- Olympic and Paralympic funding body UK Sport has been told to back diversity
- Research has highlighted the lack of non-white athletes for Team GB at Rio 2016
- Team GB had all-white athletes in 16 of the 23 sports it competed in at the games
- The study argues for diversity and inclusion to be key to National Lottery funding
A study has laid bare the lack of BAME British Olympians and has urged UK Sport to consider diversity when handing out funding.
Of the 366 British athletes that went to Rio in total, 56 were non-white but 41 of those came from just two sports – athletics and boxing.
Only 15 non-white athletes were selected in the other 21 sports – five per cent of 274 athletes. Cycling and swimming were among the sports that had no non-white competitors.
The study by the sports marketing agency, which represents athletes Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Adam Gemili, also showed that 31 per cent of Team GB’s medallists in Rio were privately educated, even though 88 per cent of the general population go to state schools.
In conclusion, Summus Sports has suggested that ‘diversity and inclusion become a formal consideration for sports to receive National Lottery funding’.
They also believe UK Sport should ‘invest in accelerator programmes to increase the chances of success for non-white, comprehensively educated athletes in sports that show significant biases against them’.
UK Sport plan to discuss BAME representation at a summit on diversity, race and equality next week.