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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

viaSport ensures all British Columbians can benefit from sport by promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. A focus on DEI in sport encourages increased participation, enhanced fairness, and promotes innovation and teamwork to make sport better for everyone.

 

Coach sitting with young girl athletes

Understanding DEI

Diversity

Diversity refers to differences among people, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, and ability.

Equity

Equity refers to fair treatment, with the goal to remove barriers that prevent certain groups from participation.

Inclusion

Inclusion refers to creating a welcoming, supportive environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and able to participate.

Enabling Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

To create a more inclusive sport culture in BC and bring attention to increasing equitable opportunities for all participants, we launched a province wide campaign! #SportForEVERYBody, a campaign designed to elevate under-represented groups, celebrate diversity and invite you to inspire change in your community. 

Partner with us to help advance inclusion in sport.

Archer in a wheelchair taking aim
A coach inspiring a team of young athletes.

Every British Columbian can thrive through sport when it is inclusive, safe, and accessible.

By leading initiatives and campaigns to create a more inclusive sport culture in BC, we bring attention to barriers and work towards creating more equitable opportunities. We aim to raise awareness around inclusion in sport and disseminate effective practices.

Female basketbal athlete drinking water
young girl soccer team huddling together

How does improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion make sport better?

Physical trainer teaching young athletes a routine.

DEI Encourages Participation

When teams and organizations embrace diversity and inclusion, it encourages people from different backgrounds to participate. This can increase engagement and membership in your sport.

A senior soccer team member shaking hands with another team member.

DEI Promotes Fairness

Environments that are fair and address barriers to participation help eliminate discrimination and biases that can impact experience in sport. Equitable practices can bolster access to facilities, equipment, and training across different sports.

Senior women enjoying a laugh during workout.

DEI Builds Community

Diversity in sport fosters understanding, respect, and unity that transcends the playing field.

A gym with modern workout equipment.

DEI Enhances Teamwork & Innovation

Diversity and inclusion boost innovation, problem solving, and the overall sporting experience through a broader range of perspectives, skills, and ideas.

Female school coach directing a class of young students.

DEI Promotes Role Models

Sport organizations that promote DEI create role models suited for a variety of backgrounds. This inspires members of equity-deserving groups to participate.

Effective Ways to Promote DEI for Organizations

Develop a DEI Policy

Create a comprehensive policy that outlines your organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Communicate DEI values, goals, and expectations clearly. Make the policy accessible to everyone, and review and update it regularly.

Establish diverse leadership

Organizational leadership should reflect the diversity of the communities you serve. Aim for broad representation in decision-making roles, including the board of directors, management, and coaching staff. Pursue candidates from equity-deserving groups and provide them with opportunities for professional development and advancement.

Provide DEI training

Implement DEI training programs for everyone in your organization, including volunteers. Cover topics such as unconscious bias, Indigenous cultural competency, 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and disability inclusion. Ongoing training ensures continuous improvement.

Foster inclusive communication

Develop communication practices built on diversity and respect. Use inclusive and gender-neutral language in official communications, including written materials, social media, and public announcements. Use language interpretation services and accessible communication formats to accommodate diverse needs.

Provide accessible facilities and resources

Ensure that facilities and resources are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Remove physical barriers and provide adaptive equipment if needed. Consider the diverse needs of your participants to create an inclusive environment.

Lead by Example

Showcase diverse athletes, coaches, and staff. Feature diverse individuals in marketing materials, media coverage, and social media posts. Celebrate achievements and contributions to inspire others and foster a sense of belonging.

Develop a data collection strategy

Demographic and diversity metrics increase understanding of who your participants are and where resources are needed to propel DEI.

Engage with equity-deserving groups

Implement DEI training programs for everyone in your organization, including volunteers. Cover topics such as unconscious bias, Indigenous cultural competency, 2SLGBTQ+ inclusion, and disability inclusion. Ongoing training ensures continuous improvement.

Effective Ways to Promote DEI for Coaches & Officials

Educate Yourself

Learn about diversity, equity, and inclusion concepts and the challenges equity-deserving groups face. Books, articles, research papers, workshops, and talking about DEI can deepen your understanding.

Create an inclusive coaching environment

Champion an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion. Encourage open and respectful two-way communication. Create forums for people of different backgrounds to share ideas, perspectives, and experiences.

Recruit and mentor diverse coaches and officials

Recruit coaches and officials from equity-deserving groups. Provide mentorship and professional development to help coaches and officials from diverse backgrounds thrive.

Address unconscious bias

Learn to identify and remove unconscious bias when working with athletes. Approach participants with empathy, considering everyone’s unique background and needs.

Incorporate cultural competency

Resources such as Indigenous Cultural Training foster an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and experiences. This will help you adapt your coaching to meet the needs of diverse participants.

Effective Ways to Promote DEI for Participants

Educate Yourself

Learn about DEI concepts, including issues related to race, gender, sexuality, ability, and other identities. Books, articles, research papers, workshops, webinars, and talking with people from diverse backgrounds can deepen your understanding.

Challenge your biases

Reflect on your assumptions. Everyone has biases, and challenging them creates a more inclusive environment. Be open to evaluating and reconsidering your perspectives, and seek to understand different lived experiences.

Be an inclusive teammate

Treat all teammates with respect and dignity. Embrace diversity and listen to teammates’ experiences and perspectives. Speak up against discriminatory or exclusionary behaviour, and encourage acceptance and understanding.

Be an ally

Support teammates from diverse backgrounds. Recognize their achievements and contributions and assist and encourage them when needed. Advocate for fair treatment and equal opportunity for all athletes.

Be a role model

Lead by example with an inclusive attitude. Treat every teammate with respect, empathy, and compassion regardless of their background.