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IDEAL Principles


For an organization or individual who earns and maintains certification or designation, inclusion is about creating an environment that makes people feel welcome by involving, respecting and empowering them. Inclusion harnesses the wealth of diverse ideas, connections and backgrounds for the betterment of everyone involved through recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of each individual. It promotes and sustains a sense of belonging to the sports diversity movement for those who want to help but up until now never knew how to participate.


Diversity is about all the ways we differ as individuals. The range of human differences that include race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, language, physical ability or attributes, religious, cultural or ethical values systems, national origin, opinions and political beliefs. It is the wonderful mix of differences that make a person, a team, an organization or a country unique. The sports diversity movement is first about recognizing and appreciating the unique richness that diversity brings us.


While many may think equality means treating everyone exactly the same, it’s really about making sure that everyone within the group has equal opportunities, such as access to learning, participating, mentoring, volunteering and any other aspects of the sports diversity movement without discrimination or prejudice. This is social equality which means it also includes equal obligations, making you and other individuals more accountable for your thoughts, words, and actions. It’s about creating a fairer society where everyone can not only participate but also has the opportunity to fulfill his or her personal potential within a group setting.


This is really about social acceptance – your ability to accept and tolerate the endless diversity of what can be called “Team Human Race” and to respect the individual and collective differences each individual brings with him or her. You don’t have to agree with everyone nor are we required to like all their differences as listed in the diversity section above. But it IS about you treating others with kindness; with the same dignity and respect you would want others to use when interacting with you.


The term Leadership brings to mind many different characterizations. We see Leadership at its’ core as the ability of a Leader to inspire, empower and equip others to reach their highest potential and become effective Leaders themselves.  Authentic Leadership motivates teams and individuals to persevere toward a defined goal while understanding and abiding by the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, Acceptance, and Leadership. This creates an effective Sports Diversity Leader.