Editors and senior leaders encouraged to access Diversity Sport Alliance

Five industry groups and organisations – BCOMS, Women in Football, Sports Media LGBT+, The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Brown Girl Sport – working together, with support from the SJA; presentation at Showcase event showed value of networking; DSA keen to discuss opportunities…

By Jon Holmes

Tapping into the expertise and representation within the Diversity Sport Alliance can help senior leaders in sports media achieve their workplace culture targets and output ambitions.

The five members of the DSA – an umbrella group for industry networks and projects that are helping to diversify the industry – joined together at the recent SJA Showcase event in central London to celebrate 12 months of closer co-operation.

BCOMSWomen in FootballThe Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) and Sports Media LGBT+ formed the Alliance in late 2022 in a spirit of collaboration, with a view to helping each group become more intersectional in its work, to widen the reach of activities, and to attract more industry support.

Since then, Brown Girl Sport – a groundbreaking platform and community celebrating South Asian women and girls in sport, created by SJA award winner Miriam Walker-Khan – has also joined the DSA.

The Showcase event was an opportunity to introduce the five members and their work to a wider audience and highlight some pertinent statistics in a presentation.

Stats show the number of women looking to enter the UK sports media industry is rising, but the intake is still low, amounting to just 1 in 5 of course applicants.

Meanwhile, more data provided via the NCTJ suggests the representation of people with disabilities and of people who are LGBTQ+ is above average in media, compared to other industries. We are yet to know whether the same applies to sports journalism.

Creating inclusive workplace cultures is therefore vital, and it’s also important to reflect diversity in output – two thirds of UK adults recognise the role of athletes in championing good causes and highlighting social issues.

Meeting people in other industry roles and from different demographics can help to spark new ideas, and speaking on the Showcase panel discussion, women’s football content creator Rio Rosenberg encouraged attendees to keep adding to their contacts.

“When I speak to people at universities, I always try and tell them to network as much as you can,” she said.

“At an event, I’ll set a target for myself to talk to at least five to 10 different people so that I continue building my connections.”

The five DSA groups are all committed to assisting people from under-represented groups, boosting their confidence and helping them build careers…

* Andrew Ducille spoke about the success of the BCOMS Masterclass scheme and the potential of the new Accelerator Programme, which is supported by Apple

* Women in Football’s Michelle Dorgan emphasised the importance of the football media to the organisation’s wider work, and how WIF is keen to see more women football writers, photographers and content creators coming through in the industry

* Sports Media LGBT+ has grown to over 75 core members and continues to produce resources – the group wants to share good practice around workplace culture and how visible support for LGBT+ staff leads to more responsible reporting 

* TAGS is making a real impact since starting up in August 2022, such as by bringing about the first speech-to-text match report at a Premier League game and producing an Accessible Media Facilities Guide – Nick Ransom discussed neurodiversity and the group’s desire to consult with more media organisations

* With around 9% of the UK population being British South Asian, storytelling that helps to break down stereotypes is key – Miriam Walker-Khan is doing that with Brown Girl Sport and is encouraging publishers to tap into the platform’s community

While all the DSA groups welcome conversations on the above points and more at any time, whether individually or collectively as an Alliance, they also appreciate that the awareness calendar focuses attention on certain times of the year.

Relevant junctures still to come in 2024 include Pride Month (June); South Asian Heritage Month (starts 18 July); Disability Pride Month (July); and Black History Month (October).

If you’re an editor or senior leader in sports media who is interested in connecting further and learning more about what the five groups can offer your organisation, please get in touch at

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

About the member groups…

BCOMS – 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:

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:

The Ability Group in Sport (TAGS) – Launched in 2022, TAGS is a network for disabled and neurodiverse 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:

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:

Brown Girl Sport – an online platform and community that represents South Asian women and girls in sport through storytelling and providing a voice, to smash stereotypes that Brown women don’t do, care or know about sport. The platform started up in early 2023 and aims to change narratives; uplift the voices of South Asian women; and coalesce a wider sense of belonging and solidarity in sport. Email:

The Alliance has the backing of the SJA and seeks further support and input from any and all other organisations that share a similar vision to help diversify the sports media industry.

Read: ‘We are powerful!’: Rising stars in sports media share tips on SJA Showcase panel

Read: The burning passion behind Brown Girl Sport, with Miriam Walker-Khan

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