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UK Coaching Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

UK Coaching: In it together – creating lasting cultural change."

Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer

UK Coaching is Here for the Coach. We are dedicated to achieving greater diversity, but we recognise that there are still inequalities in our sector for some individuals and communities.

This strategy is our commitment to ensuring coached activity is accessible for people from all backgrounds, abilities and motivations, and that the coaching workforce is representative of the population of the UK. We know that a more inclusive and diverse workforce will motivate even more people to take up and continue to enjoy sport and physical activity, ultimately contributing to a healthier and happier nation.

Equity, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EEDI) is embedded as a golden thread in everything we do.

We work closely with subject matter experts such as the Activity Alliance, Scottish Disability Sport, Disability Sport Northern Ireland, Disability Sport Wales, Sporting Equals, Pride Sports, British Blind Sport, and Women in Sport, to help establish and then develop and deliver consistent approaches throughout the sector, providing greater opportunities for all.

Our collective work promotes and advocates the many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce and identifies key actions others can take to foster a workforce equipped with the right skills and behaviours. By doing so, we aim to create an environment where everyone feels welcome to participate in sport and physical activity, whether as a coach or participant.

We don’t just advocate for diversity and inclusion, we embody it passionately within our own workforce, including our Board, demonstrating our full commitment to fostering greater diversity and inclusion within our organisation. We have an internal EEDI working group, with established principles, to ensure we are leading by example to create a sustainable and robust inclusive culture.

Publishing our EEDI strategy will hold us true to our commitments within it.

(Mark Gannon, Chief Executive Officer)

I am thrilled to express my wholehearted endorsement for the new UK Coaching EEDI strategy. This groundbreaking initiative marks a significant step forward in promoting excellence, fairness, and accessibility within the coaching industry in the United Kingdom.

The UK Coaching EEDI strategy is designed to address the pressing need for comprehensive and sustainable change within the coaching landscape.

By prioritising excellence, equality, diversity, and inclusion, this strategy aims to create a more inclusive coaching environment that celebrates and harnesses the talents of coaches from all backgrounds.

One of the most commendable aspects of the UK Coaching EEDI strategy is its commitment to excellence. By setting high standards and providing support and resources to coaches, this strategy ensures that coaching practices in the UK are of the utmost quality. It encourages continuous professional development and cultivates a culture of excellence that benefits coaches and athletes alike.

Moreover, the strategy emphasises equality by promoting equal opportunities for all coaches, regardless of their gender, race, age, disability, sexuality or socioeconomic background. By fostering a level playing field, the UK Coaching EEDI strategy paves the way for coaches to thrive and succeed based on their merit and talent, rather than their personal characteristics.

Recognising the power of diversity, the UK Coaching EEDI strategy encourages the participation and representation of underrepresented groups within the coaching community. It aims to create a welcoming and inclusive space where coaches from all walks of life can contribute their unique perspectives and experiences, enriching the coaching landscape as a whole.

I firmly believe that the implementation of the UK Coaching EEDI strategy will have a transformative impact on the coaching industry in the UK. It will create a ripple effect that extends beyond coaching, influencing the entire sports community and society as a whole. By championing excellence, equality, diversity, and inclusion, this strategy will foster a more inclusive, representative, and socially conscious sports culture that we can all be proud of.

I applaud the vision and dedication of the individuals and organisations involved in crafting the UK Coaching EEDI strategy. Their commitment to driving positive change in the coaching profession is both commendable and inspiring. I am confident that this strategy will lay the foundation for a brighter and more inclusive future for coaches, athletes, and sports enthusiasts across the United Kingdom.

(Michelle Daltry, Head of Sport, Inclusive Employers)

I’m going to keep this real; coaching in the UK is not reflective of the wider society that we live in. There are not nearly enough people from all different walks of life, different backgrounds, ethnicities, cultures, or abilities that are involved in coaching.

It’s one of the reasons that I accepted the chance to chair UK Coaching’s Diversity Expert Group – I want to be in the room to help make transformational change in coaching and for coaches. I want to see a diverse coaching dynasty on the front line of sport and physical activity right through to the leaders and decision-makers who drive sport in the UK.

This strategy is only one part of the transformational change that is needed in coaching and ultimately through sport. The other crucial part is cultural change – the change in the way people think, acknowledge, and accept the differences that we all bring to the table, and the understanding that we are all the better for those differences through diversity. I can see that cultural competence in UK Coaching and what it brings for transforming sport for everyone. The strategy is an important piece of everything, and I commend all that have taken a role in bringing this together.

Action must follow out of any strategy, but the strategy needs to be right for the action to be effective. I hope to see the effective transformation of coaching and coaches so that it is more equitable, diverse, and inclusive for now and generations to come.

(Ladi Ajayi, UK Coaching Diversity Expert Group Chair)

UK Coaching celebrates and values the diversity of our membership and the communities that we support. We have a strong belief that equality and equity of opportunity is a powerful thread that must run through all our work to be truly successful.

We remain committed to positively promoting equality, equity, diversity, and inclusion. UK Coaching fosters a culture of being open and inclusive, welcoming all stakeholders including staff, coaches, volunteers and athletes, and treating each person with the dignity and respect they deserve.

(Alaina MacGregor, EEDI Board Champion, UK Coaching)


Our Promise

We will strive to ensure that coaching is accessible for people from all backgrounds, abilities, and motivations, and that the people involved in supporting the coaching workforce are representative of the population of the UK.

UK Coaching is the leading organisation for coaches of physical activity and sport. We want this UK Coaching Equity, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion strategy – "In it together – creating lasting cultural change" – to be reflective of our long-term values and ambitions, so it has been written for our people, by our people.

We believe everyone has the right to live free from harm, abuse, exploitation and neglect regardless of age, ability or disability, sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, marital or gender status.

We acknowledge that there are barriers for specific populations, as explored within the protected characteristics featured in the Equality Act of 2010. Within this strategy, we commit to key actions that address all of these barriers.

The ultimate UK Coaching EEDI ambition is to make long-lasting internal and external cultural change in relation to tackling inequalities.

We strive to embrace diversity and the richness that can be found in cultural differences and promote an environment where individuals can thrive, be respected, work in collaboration, and learn.

From an external perspective, we make reference to how we work with our external partners, identify opportunities to work in collaboration, our contracted workforce, products, programmes, working groups and legislation.

From an internal perspective, we refer to our culture, Board, staff, policies, and processes.

To achieve lasting and sustainable cultural change, research, insight, feedback, lived experience and working in collaboration will provide the foundations to what UK Coaching will do to address inequalities both externally and internally.

For this reason, this strategy provides a dual perspective, aiming to outline the UK Coaching External and Internal EEDI goals, and the interventions and actions we plan to take to achieve maximum impact.

The strategy will link into our Diversity and Inclusion Action plan (DIAP), which is one of the Code for Sport Governance requirements set by Sport England / UK Sport.

It is underpinned by the Sport England ambitions outlined in ‘Uniting the Movement’ and the UK Sport ambitions towards Brisbane 2032. It outlines the specific, measurable qualitative and quantitative EEDI objectives we plan to achieve and will detail:

  • UK Coaching EEDI goals, objectives and actions required to achieve these
  • how we will monitor, measure and quality assure our EEDI actions
  • how we will work collaboratively to achieve our actions.

UK Coaching strives to ensure that through our external and internal EEDI work, our ambitions and values will be aligned, reflecting the moves we want to make towards creating positive and lasting cultural change, where every individual will be supported to be their authentic self.

The diagram below illustrates how we will continue linking everything we do from an EEDI perspective and captures the intentions of the strategy and our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). We would like what we strive to promote and achieve externally to be reflected by the culture, attitudes, and behaviours of our internal infrastructure.

Why is EEDI Important to UK Coaching?

As the heartbeat of our local communities, coaches are catalysts for change. Competent, confident, and connected coaches have the power to transform lives by influencing the behaviours and attitudes of people from all backgrounds in all communities.

Coaches are conduits in supporting our communities to adopt healthier lifestyles and have an integral role to play in solving modern-day societal issues such as social isolation and loneliness; anti-social behaviour and crime; anxiety and depression.

We aspire to build a well-connected, more engaged, and better-qualified workforce that is representative of the population, capable of working across diverse communities, in multiple environments, and able to work to different outcomes.

We are excited about the opportunity to affect positive social change and tackle deeprooted inequalities to achieve our EEDI strategic vision of creating a healthier and happier nation by ensuring we create inclusive, diverse, and accessible coach learning and development opportunities, so that all coaches and participants have fair and equitable learning and are reflective of society.

Where Are We Now? The Current Landscape

In August 2022, UK Coaching hosted a series of listening circle sessions for internal staff members. We wanted to create a safe space for staff to speak about what it feels like to work at UK Coaching, share their lived experience, receive specific feedback on UK Coaching culture and use the recommendations and findings from these sessions to set the foundations to building an even more inclusive culture.

These sessions have led to the establishment of a UK Coaching EEDI internal group, which has contributed to the creation of this strategy.

This strategy aims to outline how UK Coaching will achieve these ambitions; specifically, through implementing an EEDI golden thread in everything we do.

We understand that everyone can bring valued experience and want to provide an environment where individuals feel confident to share their lived experience, skills and knowledge and apply themselves authentically.

Why EEDI Matters to UK Coaching Staff

The information above illustrates that whilst UK Coaching has contributed to some great progress, we are only part of the way through our EEDI journey and there is more to accomplish.

How Our Core Strategy and EEDI Strategy Align

UK Coaching Core Strategy UK Coaching EEDI Strategy
A healthier and happier nation. We believe that great coaching builds healthier and happier communities. Representative of society as an organisation and across the coaching landscape: To create a healthier and happier nation by ensuring we create inclusive, diverse, and accessible coach learning and development opportunities, so that all coaches and participants have fair and equitable learning and are reflective of society. To be representative of society as an organisation and ensure that all we do is inclusive by design.
Here for the Coach: To support coaches to be great. Here for every Coach: To support coaches and organisations that support coaching to be inclusive and to support every coach on their learning and development journey.
To become the UK's leading destination for learning and development, products, and services for coaches. To be the UK's first choice for accessible, inclusive, diverse, quality learning opportunities for coaches: For all learning and development from UK Coaching to embed equal opportunities through consulting and empowering to further diversify the internal and external workforce at all levels; thus ensuring that workforce is representative of society.

The UK Coaching values have been created by our staff and refreshed to coincide with the launch of our Here for the Coach strategy. The UK Coaching values are:

We Collaborate: We foster an environment of respect and inclusivity that supports self-discovery, authenticity, and belonging. We encourage the diversity of thoughts, experiences, and backgrounds and celebrate participation and partnership in all our endeavours.

We Coach: Great coaching is about the person-centred experience that is positive, motivational, caring, and rewarding. We solicit the input of others and strive for transparency and inclusiveness in all communications, ensuring that people feel heard.

We Care: We care about diversity in physical activity and sport and proactively strive to tackle inequalities. We care about making physical activity and sport safe and accessible to everyone. We demonstrate empathy, being supportive, non-judgemental, and strive to create an environment of psychological safety.

We Champion Innovation: We recognise the importance of growth and strive to create an atmosphere of continuous improvement. We embrace state-of-the-art technology and innovate by providing high-quality learning content and delivery. We are bold, are prepared to rip up the rule book and look for new ways to achieve our collective goals.

UK Coaching EEDI Principles

UK Coaching will follow the below EEDI journey, linked to the following core principles, which outline the considerations and process for embedding EEDI into everything we do as a golden thread.

The journey and principles will help us to achieve our goals and are underpinned by the UK Coaching values.

The cyclical diagram represents a holistic approach and learning journey to achieving a diverse and inclusive culture both externally and internally.

Consult: We plan to consult as part of any project we deliver. This includes obtaining input from both external and internal consultation. This will provide us with the opportunity to seek diverse perspectives and viewpoints, and to consider these as part of our scoping process. Consultation will take place over a variety of different platforms, both virtually and face-to-face. This theme links to the UK­ Coaching values ‘We collaborate’ and ‘We care’.

Discover: This will be driven through a combination of both qualitative and quantitative data. UK Coaching will consider what the key findings are from data collation to set baselines but will also embed a humanistic approach that will seek to capture authentic and diverse lived experiences. This approach will assist in identifying opportunities for improvement. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We collaborate’ and ‘We champion innovation’.

Explore: We will ensure our platforms and learning remain accessible and inclusive, as well as continuing to explore alternative formats for maximum reach, delivery, and impact. Ongoing and current insight will ensure that UK Coaching creates learning that is innovative, fit for purpose, and involves the target audience from the scoping phase. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We champion innovation’ and ‘We coach’.

Create: UK Coaching will create robust, quality, and inclusive learning opportunities – both from an internal and external perspective. We will involve appropriate audiences through testing, piloting and navigation. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We collaborate’ and ‘We champion innovation’.

Learn: It is important that we learn what works well and what we can continue to build on and develop. We will seek to establish key findings and messaging from an EEDI perspective in everything we say and do. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We collaborate’ and ‘We care’.

Share/Celebrate: UK Coaching will share any lessons learnt, insight and best practice across the sector. We will continue creating products that are inclusive and address topics such as barriers faced by specific populations. We will strive to create targeted interventions through partnership working and creating safe spaces where people can share their lived experience to help others learn. We will celebrate success through our channels and will work in collaboration to create solutions. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We collaborate’ and ‘We champion innovation’.

Build: Using lessons learnt and best practice from across the sector, UK Coaching will build and create new opportunities for learning from an EEDI perspective. UK Coaching will continuously evolve and adapt to further develop and improve understanding and learning of EEDI topics. This theme links to the UK Coaching values ‘We coach’ and ‘We care’.

A Framework For Progress

Below is the UK Coaching EEDI framework for progress, linked to four external and internal EEDI goals. Every goal links into one of the four UK Coaching core strategy business goals and has agreed actions. These actions are not in priority order and are explored in greater detail in our Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

UK Coaching External EEDI Goals and Actions

Collaborate with the community and other partners to create and curate products, services, programmes, and content that are accessible and inclusive to meet the needs of the wider audience.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To deliver the best products and services to reinforce our mission.


E.1.1 Work in collaboration with key partners from across the sector.

E.1.2 Support/provide representation and input into EEDI-related working groups across the sector.

E.1.3 Lead on the facilitation of the external advisory groups such as the Diversity Expert Group.

E.1.4 To ensure diversity of people and thought.

E.1.5 Co-create multiple EEDI-related learner journeys.

E.1.6 Undertake positive intervention through external partnerships such as co-creating relevant initiatives and strategies, e.g. ‘Women and girls’ to support specific populations to access and stay in coaching.


Identify and overcome barriers and challenges by developing creative interventions which embrace and role model Equity, Equality, Diverse and Inclusive values.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To understand our customer and stakeholder needs and provide excellent customer service.


E2.1 Lead on capturing key data/insight that will help us to baseline and understand key barriers, motivations, and impact.

E2.2 Gather quality and purposeful lived experiences from coaches throughout the pathway, to better understand barriers and create suitable interventions.

E2.3 Ensure project management processes are inclusive by design, including through testing/focus groups to ensure products meet the needs of target audiences.

E2.4 Use appropriate and inclusive language in all learning and development opportunities to ensure learnings meet the needs of target audiences.

E2.5 Support learners to overcome barriers/challenges including reviewing costs/creating interventions to ensure products remain accessible to all, including specific populations.

E2.6 Maintain WCAG AA standards and continue working towards achieving AAA standards to ensure highest standards of accessibility.


Ensure all coaches have equal access to coaching experiences, in multiple environments/sports, through quality and accessible learning and development opportunities.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To understand our customer and stakeholder needs and provide excellent customer service.


E3.1 Ensure our platforms, content and learning are accessible so our programmes, products and content meet the needs of the widest audience.

E3.2 Develop programmes, products, and content internally that are accessible and inclusive.

E3.3 Deliver live and recorded EEDI topic webinars and learning to ensure coaches and staff know how to integrate EEDI into their activities.

E3.4 Ensure 1st4sport qualifications are accessible and cater for reasonable adjustments.


Support a diverse coaching workforce at all levels and across all support functions working for/linked to UK Coaching.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To understand our customer and stakeholder needs and provide excellent customer service.


E4.1 Develop a more diverse workforce at all levels, to be representative of society.

E4.2 Further diversify contracted workforce to match national levels.

E4.3 Support gender parity across qualification levels to match national levels.

E4.4 Use diverse and representative imagery across the organisation.

E4.5 Promote role models across the sector at all levels to show the diversity within the community.

E4.6 Celebrate Diversity and Inclusion at the UK Coaching Awards.

UK Coaching Internal EEDI Goals and Actions

Lead an inclusive and diverse organisation; listening to and valuing our people, their lived experience, whilst embracing diversity of thought, diversity of people, and intersectionality.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To develop, enable and facilitate a high performing organisation focusing on our people and influencing a positive and diverse culture.


I1.1 Establish EEDI as an organisation priority/golden thread.

I1.2 Role model behaviours linked to the UK Coaching values.

I1.3 Ensure EEDI integrated into review / creation of all policies / processes / practices.

I1.4 Achieve and maintain Level 3 Disability confident employer status.

I1.5 Maintain gender parity at Board level and across the workforce.


Create an Equality, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EEDI) and people centric culture where employees feel empowered to uphold our values whilst being their authentic self.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To develop, enable and facilitate a high performing organisation focusing on our people and influencing a positive and diverse culture.


I2.1 Establish partnerships, work collaboratively and regularly engage with all levels of staff to fully understand staff views.

I2.2 Develop a curated learning platform with an EEDI focus to enable direct access to resources, CPD and learning for our internal workforce.

I2.3 Identify and celebrate key well-being and EEDI awareness days throughout the year.


Create a safe space for open and honest conversation by providing platforms where our people can honestly voice their views, opinions and thoughts to help shape, implement and live our priorities, policies and strategy in a positive and meaningful way.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

To develop, enable and facilitate a high performing organisation focusing on our people and influencing a positive and diverse culture.


I3.1 Create safe spaces for staff to share and learn from lived experience.

I3.2 Provide regular opportunities for staff to contribute and influence positive change regarding the culture of the organisation.

I3.3 Utilise Best Companies EEDI findings to learn from staff feedback.

I3.4 Promote staff well-being through raising awareness of staff Mental Health First Aiders, their group, and other initiatives.


Fully reflect modern UK society through effective recruitment, training, and ongoing support of a diverse and inclusive workforce at all levels.

Links to UK Coaching business objective:

  • To be a sustainable business.
  • To develop, enable and facilitate a high performing organisation focusing on our people and influencing a positive and diverse culture.


I4.1 Create and collate EEDI data for wider cascade and board reporting to help us better understand who we are.

I4.2 Take positive action to improve EEDI aspects at all levels to maintain diversity and inclusion across the workforce.

I4.3 Implement inclusive recruitment processes, linked to conducting an end-to-end recruitment review across all levels.

I4.4 Establish and capitalise on partnership and wider networking (learning, sharing good practice, networking) to further improve EEDI activities.

*The actions linked to each goal will be outlined in the UK Coaching Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP), which will detail the measurable qualitative and quantitative data against each action linked to short, medium and long-term timescales. UK Coaching recognises that for meaningful and sustainable change to happen, the environments that coaches operate in must also strive for continuous change.

In addition to the external environments, from an internal perspective we aim to support and empower the internal infrastructure, at all levels, to have a good understanding of EEDI topics and create a safe space where all feel comfortable to be their authentic self, voice their opinions, respect one another and drive change for continuous improvement.

What Success Looks Like

  1. We embrace and value every individual and what they have to offer so in turn, individuals will feel valued.

  2. Staff feel heard and empowered to build on previous success.

  3. We constantly strive to lead the way in accessible learning, opportunities, policies, and guidance and we work with key external partners to achieve this – with the vision that the coaching workforce will one day be representative of society.

  4. We share lived experiences, both externally and internally, so that others can learn and understand some of the challenges faced by underrepresented populations.

  5. We embrace change and build a culture that values and champions diversity and inclusion at all levels.

  6. We live through our values in everything we do.

  7. We aspire to have a workforce that is diverse and representative of all sections of society, in both people and through diversity of thought and perspective – supported by an inclusive infrastructure across all levels.

  8. We aspire to influence positive change and further create an inclusive culture.

  9. Everyone at UK Coaching takes responsibility for creating and maintaining an inclusive culture.

  10. We all work in collaboration across all levels.

  11. Diversity and inclusion are a golden thread throughout everything we do and create.

We Are the Team Behind the Coach

The team behind the nation’s coaches, providing support, tools and guidance which assists coaches to be GREAT, inspires people and transforms lives.

We develop inspiring coaches to bring great coaching to the lives of millions.

Our UK Coaching Club connects, assists, represents, and empowers all coaches. Whatever your physical activity or sport, whatever your background, whatever your level.