World silver medallist and European champion Imani-Lara Lansiquot has joined British Athletics’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advocates Group as its Athlete Lead as the organisation expands its commitment to the creation and enhancement of an inclusive culture.
During 2018, the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advocates Group was launched by Donna Fraser – a year after her appointment as Equality, Diversity and Engagement Lead – which invited British Athletics staff who were passionate about E,D&I to support initiatives internally within the organisation.
The Advocates work supports the nine protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 through a variety of activities both internally and externally. These are Age, Disability, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Maternity and Pregnancy, Race, Religion or Belief, Sex and Sexual Orientation. Each advocate focuses on one or two particular characteristics while supporting and amplifying each other’s initiatives.
The group has worked with our Athletics Family within the sport to set up the ongoing ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ programme, the Windrush Generation reflections, the Athletics Pride Network for the LGBTQ+ community, providing ED&I workshops at the Officials’ Conference and to partners of British Athletics, and International Women’s Day series’ such as hearing experiences of female officials in the sport. British Athletics also continues to deliver against its commitment as a Disability Confident Leader and signed up to the Business in the Community’s ‘Race at Work Charter’ in March 2019.
Lansiquot, who is a crucial part of the British women’s 4x100m relay team and who made her European and World Championship debuts in 2018 and 2019 respectively after a successful career as a junior, joins at a crucial time for the Group and will offer expert insight and advice from an athlete perspective in her role as Athlete Lead.
The 22-year-old Sutton & District sprinter is one of two key appointments to support the ‘Let’s Talk About Race’ programme with British Athletics Chief Financial Officer Mark Draisey being named the Executive Champion for Race as part of the requirements laid out in the Race at Work Charter.
While Lansiquot will act as Athlete Lead and Draisey as the Executive Champion for Race, Fraser is joined by the following in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advocates Group: Leon Baptiste [Performance Development Coach – Sprints], Gareth Burrell [Communications Manager], Lorna Dwyer [Senior Performance Co-ordinator – Age Group Lead], Matt Downes [Major Events Co-ordinator – Technical Officials], Paula Gowing [Officials’ Manager], Charley Johnson [HR Officer], Yannick Phippen [Major Events Co-ordinator – Athlete Logistics] and Becky Straw [Performance Programme Coordinator].
Imani-Lara Lansiquot, world silver medallist and European champion in the 4x100m relay and British Athletics Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advocates Group – Athlete Lead, said: “I’m really honoured to have been chosen as an ambassador for equality, diversity and inclusion for British Athletics. I hold representing the country very close to my heart, but it is also important for me to be a representative for young girls and boys who look like me and can relate to my story. I want to be a part of positive change for the future and I want to be more than an athlete. I believe that progress can begin with us and I look forward to starting this journey.”
Mark Draisey, British Athletics Chief Financial Officer and Executive Champion for Race, said: “I am delighted to take on the role of Executive Champion for Race at UK Athletics. Ensuring that all athletes, staff and stakeholders of UKA are able to speak out, raise concerns and see action being taken in this area is critically important to me personally. I look forward to working with these groups to provide the strategic direction and oversight and ensure that UKA is seen as a leader in achieving Race equality.”
Donna Fraser, two-time world bronze medallist and British Athletics Equality, Diversity and Engagement Lead, said: “I am delighted that Imani and Mark have joined the team as we continue to drive the ED&I agenda within our sport. Since joining UKA in 2017, we have made significant progress in engaging the sport around diversity and inclusion, but we still have a lot of work to do and with athletes. The recent events in the US and UK have opened a wider conversation about race and having athlete representation and an Executive Champion for Race in place, I am looking forward to working with them and the other advocates to continue open dialogue towards driving more change for the good of the sport.”