THE SPORT Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) Council has unanimously approved the set of recommendations on race, gender, diversity and inclusion in sport which was recently announced by its multi-stakeholder task force.

Spearheading this initiative is TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) president and SIGA task force chairman Brian Lewis alongside several sports executives, thought-leaders and athletes from different backgrounds and parts of the world.

In a statement issued by the task force, on September 11, the recommendations include bolstering research on the issue of race at leadership positions of international federations, as well as the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance in Sport.

Amendments to be incorporated into the 2020 edition of the SIGA Universal Standards include a bold step of setting a new ‘gold standard’ for sports organisations to gradually achieve percentage targets for gender and race diversity in the board room.

Other recommendations include specifically referencing disability as well as setting a ‘gold standard’ for all employees at sports organisations to receive unconscious bias training to install a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout its governance structure.

Further practical recommendations to SIGA include the development of a toolkit for sports organisations to facilitate the implementation of the Task Force’s proposed amendments to the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance in Sport.

This followed a week-long online SIGA-hosted sports integrity webinar, where open conversations were held among some of notable sports personnel. The intense event closed on September 11 and the council unanimously approved the set of recommendations on race, gender, diversity and inclusion in sport.

On the release of the recommendations, Lewis, who is also chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee (CANOC) and SIGA council member, said, “It has been an honour and privilege to serve on the task force with a diverse and passionate and visionary group of individuals all committed to ending all forms of discrimination, racial and gender injustices and inequalities in sport.”

The task force’s recommendations were broken down into four main areas: research and evidence base, amendments to 3.3 of the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance, development of a toolkit for sports organisations to facilitate implementation of recommendations in this area and identification and engagement of commercial partners and funding mechanism.

SIGA’s proposed ‘gold standard’ requires sporting organisations to put all their employees through unconscious bias training so that a culture of diversity and inclusion is filtered down through the organisation from top to bottom.

It mandates sports organisations to procure a recruitment firm which specialises in diversity and inclusion.

SIGA’s ‘silver standard’ promotes sports organisation to have a quality management process in place whereby their diversity and inclusion policies and practices are regularly reviewed to make sure they are current, appropriate and in line with any new legislation.

Additionally, these sporting fraternities must have a robust system in place for handling and dealing with all discrimination complaints. There needs to be an investigation followed up by appropriate action if necessary.

As their ‘bronze standard’, sports organisations must have a mechanism in place for staff and other relevant personnel (including members and volunteers) to provide anonymous feedback, such as an annual survey, thereby facilitating inclusion and allowing all voices to be heard.

The statement further read, “Each organisation shall adopt a target of, and take all appropriate actions to encourage, a minimum of 30 per cent of each gender on its board and demonstrate a strong and public commitment to progressing towards achieving gender parity and greater diversity, generally on its board, including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) diversity, and disability.”

Densign White, International Mixed Martial Arts (IMMAF) and SIGA council member, stated, “The SIGA Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is a welcome and timely initiative, and I am honoured to serve on the panel since these are topics close to my heart.

“Tackling the underrepresentation of women, BAME people and disabled people at the top end of sports organisations is crucial for change and we are currently working up policies and targets for improving diversity particularly in leadership positions.

“This includes starting at home by reviewing how we can strengthen the SIGA Universal Standards with respect to these important values, which in turn serve to strengthen organisations.”

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The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) and The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today, Friday 18th September, 2020 at the Olympic House in Port-of-Spain.

Ian Pritchard, Senior Manager (Ag.) Sport and Recreation at The UTT indicated that this MoU will establish a framework for collaboration between UTT and the TTOC, increasing the research, educational and training opportunities available to members of both institutions. Both parties expect that this will create opportunities for faculty, staff and athletes and allow accessibility to physical resources to support programmes of mutual interest.

Mr. Pritchard further indicated that a Partnership Committee, whose primary responsibility is to implement and execute the proposed goals stated in the MoU, will be established, comprising representatives of both entities.

TTOC and UTT look forward to working together to strengthening each other’s organisational capacity to the benefit of the wider society of Trinidad and Tobago.

Over the past five (5) months the TTOC has hosted a series of courses and webinars and has forged collaborations, such as this one with the University, aimed at weathering this crisis situation, as well as preparing and upskilling our athletes, coaches and administrators for the future sporting environment.

According to Annette Knott, Secretary General of the TTOC, “a meaningful collaboration has been estabished with the UTT as we explore all the opportunities in Education and Research. Our joint webinars and research projects have included care and injury prevention, where the medical staff volunteers of the TTOC have joined with the scientists at UTT to look to the best practices during this period.”

Ms. Knott further stated, “as we navigate the next steps in our Sporting environment our expectation can only be that our strength will be in continued collaborations with all the stakeholders.”

President of the TTOC Brian Lewis explained that this is a first for the TTOC and a symbolic event. The world of sport is no longer recreation but high performance.
Lewis also stated “This MoU is therefore not ticking a box for some courses but delivering technology and processes based on research and development. It must complement the work of the national sporting organisations”.

Mr. Lewis further stated “the real opportunity of this MoU is a start point for research and development. The priority from the TTOC perspective is implementation”.

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) approved, in the Extraordinary General Assembly, to change its name to CENTRO CARIBE SPORTS and to launch a new logo, within a strategy of renewal of the entity.

The president of the organization, Luis Mejía Oviedo (DOM), proclaimed to all member countries that "a new stage for Central American and Caribbean sports has begun."

The modification of CACSOS' identity to CENTRO CARIBE SPORTS eliminated the organization from having two names, one in English and the other in Spanish, and changed to a name that is understandable in any language.

It also brings with it a multicolored logo, which maintains the colors of all the flags of the countries and associated members that make up the body, based on the same theme as the Olympic rings, representing the integration of all in CENTRO CARIBE SPORTS.

The presentation of the new identity of the organization was made by Felipe Vicini (DOM) and Manuel Luna (DOM), president and member of the Marketing and Communications Commission of CENTRO CARIBE SPORTS, respectively.

“Since I decided to assume the presidency of this organization I have continued to assure everyone that my number one objective was the integration and union of all the members and the renewal of our organization towards a modern and avant-garde entity; today you are making history by approving this brand change to be able to re-launch Centro Caribe Sports ”, Mejia said after the initiative was approved.

The identity change was approved this Saturday, September 19, with the 37 countries and associate members present, during the Extraordinary General Assembly, through the ZOOM platform.

With the approval of this change, the Marketing and Communications Commission informed that it will begin to deploy the marketing strategy to bring Centro Caribe Sports closer to member countries, athletes and business brands in the region.

 

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Communications from the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO)

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Confronted by the numerous ills facing international sports, a Task Force chaired by T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis was established by the Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA) and earlier this week, the group revealed its recommendations to combat the raging issues.

This followed a week-long online "Sports Integrity seminar hosted by SIGA, where open and honest conversations were held among some of the notable people in sports. The intense event closed on Friday and the council unanimously approved the set of recommendations on race, gender, diversity and inclusion in sport.

The recommendations of the Task Force composed of sports executives, thought leaders and athletes from different backgrounds and varying parts of the world, were broken down into four main areas: 1 Research and Evidence Base; 2 Amendments to 3.3 of the SIGA Universal Standards on Good Governance; 3 Development of a Toolkit for Sports Organisations to facilitate the implementation of recommendations in this area; and 4 Identification and Engagement of Commercial Partners and Funding Mechanism.

"The work of the task force and the recommendations are a start point," said Lewis on Wednesday. "Race and gender relations in sport are a microcosm of society. It is a thorny issue with deep-seated complexities."

According to the SIGA council, the amendments, that are to be incorporated into this year's edition of the SIGA Universal Standards, include the bold step of setting a new “Gold Standard” for sports organisations to achieve targets for gender and race diversity in the board room, on an incremental basis, for example, a gradual percentage, year one, 25 per cent, year two, 35 per cent, year three, 50 per cent.

Other proposals also included specifically referencing disability in its "Universal Standards", as well as also making it a “Gold Standard” for all employees at sports organisations to receive unconscious bias training to install a culture of diversity and inclusion throughout the governance structure of a sports organisation.

Lewis said:"I believe that a collaborative approach is important. SIGA commitment is resolute. The reality of discrimination be it race and gender and all forms of discrimination is undeniable.

"Cultural and religious values contribute both as a plus and minus in certain countries. People try to characterise it as political or sport but it's about human rights."

For these guidelines to yield positive results, Lewis is adamant that it requires a commitment from all parties, honestly declaring: "It's not going to be easy."

According to Lewis, SIGA has to work alongside the respective international federations; look at constitutions, policies etc and where there are gaps highlight them and work together in creating change.

"We have to continue pressing for cultural change and reform," said the head of the Caribbean Association National Olympic Committee (CANOC).

The focus of the Task Force was on international sport with the aim of it having a trickle-down effect from international federations, which control National Federations and Continental Federations, down to clubs and individuals.

By no means the Task Force entered this venture blindly and in its research found that there is a need for an increase of visible data on Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) participation and leadership in international federations.

Also in its findings, SIGA survey or research project that focused on the issue of racism and racial discrimination and inequalities across international federations, identified that race is currently not a criteria under Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) self-assessment although gender is addressed.

To eliminate the pitfalls within in sports, SIGA has committed to continue to raise awareness and be a unifying universal voice on these issues.

"It will take persistence and perseverance. SIGA has to stay the course," said Lewis.

The Task Force recommended which level some of the amendments to the SIGA Universal Standards as set out below:

BRONZE

Sports organisation to have a mechanism in place for staff and other relevant personnel (including members and volunteers) to provide anonymous feedback, such as an annual survey, thereby facilitating inclusion and allowing all voices to be heard.

SILVER

Sports organisation to have a quality management process in place whereby their diversity and inclusion policies and practices are regularly reviewed to make sure they are current, appropriate and in line with any new legislation.

Sports organisation to have a robust system in place for handling and dealing with all discrimination complaints. There needs to be an investigation followed up by appropriate action if necessary.

GOLD

Sports organisations to put all their employees through EDI/unconscious bias training so that a culture of diversity and inclusion is filtered down through the organisation from the top to bottom.

Sports organisation to procure recruitment firm with specialised in diversity and inclusion.

Each organisation shall:

a) Adopt a target of, and take all appropriate actions to encourage, a minimum of 30 per cent of each gender on its Board

b) Demonstrate a strong and public commitment to progressing towards achieving gender parity and greater diversity generally on its Board, including, but not limited to, Black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) diversity, and disability.

Source
RACHAEL THOMPSON-KING
rachael.king @guardian.co.tt

Please find below today’s press release regarding the recommendations of the SIGA Task Force on Race, Gender, Diversity and Inclusion.

pdf PRESS RELEASE: Task Force on Race Gender Diversity and Inclusion Recommendations 11 09 2020 Final (293 KB)

pdf SIGA Task Force on Race Gender Diversity and Inclusion's Recommendation FV (343 KB)

BRIAN Lewis, president of the TTOC (TT Olympic Committee) and CANOC (Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committee), has bemoaned the measures used by global sporting leaders to combat racism and discrimination in sport.

Lewis was speaking on Monday during a web media conference on the SIGA (Sport Integrity Global Alliance) recommendations on race, gender, diversity and inclusion in sport, by a task force which he chaired.

“Racism remains the most common form of discrimination,” said Lewis. “We cannot avoid the reality that discrimination, whether it is on the basis of gender, ethnicity, the colour of your skin and age, is very much alive. Many of us in decision-making positions know the truth, see the truth but choose to deny the truth.”

Lewis, who is also a member of the SIGA Council, was speaking on the first day of SIGA’s Sport Integrity Week.

He said one thing that preoccupied him "as we worked in the task force with tremendous intensity, and support from a number of people, was this central question – can the world’s sports leaders be trusted?"

That’s a very important consideration, he said, because the world of international sports remains "very much Eurocentric" and one of older males, Lewis continued: “Individuals who are as committed, as passionate and as well-intentioned as they are, but who have never experienced racism or discrimination on the basis of gender or any other form of perceived differences that framed us versus them.”

Referring to incidents of racism and discrimination, Lewis noted, “We look at the world of sport and we see from time to time unsatisfactory pictures: whether it is monkey chants, bananas being pelted, the unequal treatment and representation of gender in the media, the reality is before us.

“The world of sport and the values, which are supposed to foster unity, equality (and) solidarity – we are living in a fools’ paradise. Sport is an aspect of society, and what bedevils society would bedevil sport.”

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