our club offer focussing on state schools or schools in disadvantaged areas across the country and games on grass as an option for junior levels of school and club games.
- Cultures & Behaviours – developing a culture of inclusivity with stronger accountability driven by England Hockey
Club and Member Research
Key aspects of our work in 2021 include conducting both qualitative and quantitative research with hockey clubs and individual members to understand the breadth and impact of existing work, the diversity of the membership and how they perceive hockey. The first of two pieces of work is a survey to help understand more about you, the players, the coaches and volunteers, everyone involved in the sport. By understanding more, we will learn and will work with you to make changes, challenge existing practice, and create a more inclusive environment for everyone to enjoy our sport, however, they take part.
Creating a Panel of E, D & I expertise
In the coming months, we will be releasing opportunities for E,D & I specialists to join our expert panel to help shape the future E, D & I strategy for the sport. We will be looking for ambassadors to assist to strengthen and challenge our proposed roadmap, from within and outside hockey.
Member- Elected Non-Executive Recruitment
We remain committed to achieving gender balance and greater diversity on our Board. Applications have been received for the current board positions with the outcome of this election being announced at the AGM on 16 March 2021.
Improved imagery, language and a dedicated E, D & I space on our website
We have recognised that our previous website was not a true reflection of inclusivity in our sport and therefore on the new site have given greater consideration to our use of imagery and language, we acknowledge there are still some gaps which we will be working to improve. For the first time, we have a dedicated section for E, D & I and we will chart our progress in this area. New features include an inclusion inbox for ideas, a timeline of E, D & I dialogue and stories shining a spotlight on inclusion in the sport. If you have any stories or images you would like to share please contact us at email@example.com
Commitment to Training
As we build inclusion confidence our internal E, D, & I working group attended a 1-day training course facilitated by the Sports Recreation Alliance over January to support their work in this area.
Return to Play – tackling inactivity in children and young people post COVID - 19
Children and young people are amongst the most impacted by the pandemic when it comes to activity levels. Our Return to Play team is working with other sports to build additional offerings as we look towards recovering from the pandemic and getting activity levels back on track.
England Hockey recognises that lasting change will only be made by creating a culture that raises awareness of everyday biases. These can occur and prohibit us from behaving in a way that makes everyone feel included. We all have a part to play in this. Please watch the following clip and take a moment to reflect.
Do you recognise any biases you hold?
Could you make a personal commitment to change to create a more equal, diverse and inclusive world?
Things you might have seen
Spencer Lynx – Showcasing their amazing work
E, D & I Project Manager Isla Strachan firstname.lastname@example.org
In September we published an update on the important and necessary steps we were taking to listen, learn, engage and then plan what we need to do as a sport to improve our diversity and inclusion.
We wanted to come back to you at the end of the year and let you know what has been happening in the last three months. We have been inundated with people from within the game who have reached out and spent time with us in meetings, 1-to-1s and sent us proposals, presentations and documents to support our next steps. There are many ideas to support those next steps which is encouraging, and we would continue to welcome your ideas and engagement.
One thing that is clear from the responses we have received, is that there is a significant amount going on in the game to improve diversity and make our sport more inclusive. One of the challenges has been making sure there is a platform to share this and create greater awareness that it is taking place. The number of clubs that are working with their local primary and secondary state schools, the number of clubs who are working to support those young people who don’t normally have the opportunities to play hockey and the number of clubs reaching out to those young people and adults with disabilities is far more significant than perhaps we were all aware. We are committed to making sure we share this information.
Equally we know from listening to many of you that there are still some negative behaviour issues in the sport. Some of these go back a number of years, and some of those go back a few weeks to when we were all able to play league hockey. We have seen examples of abhorrent behaviour and there are processes in place locally, regionally and nationally to deal with these, and we would encourage you to make sure negative and poor behaviour is dealt with appropriately, and everyone takes this responsibility.
So what has been happening and what will we be doing next?
1. The England Hockey membership voted 86% in favour of the AGM resolution which will lead to the creation of eight new areas and 16 sub-areas and provide an opportunity for more diversity and inclusion within the structures of the sport.
2. The board has committed to greater diversity and inclusion within its representation and are looking to become 50/50 gender balanced as soon as possible. Nominations are currently open for a new Member Elected Non-Executive Director and Vice-President of England Hockey. The board has advertised this and is looking for nominations from female candidates in particular.
3. Support from Sport England to listen, learn, engage and develop an outline for us to build on.
4. We announced the consultation period to the proposed changes to the talent system. Over 500 people have taken part in forums and group meetings from across the country and diversity and inclusion is at the heart of these proposals. Improving access for the most talented young people in hockey has come out loud and clear in these sessions.
5. We will be launching a diversity and inclusion survey in the new year to capture more information and more detail from those within the sport. This will help us to improve our data and insight and will enable us to make better decisions.
6. The feedback referenced from the individual and group sessions we have had in the last few months will underpin our continued diversity and inclusion work which has been themed around; diverse representation; governance and leadership; access and socio-economic; culture and behaviours; profile and opportunities.
7. We will be developing a new expert Diversity and Inclusion panel of the board. It will report progress against defined actions to the board. In terms of the membership of this expert panel we will be looking to identify those from within our sport, and those externally who can check and challenge our thinking and progress. We will be advertising for these positions in the New Year.
8. The international athletes across England, Scotland and Wales committed to their own campaign under the Stick It To Racism banner.
9. In the new year we will be encouraging all clubs to make commitments of their own to improve the behaviours of the members of their clubs, and to improve opportunities for those coming into our sport, and those being retained within it.
The strong message here is that we need to build on this work together. We know there is a way to go and we have started to make important structural changes to the governance of the sport, and through the proposed changes in the talent system. We also know there is more to be done at every level of the sport which will be supported by the new Diversity and Inclusion expert panel and led by the board of England Hockey. We also know that there are more people we need to hear from and setting up the survey to encourage this will be important, as will be sharing the work that is going on up and down the country to support greater diversity and inclusion within hockey.
We will continue to update you and encourage you all to take part in the process we look to embark on together.
Hockey is rightly proud of its outstanding track record of being one of the leading sports who embody the very best values of society. A sport that ranges from ages five to 80+ years, has a truly equal gender membership, is leading a new disability model through Flyerz and has championed a number of areas of diversity and inclusion.
At England Hockey, in the last 12 months, however, we have increased our focus on diversity and inclusion, with the creation of an internal working group considering and questioning the issues and then seeking to create strategies that will change our sport in a concrete, meaningful and long-term way. Aside from behaviours, there are real questions around how we drive better representation through our pathways, coaching, umpiring and across our governance.
In July this year, we created an external advisory group, made up of a wide range of volunteers from a very diverse set of backgrounds, to help us to understand and ultimately plan our next steps. We held our first meetings on 12-13 August and will be developing actions from these, which we will be sharing with the wider hockey community.
The Board of England Hockey is also evolving to ensure it better represents our membership and society. At the time of writing the board consists of eleven people: four women and seven men. As a sport that has more than 50% of hockey club members as women, we are keen to create a better balance and diversity going forward.
Organisationally we are working with Inclusive Employers, a leading UK based consultancy, to help guide our plans around diversity and inclusivity. We started working with them earlier this year initially focusing on those employed within England Hockey, but increasingly we wish to expand to include those that work with us in a number of roles, whether as volunteers, consultants or part time coaches and umpires.
On 18 August, Ed Barney, England Hockey’s Performance Director, announced our commitment to provide a more diverse and inclusive experience for those in our talent pathway. This has been developed over the past 18 months and was built on feedback from the talent survey that was sent out earlier this year to many people involved in hockey. In this document, we specifically state that: we want to engender change in genuine partnership; we want to create shared ambitions which will see a sport that is exciting and accessible for all; and, we want to see a sport that is inclusive and diverse, with a talent pipeline that everyone is proud of. To bring this to fruition, we will need your support to develop and refine the detail and bring some of these changes to life in 2021, 2022 and beyond.
We are committed to building on the strong foundations in our sport and providing a more diverse and inclusive experience in hockey. We have championed the strengths and will continue to do so but we all need to be aware of where improvements need to be made and work together to listen, learn and start to address them.
In The News:
Behind The Line
- Surbiton HC brings free schools coaching to local community
- Malcolm Arnold Academy
- Beeston Flyerz and outreach programmes
- Jeevan Chagger: Hometown Hero
- Havant Hockey Club in the community
Pride Month June 2021
LGBTQ History Month February 2021
Black History Month October 2020
- Dawn Bonner's Umpiring Journey
- Joan Lewis tells her story
- Rosie Sykes story - the first black woman to play for England's national hockey team
Women in Sport
- International Women's Week 2021
- 125th Anniversary Of The First Women’s International Hockey Match
- Inspiring Young And Aspiring Female Coaches
- Karen Brown enlisted to help UK Sport double numbers of elite female coaches
Pride Month February 2020
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