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Boosting students’ understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion in sport

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a female coach in a male dominated sport? Or to be an athlete with a chronic health condition? Or to face ageism in your favourite sport?

Students from the School of Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire have taken part in a specially organised Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Week to consider these topics and more. The event formed part of the university's Your Future Plan (YFP) activities, designed to help students develop the skills, experience and confidence to make their career dreams a reality.

Current students heard from diverse speakers, including University of Gloucestershire graduate Josh Rudd, who now works in performance lifestyle for the English Institute of Sport. Josh also recently set up a Pride in the Water initiative, which aims to enhance the support, visibility and engagement of the LGBT+ community across British Swimming.

Maryka Holtzhausen, a retired Severn Stars and South African netball player who received over 100 caps for her country, discussed her experiences of religion in sport.

Other speakers included:

  • Edleen John (director for international, corporate affairs and EDI at the FA)
  • Nic Evans (elite female rugby coach, who discussed coaching in a male dominated environment)
  • Gabe Knott-Fayle (who discussed cisgenderism and misrepresentations of transgender athletes in the media)

Dr Rachael Bullingham, academic course leader and senior lecturer for PE, said: "Our EDI week has provided insightful and thought-provoking sessions to challenge both staff and students' understanding of the physical activity and sporting environment. The talks added context to the issues we cover in lectures. I'd like to thank the speakers for giving their time and expertise."

Read more about the School of Sport and Exercise on the university's website.

Find out about the university's Your Future Plan initiative on the university's website.

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