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England Touch takes a lead on equality, diversity and inclusion

On this #ZeroDiscriminationDay, England Touch is proud to declare an ambition to become an international leader when it comes to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

For the last seven months, an EDI working group with representation from players, volunteers, coaching and at Board level has been meeting regularly to develop strategy, and create short-, mid- and long-term action plans that will allow the organisation to achieve this.

To date, the EDI working group has helped create the job description for an EDI Officer position, refined policies and developed a communications strategy that will help England Touch tell the stories of its members and players throughout the Touch community with a renewed authenticity.

The group continues to explore improvements that need to be made to ensure that England Touch keeps EDI as an important part of any training given to coaches, officials and players and to offer support and education across the organisation where needed.

Through the future creation of an EDI Charter, clubs will be encouraged to sign up and demonstrate their own commitment in this area and to be accountable. By developing long-term outreach and community initiatives and creating toolkits for success in EDI, England Touch hopes to work with clubs to bring the sport to a wider and more diverse audience, with more people from more backgrounds being more comfortable on the Touch field.

The EDI working group has been encouraged to challenge the organisation from top to bottom - from Board level, through the High Performance programme to the grassroots of the game. Using player survey data, personal experiences and examples of EDI practices from other organisations, the working group is contributing to a body of work that will help keep equality, diversity and inclusion at the forefront of England Touch’s growth and identity.

"Touch is the most welcoming sport I have come across and everyone I speak to says the same," says England Touch CEO, Chris Simon says. "This is why it has such potential to not only be a game that people play, but a game that helps bring and keep people together, a game that can really help change peoples’ lives for the positive. It can bring communities together, it can help with physical and mental well-being and it can be part of the solution to making society more inclusive and welcoming for all.

"The ETA has and is continuing to change. We have high aspirations to grow the sport and the membership with it. We won’t get it right from day one but through the efforts of our EDI working group, we are listening, learning and cannot wait to put this into best practice."

If you would like to volunteer and contribute to the EDI working group, please email edi@englandtouch.org.uk.

We are England Touch

We are the players. We are the supporters, willing us on. We are the medals, waiting to be won. We are the touchdowns, waiting to be scored. We are the men and women of all ages. We are the talent of today. We are the potential for tomorrow. We are one team. We are England Touch