Richard McKenna tells Sky Sports how sport can a play a part in National Inclusion Week
"It's about being yourself in an environment... where all your differences are valued," says Richard McKenna, director of Inclusive Employers, at start of National Inclusion Week
Last Updated: 24/09/18 3:21pm
The Director of Inclusive Employers says sport is "the greatest way" to break through boundaries - but there is plenty of work to do.
Richard McKenna spoke to Sky Sports News on Monday at the start of National Inclusion Week - the aim of which is to raise awareness of inclusion in the workplace.
To mark the occasion, Sky Sports has brought back the popular 'My Icon' series - this time featuring some of Britain's most successful and inspirational Para-Athletes.
Asked to define inclusivity, McKenna said: "In simple terms, it is about people rocking up at work, feeling they can be themselves, feeling that they can share their ideas, get their voices heard.
"It is about being yourself, being the best that you can be in an environment that is free from any bullying, harassment, discrimination, and where all your differences are valued."
And McKenna thinks sport is an excellent way to bring people together from different backgrounds.
He said: "I think sport is doing a huge amount around inclusion and diversity.
"If you look at sport, it is the greatest way we can cut through barriers and boundaries. We can bring people together.
"Everyone who enjoys sport knows the feeling of belonging to a club, to a team, and that great sense of pride and loyalty and working together.
"Sport has a massive role to play in inclusivity but there is work to be done. Lots of sports still have issues.
"If I am identified as a young talent - I might have a single parent or carer or any kind of socio-economic issue, that means I can't afford to get all the kit, or to be taken off to St George's Park for training - then there are issues about this.
"And so sport can think even deeper about how to make all sports more inclusive."
As for what measures could be taken, McKenna said: "Lots of professional bodies are asking some big questions.
"How can we engage with different communities? Who are we unintentionally excluding?
"I don't think this is deliberate, it is just how society is, and we need to work through it.
"Things like street golf, table cricket mean sport is accessible and real to people."
National Inclusion Week runs from September 24-30.
Don't miss Tanni-Grey Thompson on the latest series of My Icon - All My Icon episodes are also available on Demand.