October is Black History Month and with this in mind we have chosen Alice Dearing as our Inspirational Diversity Champion of the Month.
Alice is a British swimmer, specialising in open water events. She started swimming at the age of 4, began club swimming at 8 years old and started competitive racing a year later. She had many youth and national successes before winning World and European Junior marathon swimming events in her teens.
In June 2021, she qualified to represent Great Britain in the 2020 Olympics making her the first black swimmer to do so.
In 2020 she co-founded the Black Swimming Association. The charity was founded to encourage swimming among BME communities in Britain and has the support of Swim England.
Alice is also an ambassador for Soul Cap, a swimming cap designed to fit over and protect dreadlocks, afros, weaves, hair extensions and thick and curly hair. Although originally banned for use in the Olympics it has recently been approved by FINA swimming’s governing body for use in top level competitions making a huge step forward in the sport becoming more inclusive.
To find out more about Black History Month see here
An imposing 6ft 8in lock is nothing new in the Premiership, but Exeter’s Jack Dunne will be the league’s only openly LGBTQ+ player when he makes his debut for the club.
The 23-year-old summer signing from Leinster follows in the footsteps of Gareth Thomas and former Saracens back Sam Stanley, as well as current Premiership referee Craig Maxwell-Keys and long-serving Welsh official Nigel Owens.
“Hopefully once there are one or two more people it will start to feel that this is something they can say and it won’t be a big thing,” Dunne, who identifies as bisexual, told BBC Sport.
“Hopefully it would be good for other gay or bisexual men to see people like me and hopefully it’ll give them a bit of confidence to be able to be who they are.” More
A swimming cap for afro hair has been approved for use in top-level competitions.
The specialised covering – designed for thick, curly hair and styles such as dreadlocks, weaves and braids – was banned from last year’s Olympics.
Manufacturer Soul Cap described the approval from governing body Fina as “a huge step in the right direction”.
“We’re excited to see the future of a sport that’s becoming more inclusive,” it said.
Fina executive director Brent Nowicki said the announcement “follows a period of review and discussion on cap design between Fina and Soul Cap over the past year”, in a statement reported by the Metro. More
Who decides which artists are remembered and which are forgotten? With only a small fraction of the art in museums by women, efforts are being made, at the Venice Biennale and further afield, to change long-standing narratives.
Inside the Church of San Marziale, beside a canal in central Venice, specialist art handlers are high up on scaffolding above one of the church’s second altars, trying to tease out two canvases that have been nailed to the wall of the church for several hundred years.
The paintings, which are believed to date from the late 1720s or early 1730s, are by a woman artist called Giulia Lama. She may have been the first female artist in Venice to produce major commissions for churches. The daughter of an artist, she never married and was a mathematician and a published poet.
At the time she was dismissed by some of her male contemporaries. So much so that in 1728, an abbot and man of science, Antonio Conti, wrote: “The poor girl is persecuted by painters, but her virtues triumph over her enemies.”
According to some reports, the other artists and critics at the time focused on what they decided were her unremarkable, almost unappealing physical attributes – they asked how a woman of such prosaic appearance could produce such sophisticated paintings. More
There was the cricket match that made history. The 9/11 hero who inspired the world’s largest amateur rugby tournament. The Formula 1 world champion who spoke out as an LGBTQ+ ally. And the elite referee who shared his story publicly for the first time.
The LGBT Sport Podcast has covered all of those stories – and many, many more – over its 200 episodes. So picking out its most memorable moments is quite a challenge.
When we published our very first podcast on 25 September 2018, with a basic and only a general understanding of how to get episodes into a person’s feed, we weren’t sure how long we would be around for.
Yet in the three years since, we’ve covered a wealth of stories across more than 40 sports. More
Thirty-five leading sportswomen have joined a charity programme to tackle the lack of diversity across sport.
Footballers Nikita Parris and Caroline Weir and five-time Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft are among those who have joined ‘Unlocked’, which has been set up by the Women’s Sport Trust.
The athletes share experiences and work with industry experts to help tackle issues relating to women in sport.
In total, 27 different sports are represented by the group.
“It has been a challenging year for many but as we come out of Covid-19 there is no better time to turbo-charge our effort and continue to unlock the value of women’s sport,” said Tammy Parlour, co-founder of the Women’s Sport Trust.
“We believe the best way to do this is by supporting these elite women and connecting them together.
“Individually they are strong advocates for change but together they are unstoppable.” More