Diversity groups strengthen ties to help open more doors in sports media

Published by Jon Holmes on

Nine people are on a stage in front of a screen showing the logos of BCOMS, Sports Media LGBT+ (SMLGBT+), Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA), The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Women in Football (WIF). From left to right - Neil Callaghan (TAGS) is a white man with black hair. Maria Verdeille (TAGS) is a short white woman with long ginger hair. Ashley Broadley (SJA) is a white man wearing a grey suit. Lisa Pool (WIF) is a white woman with brown hair wearing an all-black suit. Nate Williams (TAGS) is a white man in a wheelchair with brown hair wearing a black suit. Jon Holmes (SMLGBT+) is a white man wearing a blue suit. Flo Lloyd-Hughes (SMLGBT+) is a white woman with brown hair wearing a blue jumper. Michelle Dorgan (WIF) is a white woman with red hair wearing a beige dress. Andrew Ducille (BCOMS) is a tall black man wearing a suit and orange tie.

BCOMS, Women in Football, The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Sports Media LGBT+ instigate working group to further aims of allyship and intersectionality; Sports Journalists’ Association on board in supporting role, and interest is welcomed from other groups…

By Jon Holmes

Representatives of BCOMS, Sports Media LGBT+, Sports Journalists’ Association, The Ability Group in Sport and Women in Football pose for a group photo before the SJA British Sports Awards

Four organisations with objectives to promote equity, inclusion and diversity in UK sports media have set up a working group to explore collaborative opportunities in 2023 and beyond.

As part of their respective remits, BCOMS, Women in Football, The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Sports Media LGBT+ each represents industry professionals from diverse backgrounds and works on a range of projects and initiatives designed to encourage opportunities and create pathways.

With the support of the Sports Journalists’ Association, the four organisations are making a commitment towards greater co-operation with a view to fostering a more intersectional approach for the benefit of all their members and partners.

In doing so, the working group aims to harness the benefit of specific expertise and widen the reach of recruitment and networking opportunities, improve representation within apprenticeships and development schemes, and boost the groups’ shared capacity to bring about meaningful change.

The fledgling alliance will initially focus on amplifying news of activities scheduled for the New Year, with an increased presence at events and input provided into resources, programmes, and mentoring. The groups are particularly keen to support young people and others new to the industry from traditionally marginalised or under-represented backgrounds.

A welcome is also extended to other groups with members active in the sports media space who are interested in this project. Enquiries can be made via email to any of the four alliance members.

About the diversity groups…


The Black Collective of Media in Sport was founded in 2009 and works for greater diversity in the UK sports media. A Black-led organisation whose members feel strongly about all strands of diversity, BCOMS works with partners across the industry on training programmes, networking, consultancy and cultural change.

Email: info@bcoms.co.uk

Women in Football

Championing gender equality and female talent in the national game since its launch in 2007, Women in Football is a network of industry professionals with broad experience and expertise among its diverse membership. The organisation offers regular events, mentoring opportunities and career development, while also tackling sexism and other forms of discrimination in the game.

Email: info@womeninfootball.co.uk

The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS)

TAGS is a new network for disabled people that are employed or are aspiring to be employed in all aspects of sports media and production. The group’s objectives are to promote and support the inclusion of disabled people, improve accessibility, offer education and collaboration opportunities, and encourage constructive conversations.

Email: theabilitygroupinsport@gmail.com

Sports Media LGBT+

A network, advocacy and consultancy group founded in 2017, Sports Media LGBT+ brings together lesbian, gay, bi and trans people to provide visible industry representation and a greater sense of community. The organisation has produced resources and workshops on inclusive media and comms and seeks to encourage the publication of content that helps to make sport more welcoming.

Email: info@sportsmedialgbt.com

The working group has the backing of the Sports Journalists’ Association and will be seeking further support and input from any and all other organisations that share a similar vision to help diversify the sports media industry.

Pictured in image above (from left to right)

Neil Callaghan, Maria Verdeille (both TAGS), Ashley Broadley (SJA), Lisa Pool (Women in Football), Nate Williams (TAGS), Jon Holmes, Flo Lloyd-Hughes (both Sports Media LGBT+), Michelle Dorgan (Women in Football), Andrew Ducille (BCOMS)

Read the D Word 4 Diversity Guide, produced by BCOMS with contributions from Sports Media LGBT+

Sports Media LGBT+ is a network, advocacy, and consultancy group that is helping to build a community of LGBTQ+ people and allies in sport. We’re also a digital publisher. Learn more about us here.

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Jon Holmes

Digital Sports Editor