Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion at Keighley Cougars

This Policy sets out our commitment and includes our Safe and Inclusive Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure and it supports our overall aims for diversity and inclusion that are to ensure that:

  • Rugby League is diverse and inclusive
  • Diversity and inclusion are embedded in our club’s culture and our behaviours
  • We create a culture where inclusive leadership thrives
  • We take a proactive approach using positive action to ensure that communities and individuals are valued and able to achieve their full potential

To achieve these aims we believe that everyone involved in rugby league has a vital role to play in promoting diversity and inclusion and we ask everyone to become Safe and Inclusive Rugby League Champions – proactively promoting Safe and Inclusive rugby league and taking action against all forms of discrimination.

We are proud to have a Diversity and Inclusion Policy that demonstrates our commitment to making rugby league diverse and inclusive. The commitment to Diversity and Inclusion is upheld by all at Keighley Cougars.

These commitments are fully supported by the Keighley Cougar’s board.

Together we can make a positive difference to people from different backgrounds to participate in rugby league at our club.


1. Policy Statement

This Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure are applicable to Keighley Cougars rugby league club.

As a club we contribute actively to enable more people to watch and play rugby more often, in a manner that it is safe, inclusive, and fair. This applies regardless of a person’s age, disability, gender reassignment status, sex, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status or any other background.

We recognise that many concerns and/or disclosures may have both safeguarding and diversity and inclusion elements to them. This policy reflects this through its reporting procedures, which replicate
the safeguarding concern reporting procedures.

This Policy strives to minimise risk and support our venue, programmes, events and individuals to deliver and experience a positive experience for everyone. The Reporting Procedures in page 2 outlines how to respond to safeguarding or discrimination concerns/disclosures.


2. Use of Terminology

We have adopted the following definitions to explain our approach to diversity and inclusion:

Discrimination – treating someone in a less favourable way and causing them harm, because of their age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation

Diversity – acknowledging, celebrating and respecting the differences between groups of people and between individuals. We will work to ensure that people can be assured of an environment in which their rights, dignity and individual worth are respected, and in particular that they are able to enjoy their sport without the threat of intimidation, victimisation, harassment or abuse.

Harassment – unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating and intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The focus is on the perception of the complainant not the intent of the perpetrator. Employees can complain of behaviour they find offensive even if it
is not directed at them.

Inclusion – ensuring that engagement with Keighley Cougars is equally accessible to any member of the community so they can be fully involved in whatever capacity they choose; and that they are supported to achieve their potential in any capacity e.g. player, employee, volunteer, spectator,
coach or official. We will work to ensure that people have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate to the full extent of their own ambitions and abilities, that they feel respected and valued and are not singled out, with regard to their age, disability, gender reassignment status, sex, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, race or sexual orientation, socio-economic status or any other background.

Positive action – Keighley Cougars is committed to taking positive steps to counteract the effects of physical or cultural barriers – whether real or perceived – that restrict the opportunity for all sections of the community to participate equally and fully. We will ensure that we institute, support or contribute to appropriate measures or initiatives that enable access to Keighley Cougars and participation in associated activities by people from any group that is under-represented in rugby
league or has difficulty accessing it and that they can do so with dignity or without being singled out.


3. Scope

Keighley Cougars has direct safe and inclusive responsibility for:

  • Staff, consultants, coaches and officials they employ;
  • Volunteers, including board members and consultants they recruit;
  • Spectators;
  • Venues they own;
  • Events and programmes they run; and
  • Ensuring all accreditation requirements are met by accredited coaches, officials and venues.

We recommend and support the development of good diversity and inclusion practice to:

  • Accredited coaches, officials and venues;
  • Players, parents and carers;
  • Spectators;
  • Volunteers recruited by other organisations;
  • Venues hired by or on our behalf;
  • Club Events.

This Policy is in line with national legislation and applicable to our club, specifically to every person and place that we have direct safe and inclusive responsibility for.


4. Responsibility for implementation of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Diversity and inclusion is everyone’s responsibility: not responding to discriminatory or unacceptable language and behaviour is not an option.

The club’s Board and Chair have overall accountability for this Policy and Reporting Procedure, for being the strategic lead on diversity and inclusion and for ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation.

The club’s CEO Lisa Gill has overall responsibility for implementation of the policy.

The Chair and CEO of the club are responsible for updating this Policy and Reporting Procedure in line with legislative and organisational developments; and develop a strategic and proactive approach to diversity and inclusion and respond to discrimination concerns.

Keighley Cougars CEO Lisa Gill is responsible for supporting the club to identify where diversity and inclusion support is required; to implement safe and inclusive procedures; promote diversity and inclusion principles, including the Safeguarding and Reporting Procedure, to all the venues they manage, programmes, events and individuals including players, employees, parents, carers, and supporters.

All staff, consultants, coaches, officials, spectators, employees and volunteers involved at Keighley Cougars are responsible for raising diversity and inclusion concerns with the club’s CEO to start with;
then the full board if applicable.


5. Breaches of the Diversity and Inclusion Policy, Standards, Code of Conduct and Reporting Procedure

Where there are concerns that diversity and inclusion good practice has not been followed, all staff are encouraged to follow the club’s whistleblowing policy; consultants, coaches, employees, spectators, officials, volunteers and players are encouraged to:

If someone comes to you with a concern around discrimination, listen to their complaint, reassure them and advise them of the routes listed above (1-3).

Penalties for breach:

Staff – disciplinary action leading to possible dismissal and legal action.

Recruited volunteers, including board members – termination of current and future roles within all four organisations and possible legal action.


Keighley Cougars Code of Conduct

Prioritise the well-being of all children and adults at all times.

Be a positive role model. Act with integrity, even when no one is looking.

Help to create a safe and inclusive environment both on and off the field and promote the Fair Play values: Enjoy & Respect.

Value and celebrate diversity and make all reasonable efforts to meet individual needs.

Keep clear boundaries between your professional and personal life, including on social media.

Ensure your own roles and responsibilities, and those of everyone you are responsible for, are clearly outlined and everyone has the information, training and support to carry them out.

Where possible, do not be alone with a child or adult at risk; if you have to be alone with a child or adult at risk, let someone know such as a carer, club staff, volunteer etc.

Do not abuse, neglect, harm or discriminate against anyone; or act in a way that may be interpreted as such.

Doing nothing is NOT an option: report all concerns and disclosures as soon as possible, following the Concern Reporting Procedure.

This Code of Conduct should be interpreted in a spirit of integrity, transparency and common sense, with the best interests of children and adults at risk as the primary consideration.




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