Henley Royal Regatta Statement on Racial Injustice

Photo: Tim Koch

15 June 2020

In a statement from earlier today, Henley Royal Regatta takes a stand against racial injustice in the world. The statement reads:

The Committee of Management recognises that following the appalling death of George Floyd, the events of recent weeks have been pivotal in highlighting the issue of racial injustice across the world. We recognise that rowing is seen as a predominantly white and privileged sport, especially in its leadership, and we believe that we all have a part to play in addressing racism and inequality as individuals, as communities and as organisations. We unequivocally condemn racism in sport and in society.

Whilst growing diversity and inclusion of participation in rowing can only be achieved through the efforts of many organisations in the sport, we recognise that HRR has an important role to play. The Committee of Management and the Trustees of the HRR Charitable Trust have therefore been actively and carefully considering how to act with positive, substantive effect.

For a number of years, the HRR Charitable Trust has funded a range of programmes dedicated to enabling young people from a diversity of backgrounds to take up the sport about which we are so passionate. This work creates opportunities for young people to experience the benefits of our sport through a range of coaching, inclusion, life skills and health programmes.

Nonetheless, we recognise that we can do more to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Over the coming months, the HRR Charitable Trust will work to expand our Youth Rowing programme, which focuses on creating opportunities for young people from under-privileged backgrounds, and currently operates in London, Warrington and Liverpool.

Specifically, the Trust will also seek opportunities to provide its support to initiatives and programmes which actively enable greater access to the sport for people of a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

It will take time for the sport to become more diverse and inclusive, but through our work with the Trust, we are committed to supporting the long-term pursuit of equality of opportunity to participate in rowing. In the meantime, we stand together with the rowing community in the campaign against racial inequality and racism.

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