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Only 5 per cent of athletes funded by UK Sport come from black or Asian backgrounds

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The number of athletes from ethnic minority backgrounds being funded by UK Sport has not increased over the past year, shining the spotlight on the organisation’s diversity credentials.

Of the 1,124 athletes receiving public and National Lottery funding from the quango between April 2016 and March 2017, only 1 per cent came from an Asian background and around 4 per cent were black.

According to the body’s annual report, the number of non-white athletes – those who described themselves as Asian, black or mixed/other – who had been funded remained flat at 10 per cent when compared to the previous 12 months.

The proportion of BAME athletes funded falls below the 13 per cent of the UK population that is described as ethnic minority.

This is despite claims made by UK Sport’s chief executive Liz Nicholl that there was “absolutely no question” that the proportion would rise, particularly following the implementation of schemes such as #DiscoverYour that emphasise a more level playing field to discovering talent.

The number of disabled athletes being funded by UK Sport also fell, from 27 per cent in 2015/16 to 23 per cent in 2016/17.

UK Sport’s ethnic diversity at staff level has also fallen, with only 9 per cent of employees describing themselves as either black (5 per cent), Asian (2 per cent) or mixed/other (2 per cent) – down on last year’s total of 12 per cent. 91 per cent of employees were white.

Last October, UK Sport published the government’s Code for Sports Governance alongside Sport England – a document that calls for diversity at all sports governing bodies receiving public funding, particularly at board level.

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The number of athletes from ethnic minority backgrounds being funded by UK Sport has not increased over the past year, shining the spotlight on the organisation’s diversity credentials.
SAR,PUB
Of the 1,124 athletes funded by UK Sport, only 4 per cent (or around 45 athletes) were black