Changing the face of British sport governance

Sporting Equals and the University of Leicester are partners in a New LeaderBoard Academy in Sports Governance

Politicians and senior officials in British sport all agree that we are missing out on the skills and expertise that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals, workers and former athletes can bring to the boardrooms of national governing bodies and other organisations involved in running British sport.

The LeaderBoard Academy is a unique project involving Sporting Equals and the University of Leicester which is designed to create a pool of BAME talent from diverse backgrounds that is ‘board ready’ and prepared to step into positions across the UK sport structure (both in paid and voluntary roles). 

More BAME recruits are needed to influence policy and promote greater equality and diversity (particularly race equality) at the top level in sport. Presently, there are only 4% BAME sports board members. Sporting Equals and the University of Leicester are launching the LeaderBoard Academy to help get more talented BAME people onto sports boards, who have the ability to communicate and share their knowledge at senior levels.

The Academy Programme includes three full-time training days on 22nd November 2018 and 17-18th January 2019, delivered by academics, management, leadership and equality experts, and key figures in sport. These study days are followed by a series of online learning and networking events for the Academy products.

Sporting Equals will then help mentor and match these Academy ‘graduates’ to appropriate governance roles within sporting organisations.

Christine Ohuruogu MBE, former world and Olympic 400m champion, said:

“This is a great concept that could spark real change. Often individuals and former athletes from BAME backgrounds find it hard to find a route into sports administration and leadership. LeaderBoard can provide just the stepping stone needed to help direct talented people into new roles in sport.”

Arun Kang, CEO of Sporting Equals, said:

“Presently, sport does not reflect the society we live in. Decisions about BAME and other equality groups are often made by elite groups that do not reflect diversity or inclusion. The result is a lack of diversity at all levels in sport. We are looking for passionate and talented BAME people to help change the face of British sport by joining the LeaderBoard Academy. This is a wonderful opportunity for Sporting Equals and its partners to promote BAME talent and to make sports governance much more representative of the people who play and watch sport in this country.”

Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, said:

“We are very proud to be partners in this unique project with Sporting Equals. The aim of LeaderBoard fits very well with the University of Leicester’s other equality initiatives and our own, highly diverse, student body. All are agreed that sports governance needs a greater BAME presence and input. We hope the LeaderBoard Academy, hosted here in Leicester, can help deliver excellent candidates.”

If you are interested in enrolling in the 2018/2019 LeaderBoard Academy at the University of Leicester, you can get an application form from