Scotland politics

Scottish government in bid to tackle homophobia in sport

Runners on track
Image caption Ms Robison said there should be no barriers to doing sport

Scottish government minister Shona Robison has announced that an action plan is being developed to tackle homophobia in sport.

The move comes in the wake of a report which found that such prejudice blights sport and puts many gay people off taking part from a young age.

A national co-ordinating group is being established to develop the action plan.

Sports minister Ms Robison said there should be "no barriers at all to participating in sport".

The politician also plans to create a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) sports charter.

A study by the Equality Network last year revealed that three-fifths of people surveyed (79%) believe homophobia to be a problem in sport.

The Out for Sport report found 62% of LGBT respondents had either witnessed or experienced homophobia or transphobia in sport, while just 5% thought enough was being done to tackle the issue.

Almost three-fifths of LGBT people (57%) would be more likely to participate in sport if it was more LGBT-friendly.

The report called for an action plan to be developed and the Scottish government has confirmed it supports this.

Ms Robison told an audience of sports governing bodies in Glasgow: "We take homophobia very seriously, so I welcome the Out for Sport recommendation to develop an action plan to tackle prejudice, put in place diversity strategies and to monitor progress.

"This issue needs leadership and sport governing bodies should have clear policies in place for LGBT people."

She added the national body sportscotland would be involved in work to "ensure that consideration of LGBT people is mainstreamed into sport development plans", Ms Robison said.

'Strong commitment'

Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said it is "undertaking a range of equalities work to ensure that the opportunities to participate, progress and achieve in sport are available to all".

Giving LGBT organisations the chance to work directly with sports governing bodies would "undoubtedly lead to further progress".

Scott Cuthbertson, community development coordinator for the Equality Network, said: "We welcome the strong commitment from the Scottish Government and sportscotland to tackling this issue, ensuring LGBT people can play a full and active role in the sporting life of Scotland."

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