Rowlands Castle Tennis Club - Diversity & Inclusivity Policy


Diversity and Inclusion in Rowlands Castle Tennis Club

This following Policy sets out our commitment and includes our Safe and Inclusive Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure. It supports our overall aims for diversity and inclusion that are to ensure that:

Tennis is diverse and inclusive 
Diversity and inclusion are embedded in our club’s culture and our behaviours
We create a culture where inclusive leadership thrives
We take a proactive approach using positive action to ensure that communities and individuals are valued and able to achieve              their full potential. 

To achieve these aims we believe that everyone involved in Tennis has a vital role to play in promoting diversity and inclusion and we ask everyone to become Safe and Inclusive Tennis Champions – proactively promoting Safe and Inclusive tennis and taking action against all forms of discrimination.

We are proud to have a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that demonstrates our commitment to making tennis diverse and inclusive. The commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is upheld by all - Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), Tennis Scotland, Tennis Wales and the Tennis Foundation.

These commitments are fully supported by the Rowlands Castle Tennis Club Committee.

Together we can make a positive difference to people from different backgrounds to participate in Tennis at our club.

1. Diversity and Inclusion Policy Statement

The Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure detailed below are applicable to Rowlands Castle Tennis Club and are based on similar policies of:

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
Tennis Scotland
Tennis Wales
The Tennis Foundation.

As a club we contribute actively to enable more people to play tennis more often, in a manner that it is safe, inclusive, and fair. This applies regardless of a person’s age, disability, gender reassignment status, sex, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race or sexual orientation, socio-economic status or any other background. 

We recognise that many concerns and/or disclosures may have both safeguarding and diversity and inclusion elements to them. This policy reflects this through its reporting procedures, which replicate the safeguarding concern reporting procedures.  

This Policy strives to minimise risk and support our venue, programmes, events and individuals to deliver and experience a positive tennis experience for everyone. The Reporting Procedures outlined below details how to respond to safeguarding or discrimination concerns/disclosures.

2. Use of Terminology

We have adopted the following definitions to explain our approach to diversity and inclusion in tennis:

Discrimination – treating someone in a less favourable way and causing them harm, because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation or any other reason.

Diversity – acknowledging, celebrating and respecting the differences between groups of people and between individuals. We will work to ensure that people can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy their sport without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.

Harassment – unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating and intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The focus is on the perception of the complainant not the intent of the perpetrator. Employees can complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it is not directed at them.

Inclusion – ensuring that tennis is equally accessible to any member of the community so they can be fully involved in whatever capacity they choose; and that they are supported to achieve their potential in any capacity e.g. player, employee, volunteer, coach or official. We will work to ensure that people have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate to the full extent of their own ambitions and abilities, that they feel respected and valued and are not singled out, with regard to their age, disability, gender reassignment status, sex, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race or sexual orientation, socio-economic status or any other background.

Positive action – Rowlands Castle Tennis Club is committed to taking positive steps to counteract the effects of physical or cultural barriers – whether real or perceived – that restrict the opportunity for all sections of the community to participate equally and fully. We will ensure that we institute, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access to tennis and participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented in tennis or has difficulty accessing it and that they can do so with dignity or without being singled out.  

(See Appendix A for full glossary of terms)

3. Scope

Rowlands Castle Tennis Club has direct safe and inclusive responsibility for:

Coaches and officials they employ;
Volunteers, including committee members they recruit
Events and programmes they run; and
Ensuring all accreditation requirements are met by accredited coaches

We recommend and support the development of good diversity and inclusion practice to:

Accredited coaches
Players, parents and carers;
Volunteers
Club Events.

This Policy is in line with national legislation (see appendix B for details of the relevant legislation) and applicable to our club, specifically to every person and place that we have direct safe and inclusive responsibility for.

4. Responsibility for implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility: not responding to discriminatory or unacceptable language and behaviour is not an option.

The club’s Committee and Chair have overall accountability for this Policy and Reporting Procedure, for being the strategic lead            on diversity and inclusion and for ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation
The club’s chair Robin Thompson and Welfare Officer Liz Marenghi have overall responsibility for implementation of the policy.
The Chair and Welfare Officer of the club are responsible for updating this Policy and Reporting Procedure in line with legislative          and organisational developments; and develop a strategic and proactive approach to diversity and inclusion and respond to                  discrimination concerns.
The Rowlands Castle Tennis Club’s Welfare Officer, Liz Marenghi, is responsible for supporting  the club to identify where                      diversity and inclusion support is required; to implement safe and inclusive procedures; promote diversity and inclusion                          principles, including the Safeguarding and Reporting Procedure, to all the venues they manage, programmes, events and                      individuals including players, parents and carers.
All coaches, members and volunteers involved in tennis are responsible for raising diversity and inclusion concerns with the                  club’s Welfare Officer to start with; then the Safe and Inclusive Tennis team if applicable, as outlined in the Reporting Procedure.
Players, parents and guardians are responsible for upholding the Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure.
Rowlands Castle Tennis Club is committed to:
       o formally adopt this policy, 
       o take steps to ensure that our committee, members, participants and volunteers behave in accordance with the policy,                            including where appropriate taking disciplinary action under our constitution;
       o ensure that access to membership as well as access to participation is open and inclusive;
       o publish accurate information about the location and accessibility of our facilities; and
       o support measures and initiatives that British Tennis may institute or take part in to advance the aims of this policy as part of                  our commitment to our LTA membership.  

Where there is a diversity and inclusion concern/disclosure: 

The individual who is told about, hears, or is made aware of the concern/disclosure is responsible for following the Concern                   Reporting Procedure

5. Breaches of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure

        Where there are concerns that diversity and inclusion good practice has not been followed, all staff are encouraged to follow                your club’s whistleblowing policy; 

        If someone comes to you with a concern around discrimination, listen to their complaint, reassure them and advise them of the              routes listed in the Reporting procedures.

        Breaches of this Policy and/or failure to comply with the outlined responsibilities may result in the following by the LTA, Tennis                Scotland, Tennis Wales and/or the Tennis Foundation:

       • Venues – Potential removal of LTA accreditation 
       • Staff – disciplinary action leading to possible dismissal and legal action.
       • Contracted consultants, officials and coaches – termination of current and future roles within all four organisations and                          possible legal action.
       • Recruited volunteers, including councillors and board members – termination of current and future roles within all four                            organisations and possible legal action.

Actions taken by staff, consultants, volunteers, officials, coaches, venues, clubs and/or events outside of the LTA, Tennis Scotland, Tennis Wales and/or the Tennis Foundation that are seen to contradict this Policy may be considered a violation of this Policy. 

Where an appeal is lodged in response to a safeguarding decision made by the LTA Safe and Inclusive Tennis Team and Safeguarding and Protection Committee and/or Licensing and Registration Committee, an independent appeal body such as Sport Resolutions may be used. Their decision is final.

6. Related policies and guidance 

Safeguarding Policy
Whistle-blowing Policy
Data Protection Policy
And others as may be identified from time to time.

Rowlands Castle Tennis Club Code of Conduct

Prioritise the well-being of all children and adults at all times
Be a positive role model. Act with integrity, even when no one is looking
Help to create a safe and inclusive environment both on and off court and promote the
Fair Play values: enjoy; respect
Value and celebrate diversity and make all reasonable efforts to meet individual needs
Keep clear boundaries between your professional and personal life, including on social media
Check you have the relevant consent from parents/carers, children and adults before taking or
using photos and videos
Ensure your own roles and responsibilities, and those of everyone you are responsible for, are
clearly outlined and everyone has the information, training and support to carry them out
Where possible, do not be alone with a child or adult at risk; if you have to be alone with a child or adult at risk; let someone        know such as a carer, club secretary, volunteer etc.
Do not abuse, neglect, harm or discriminate against anyone; or act in a way that may be
interpreted as such*
Doing nothing is NOT an option: report all concerns and disclosures as soon as possible, following the Concern Reporting  Procedure. If someone is in immediate danger, dial 999.

*It is illegal to have a relationship with someone who is under 18 years old if you are in a position of
trust; it is illegal to have a sexual relationship with anyone under the age of 16 whether they give
consent or not.

This Code of Conduct should be interpreted in a spirit of integrity, transparency and common sense, with the best interests of children and adults at risk as the primary consideration.

Appendix A:

Glossary of terms

Age: This refers to a person belonging to a particular age group, which can mean people of the same age (e.g. 32-year old’s) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30-year old’s, or people over 50).

Bisexual or Bi: – refers to a person who has an emotional and/or sexual orientation towards more than one gender.

Bullying: can involve any form of physical, emotional, sexual or discriminatory abuse. It can also include cyber-bullying – using social media or mobile phones to perpetrate bullying.

Direct discrimination: treating someone less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic.

Disability: A person having a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Discrimination: treating someone in a less favourable way and causing them harm, because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Discrimination by association: discrimination against someone because they are associated with another person who possesses a protected characteristic.

Discrimination by perception: discrimination against someone because of the belief that someone possesses a protected characteristic.

Diversity: acknowledging and celebrating the differences between groups of people and  between individuals.

Equality: treating everyone with fairness and respect and recognising and responding to the needs of individuals. Taking positive actions to address existing disadvantages and barriers affecting how people engage with and participate in tennis. 

Ethnicity: the social group a person belongs to, and either identifies with or is identified with by others, as a result of a mix of cultural and other factors including language, diet, religion, ancestry and physical features traditionally associated with race. Ethnicity is essentially self-defined and may change over time.

Gay: refers to a man who has an emotional, romantic and/or sexual orientation towards men. Also, a generic term for lesbian and gay sexuality - some women define themselves as gay rather than lesbian.

Gender identity: this is an individual’s internal self-perception of their own gender. A person may identify as a man, as a woman, as neither man or woman (non-binary) or as androgyne/polygender.

Gender reassignment: The process of changing or transitioning from one gender to another.

Harassment: unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating and intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The focus is on the perception of the complainant not the intent of the perpetrator. Employees can complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it is not directed at them.

Hate crime: crime that is targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s disability, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender identity. This can be committed against a person or property. 

Homophobia: the fear, unreasonable anger, intolerance or/and hatred toward homosexuality, lesbian gay and bisexual people whether that person is homosexual or not.

Inclusive leadership – leaders who are aware of their own biases and preferences, actively seek out and consider different views and perspectives to inform better decision-making. They see diverse talent as a source of competitive advantage and inspire diverse people to drive organisational and individual performance towards a shared vision.

An Inclusive Leader – is a role model exemplar of inclusive behaviour; listens to and seeks out the views of diverse people and takes account of these views, without bias, in the decisions they make; appreciates that a diverse group of people will generate more creative solutions to problems and encourages this; inspires people through a shared vision of future success and motivates them to deliver it; leverages difference for high performance and provides responsive excellence to customers’, clients’ and service users’ needs; provides positive feedback to boost people’s self-efficacy; puts effort into helping diverse people identify their talents and develop them for performance now and future advancement; communicates authentically and honestly in a way that inspires trust, loyalty and well-being.

Inclusion: recognising that people from different backgrounds may have difference needs and expectations and may experience barriers in trying to access tennis. An inclusive venue is one that takes steps to attract and engage with people from many different backgrounds and meet  their needs so that everyone has a positive experience and has the opportunity to achieve  their potential.

Indirect discrimination: a practice, policy or rule which applies to everyone in the same way, but that has a worse effect on some people than others.

LGBTQ: an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Questioning.

Lesbian: a woman who has an emotional romantic and /or sexual orientation towards women. 

Monitoring equality: refers to data collection and analysis to check if people with protected characteristics are participating and being treated equally. For example: monitoring of the number of people with a disability who play tennis at our venue.

Non-binary – an umbrella term for a person who does not identify as only male or only female, or who may identify as both.
Positive action: a range of lawful actions that seek to overcome or minimise disadvantages (for example in employment opportunities) that people who share a protected characteristic have experienced, or to meet their different needs.

Pregnancy and maternity: pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Questioning: it refers to the process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Race: refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins. 

Radicalisation, extremism and terrorist behavior: Radicalisation is the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and/or forms of extremism. Extremism is vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. There is no single way to identify an individual who is likely to be susceptible to extremist ideology. The internet and the use of social media can be a major factor in the radicalisation of people.

Reasonable adjustment: What is considered reasonable will depend on all the circumstances of the case including the size of an organisation and its resources, what is practicable, the effectiveness of what is being proposed and the likely disruption that would be caused by taking the measure in question as well as the availability of financial assistance

Religion or belief: religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.

Sex: refers to the biological makeup such as primary and secondary sexual characteristics, genes, and hormones. The legal sex is usually assigned at birth and has traditionally been understood as consisting of two mutually exclusive groups, namely men and women.

Sexual orientation:  a person’s emotional, romantic and/or sexual attraction to another person.

Trans: an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. Trans people may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, cross dresser, non-binary, genderqueer (GQ).

Transphobia: the fear, unreasonable anger, dislike, intolerance or/and hatred toward trans people, whether that person has undergone gender reassignment or is perceived to have done that.

Transsexual Person: someone who has started the process of changing their gender identity is undergoing or has undergone gender reassignment. 

Unconscious bias or implicit bias: this refers to a bias that we are unaware of, and which happens outside of our control. It is a bias that happens automatically and is triggered by our brain making quick judgments and assessments of people and situations, influenced by our background, cultural environment and personal experiences.

Victimisation: when someone is treated badly because they have made or supported a complaint or grievance.

Appendix B:

Legislation

The Equality Act 2010  legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it’s unlawful to treat someone.

It is against the law to discriminate against anyone because of:
o age
o being or becoming a transsexual person
o being married or in a civil partnership
o being pregnant or on maternity leave
o disability
o race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
o religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
o sex
o sexual orientation
These are called ‘protected characteristics’.

People are protected from discrimination:
o at work
o in education
o as a consumer
o when using public services
o when buying or renting property
o as a member or guest of a private club or association

People are also protected from discrimination if:
o they are associated with someone who has a protected characteristic, e.g. a family member or friend
o they have complained about discrimination or supported someone else’s claim

Discrimination can come in one of the following forms:
o direct discrimination - treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others.
o indirect discrimination - putting rules or arrangements in place that apply to everyone, but that put someone with a protected                  characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.
o harassment - unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic that violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive                environment for them.
o victimisation - treating someone unfairly because they’ve complained about discrimination or harassment.