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Christine Ohuruogu to lead debate on BME sport and health

DEBATE: Christine Ohuruogu

WORLD 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu will join other leading figures from the world of sport for a debate which will examine whether black communities have benefited from the 2012 Olympics.

The 'Question Time' style event called The Great Sports Debate will be chaired by Joy Francis of Words of Colour Productions and will take place at London's Hackney Picture House tomorrow (Oct 17) from 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Other panellists will include Olympic Bronze medallist and World Champion sprinter Margaret Adeoye; former GB international athlete Michelle Pierre-Carr, Paul Canoville, the first black player to play in a Chelsea shirt and award-winning Sports & Feature Editor at The Voice newspaper, Rodney Hinds.

Joy Francis, executive director of Words of Colour Productions, who is co-hosting the event, says: “Following the success of London 2012, and the achievements of many of our black athletes, it is important to establish what the legacy is for black communities. There are longstanding issues around access, discrimination and health inequalities that still need to be addressed. Are we encouraging the next generation of Mo Farahs, Rachel Yankeys Christine Ohuruogus to participate in sport? Also has the glass ceilings at the most senior levels in sport been cracked, or are they still firmly intact? The Great Sports Debate aims to unpick those and other important issues."

Kevin Hylton, Professor of equality and diversity in sport, leisure and education at Leeds Metropolitan University, says: “It is important to recognise that ethnicity has a significant effect on how diverse groups experience sport and physical activity. This includes ideas in sport that contribute to this experience such as Jack Wilshere's outdated notion that players must be born in England to represent England. If this was the case then Sir John Barnes would never have played for England. We must also remember that it is players like Wilshere who often end up managing at the end of their careers rather than Kingston-born England legend Barnes. An event like The Great Sports Debate will help to give a voice to otherwise ignored issues in sport governance.”

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