RYA Scotland is mid-way through a four year plan, a significant part of which is to ensure that boating in Scotland offers ‘a place for everyone’. Equality underpins everything we do and since achieving the Sport Councils Advanced Equality Standard in 2016 we have continued to push to be the best we can be.
RYA Scotland believes that we should be a champion for underrepresented groups in our sport. We already have a brilliantly successful programme in RYA Sailability which ensures we welcome people with disabilities. We are bringing in a series of events which we believe will encourage more women to engage in boating activities and we will begin to look at much more meaningful engagement of young people in our decision making processes as we evaluate our stakeholder representation through 2019. However we also want to ensure that we recognise and support the inclusion of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people in our boating community, something we think we can do better.
Through 2018 we have been working towards the LGBT Youth Scotland Foundation Charter. Their support has been invaluable and challenging and has given us great confidence in our activities but also led us to understand we can and should do more and better for the LGBT+ Community in Scottish boating.
RYA Scotland has created a small group of Champions who are actively supporting our efforts to improve our support for the LGBT+ Community in Scottish boating and across our affiliated clubs and training centres. We have already made a significant input to the RYA UK guidance to clubs on transgender issues, supported the development of the policy on transgender squad members and made amendments to RYA Scotland policies to make them reflect LGBT+ rights more accurately.
Alongside this, we have commissioned LGBT Youth Scotland to deliver training on LGBT+ issues which staff, committee members and coaches have attended. Everyone felt this was really important and a great way to understand and address the issues LGBT+ people face when engaging in sport. We had some really positive outcomes from the training which are now beginning to translate into actions and we hope will engage clubs and training centres in the very near future.
To show our support for LGBT rights and LGBT History Month, the Management Committee of RYA Scotland have all signed a uniquely designed rainbow flag bearing the RYA Scotland Brand. We are challenging clubs and training centres to share this commitment by signing one of our five special rainbow flags, flying it at their club or centre, posting the image on their own social media channels using the tags below and including a link to the LGBT Charter of Rights.
To get involved contact firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our team may visit with a flag or we will send you a flag to sign and return. All the flags will be at the Club Development Day on the 24th of February with the flags touring clubs over the rest of 2019.
Our journey continues as we work towards completing the Foundation Charter. If you want to know more about the LGBT Youth Scotland Charter and what this means for an organisation like RYA Scotland, you can read the details HERE and find out more about the LGBT Charter Rights HERE