For nearly 40 years in the UK, Black History Month has been celebrated in October. It is a national celebration which aims to promote and celebrate significant Black contributions to British society.
The Black History Month celebration encompasses all areas of life, from culture, to work, sport and beyond, and it looks to foster a greater understanding of Black history in general, and not just in this country.
In its original format the month recognised the contributions that people of Caribbean and African backgrounds have made to this country, but it has since expanded to the wider Black community.
Black history, and celebrating the unique Black contributions to life, has always been integral to England Netball, which prides itself on its inclusivity and diversity as a sport and as an organisation.
Netball ignites a unique passion among all communities nationwide and we want to celebrate the Black contributions to the present and the future of our sport.
This October is a perfect opportunity to continue the momentum of the Anti-Racism movement and at England Netball we are determined that our sport should offer a place of inclusivity and acceptance.
Therefore, after hosting a number of ‘Here to Listen’ forums with Black members of the Netball Family, one emerging and important theme that arose from those conversations was the need for more representation of Black people across our organisation at all levels, from grassroots to elite. So as a starter, throughout October we will be sharing video messages and written stories from a range of Black members of the Netball Family, to celebrate what Black History Month means to them and their work within netball.
Keep an eye out on our social media channels to see more over the coming weeks.
England Netball CEO Fran Connolly added: “I am delighted, honoured and proud to represent an organisation which celebrates Black History Month and its importance in our society. It is great that England Netball will be holding celebrations to recognise the importance of this month and it is something we will continue to do in the future.
“I look forward to this being the first of many events to recognise and celebrate the efforts of Black people in sport and netball and make it a sport enjoyed by everyone, regardless of ethnicity, gender, sexuality or disability. I am also keen to use this as a springboard for our wider plan to increase opportunities for all in netball and place diversity and inclusion at the heart of the local communities we serve.
“It is vital that we do not lose this momentum. We at England Netball will continue to celebrate inclusivity right throughout the year and not limit it to just one month.”