Varsity March 2022 Mens football

BAME Sports Network

Steps we are taking to support our Black, Asian and minority ethnic students

We at Sport and Recreation and TeamUOP stand together with those in the Black community, against prejudice and injustice, against inequality, persecution and microaggressions. We stand together on the court, the pitch and any arena we compete in. We stand together to ensure we do better for our friends, families and the community.

Our vision for sport

Our vision is to build a sense of belonging and pride through sport, creating a community and culture of Portsmouth for life. As part of this vision, we are committed to developing programmes and initiatives that inspire and challenge students to be regularly active including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups. The BAME Sport Network is designed to do just that, by highlighting and creating opportunities.

We believe sport can play a key part in improving the ethnicity degree awarding gap. The British Active Students Survey (2020) reports those involved in physical activity (both gym-based and sport-based activity) self-reporting 3% higher confidence in achieving a 2:1 or above. The confidence in finding employment upon graduating is also increased by 10% in those who are physically active compared to their sedentary peers. We believe sport can be a catalyst for change which is why we’ve built this into our vision for the future.

What we're doing to encourage change

1. Widening Participation Officer

We’ve changed the way sport is represented for students. Our Sports Executive Committee has been elected by students for students. We understand that the student voice is strong and needs to be heard. We’ve introduced a Widening Participation Officer – Amirah Al-Rashid. The widening participation officer will help us create different inclusion campaigns across the year to raise awareness and engage students from minority backgrounds.

2. Increased awareness of issues within sport

Through our campaigns this year we want to raise awareness and highlight issues through sport that affect minority groups. We understand sport can be a catalyst for change and through our campaigns, we want to highlight how we can make a difference in raising awareness around key issues. Highlighting Black History Month, Pride, This Girl Can and Movember and the impact sport can play, as well as creating an inclusive environment for all those participating in physical activity.

3. Promoting opportunities

We have a number of opportunities available to students but we can do more to promote these to ensure BAME groups have the same opportunities. We have development pathways that allow students to volunteer, gain qualifications and eventually access paid opportunities in coaching and refereeing. We’re also doing more to encourage students from BAME groups to apply for student sports club committee positions.

Our student clubs are a diverse group but we recognise we can do more to highlight physical activity opportunities to BAME groups. Our BAME members make up 21.51% of all our members, which is lower than the 25% of BAME students within the University. We aim to increase this number.

What is the wider university doing?

As part of the University of Portsmouth, we’re proud to be part of a wonderfully diverse community of students from over 150 countries. As previously mentioned, 25% of these students are Black, Asian and minority ethnic. The awarding gap is a common problem in English universities. You can read more about the universities aims and support available to black students.

Every single student with ambition and ability deserves the best chance to succeed and thrive. The University has set up the Scholarship and Support Fund for Black Students to make that a reality. Your donations will help students who face many additional challenges in their day-to-day life just because of the colour of their skin.

The fund will specifically support scholarships to ensure access to learning enrichment opportunities, which may otherwise be out of reach.

Varsity March 2022 football

Scholarships will include:

  • mentorships
  • study abroad opportunities
  • internships
  • global experiences

Some 40% of the students who contact the Student Finance Centre requesting financial support are from Black, Asian and minority ethnicities. Many of these students are from lower-income families and are limited in the number of hours they can put in at a part-time job, so they often face genuine hardship.

The Scholarship and Support Fund for Black Students will provide students with additional opportunities and experiences, and help provide equal opportunities, removing at least some of the financial obstacles that stand in their way.

As part of the Scholarship and Support Fund for Black Students, we at UOP Sport provide free health and fitness and sports club membership for scholars for the duration of their studies. 

To help and provide support to black students you can contribute to the scholarship and support fund for black students.