Breaking Barriers: Day One of the Leicester LeaderBoard Programme

Posted: Thu, 28 Mar 2024 09:00

Breaking Barriers: Day One of the Leicester LeaderBoard Programme

On February 21st, a diverse group of individuals gathered at the NSPCC National Training Centre with a shared vision — to transform the landscape of boardrooms in the sports sector. The selected candidates consisted of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, with 83% of the candidates being female, with heritages including Indian, Pakistani, Black African, and mixed.

The day kicked off with the participants mingling over tea and coffee. It was evident that the energy in the room was charged with excitement and anticipation, setting the tone for a day filled with meaningful conversations and collaboration.

Dave Stock, representing Active Together, and Arun Kang OBE, the CEO of Sporting Equals, officially welcomed the candidates. Their impassioned introduction laid the foundation for what promised to be an incredible day ahead. The emphasis on diversity and inclusion created a safe space for the candidates where they could share their lived experiences.

Yaegan Gore of Sporting Equals led an engaging icebreaker session where candidates had to submit fun facts about themselves and guess whose fact belonged to whom. This not only eased initial nerves but also reinforced the importance of unity and collaboration in the journey ahead.

Arun Kang, OBE, CEO of Sporting Equals, then delved into the local context of LeaderBoard, outlining why the LeaderBoard Academy is a crucial step towards achieving diversity at the board level in the sports sector. The discussion touched upon the successes and challenges faced, offering a realistic perspective on the road ahead and how we can truly drive change.

The mid-morning session was dedicated to hearing the personal stories of our 2024 cohort. With the candidates speaking candidly about their journeys, triumphs, and obstacles, it created a sense of vulnerability and connection among the participants. This interactive session highlighted the diverse paths that lead to leadership and the importance of embracing and celebrating differences.

In the afternoon, Surinder Sharma, the Chair of Leicestershire County FA, took centre stage to share his insights and personal experiences as the first ethnically diverse Chair within the organisation. His narrative touched on equality legislation, positive action, discrimination, and unconscious bias, providing valuable perspectives on the challenges and triumphs of breaking through barriers.

This was followed by Dr. Paul Campbell, an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester, engaging participants in a thought-provoking discussion on race and race inequality in sports. Unpacking the barriers faced by ethnically diverse groups, both on and off the playing field, the session addressed overt racism, institutional exclusions, and concluded with an insightful Q&A.

As the day drew to a close, participants gathered for the wrap-up session, reflecting on the wealth of information and inspiration they had received. The day concluded with an assignment that promised to be both introspective and enlightening – the Myres Briggs task, aimed at helping individuals identify their profiles and styles.

The inaugural day of the Leicester LeaderBoard Programme left participants inspired and motivated. It was a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion in shaping the future of leadership within the sports sector. We look forward to seeing the candidates journeys over the next two months on our LeaderBoard Academy programme.

Source and Image: Sporting Equals

Tags: News, Partner