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BGRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy

BGRC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy

The Equality and Human Rights Commission describes equality as: ‘Ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents.’

British Rowing, and BGRC, believes that in order to achieve equality we need to apply an equitable practice and provide what is necessary, i.e. not always treating people the same, for everyone to have access to the same opportunities.

Diversity and inclusion
The term diversityrefers to a mix of people from different backgrounds. ‘Inclusion’ is the culture in which the mix of people can come together, take part in the environment they are in, feel comfortable and confident to be themselves. Inclusion ensures that everyone feels valued and importantly, adds value.

The rights and obligations set out in this policy apply equally to all club members, Board members, club officers, volunteers, and participants of clubs, events, and organisations affiliated or recognised by British Rowing.

BGRC, in line with the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Policy from British Rowing, is fully committed to the principles of equality of opportunity and is responsible for ensuring that none of its members, volunteers or club officers receives less favourable treatment, intimidation, or discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, gender reassignment, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy, maternity, religion or belief, socio-economic status, sex, sexual orientation or political belief.

BGRC will make every effort to ensure that everyone, who wishes to, has an equal opportunity to participate in the sport of rowing, whether as a beginner, participant, or as a coach, manager, administrator or official.

BGRC demands an environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, bullying or other intimidating personal behaviours.  We are committed to maintaining a professional, harassment-free working and rowing environment.  All members, officers and directors are permitted to participate in – and enjoy – their rowing as individual club members without harassment.

The following behaviour is expressly prohibited and may result in exclusion from BGRC:

  • Unwelcome conduct – whether verbal, physical, or visual – that is based on a persons protected status, such as race, colour, religion, sex, gender, age, national origin, citizenship status, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status or any other protected status or protected characteristics.  This includes harassment of another individual whether verbal, physical or visual.
  • Abusive language and/or physical aggression, deliberately causing injury to another or any disorderly conduct or malicious disturbance. This includes intimidation or harassment of others.
  • Sexual harassment. This includes unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favours, as well as other physical, verbal, or visual conduct based on sex when:
  • Submission to the conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of participation; or the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s participation by creating a hostile, offensive, or intimidating environment.
  • Sexual harassment is conduct based upon sex, whether directed toward a person of the same or opposite sex.

Commitment to inclusion
British Rowings Inclusive Sport Plan, Committed to Inclusionoutlines the current picture in rowing and a framework for change which is built on two areas;

  1. Building a culture that values and champions diversity and inclusion.
  2. Taking positive action to improve diversity and inclusion at all levels.

More information including the framework can be found in British Rowings Committed to Inclusion.

BGRC, in accordance with British Rowing, will display its commitment to inclusivity by:

  • Creating an environment free of bullying, harassment, victimisation and discrimination, promoting dignity and respect for all, and where individual differences and the contribution of all staff, volunteers and members are recognised and valued.
  • Providing appropriate training to all its club officers, Board members and key volunteers to raise awareness of both collective and individual responsibilities.
  • Maintaining our representation where we are doing well, and improving representation in areas where we could improve.
  • Publicising our commitment to all members, Board members, club officers, volunteers.
  • Monitoring, evaluating, and reviewing the impact of policies in order to set benchmarks and track progress.

Discrimination can take the following forms:

  • Direct discrimination – when someone is treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic*, or someone thinks you have that protected characteristic (known as discrimination by perception) or you are connected to someone with that protected characteristic (known as discrimination by association).
  • Indirect discrimination – when there is a provision, criterion or practice that applies in the same way for everybody but disadvantages a group of people or individual with a protected characteristic. 
  • Harassment – when an individual receives unwanted conduct related to a protected characteristic and the conduct has the purpose or effect or violating the individual’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. It is also harassment if the unwanted conduct is sexual in nature or is related to gender reassignment or sex. Or the individual is treated less favourably because they did not submit to or rejected the unwanted conduct. 
  • Victimisation – when someone is treated badly because they complained about discrimination or helps someone else who has been discriminated against.

BGRC regards discrimination, harassment or victimisation as serious misconduct and any member, club officer, Board member, volunteer who discriminates against, harasses or victimises any other person will be liable to appropriate disciplinary action.

* Protected characteristics are defined in the Equality Act 2010 as: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.

Responsibility for implementation
Equity, diversity, and inclusion are everyones responsibility: not responding to discriminatory or unacceptable language and behaviour is not an option.

All employees, members, volunteers, and officials have the responsibility to respect, act in accordance with and thereby support and promote the spirit and intentions of this policy.

Grievances and disciplinary action
To safeguard an individuals rights under the policy a club member, volunteer or official who believes that they have suffered inequitable treatment within the scope of this policy may raise the matter through the appropriate grievance procedure.

Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken against any club member, volunteer or official who violates the organisations Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy.

Further information
For further information visit the British Rowing website:

Last Updated March 2023