The Ann Craft Trust at the Include Summit 2023

Include Summit

The 2023 Include Summit took place 3 and 4 May in Manchester.

It’s the UK’s no. 1 equality, diversity and inclusion summit for sport. You can learn more about the event, and the agenda, here.

Joanne Pell and I went to the first summit in 2022 to talk about wellbeing in sport and activity. We were very impressed by the warm feel to the conference. From the moment we walked through the door, it felt like we’d joined a supportive culture.

Azeem Rafiq and his sister Amna attended and spoke about racism and their experiences. It was so powerful to hear their perspectives on EDI initiatives. We had sport organisations asking for safeguarding adults advice and subsequently some commissioned training from The Ann Craft Trust.

Include Summit 2023

In 2023 I was very keen to return as an attendee. I wanted to network with sport colleagues and once again make the links between EDI and safeguarding adults.

Again, I could feel the friendly atmosphere from the start. Young people were at the heart of the conference, interviewing speakers, presenting, taking part in panel discussions and in their own learning sessions.

It was interesting to hear the direction of travel in the ECB over the past year and the work that they are doing to ensure that the voices of children and young people are at the heart of any changes. And I also had the chance to speak to my co panellist from last year, Tess Howard. Tess is passionate about gaining equality in women’s sportswear, because as she said, it is a human right to be yourself and have your individual needs respected. Through setting rigid standards for girls clothing, sport organisations may be alienating the girls they seek to attract.

Once again I loved the networking with colleagues I knew from NGBs, Active Partnerships and leisure facilities. And I also made a whole host of contacts who want to look at how Safeguarding Adults fits with EDI strategies. For me they are intertwined. Co-production and representation with adult athletes and participants can only strengthen the culture of organisations. So many times I found myself saying that we need to ‘Listen. Learn and Lead’. Also remember the Human Rights mantra: ‘Nothing about me without me’.