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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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If a National Governing Body (of a certain sport) informs a

Resolved Question:

If a National Governing Body (of a certain sport) informs a volunteer at a team covered by that NGB that he can no longer be a part of any team covered by that NGB. Do they have to give a reason?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What was the volunteer doing that may have prompted the NGB's decision?

Customer:

It's me! And the NGB has not sent me any reason. They have just said "In our opinion Simon must not be part of any team etc." If I want to appeal they want £100. I have asked them for what reason I am to be stopped being part of a team. They have not told me a reason.

Ben Jones :

Do you have any suspicions as to what the reasons may be?

Customer:

Yes. I have a spent conviction (20 years ago). Someone maliciously contacted the NGB and they sent me the statement to say that I was not to be part of a team.

Ben Jones :

The law will not offer you much protection in this respect unfortunately. If there is a Governing body in place which oversees this specific sport they can take a decision not to allow someone to compete in events overseen by them. There is no general right to participate in whatever one wants to and those in charge as the NGB in this case, can prevent someone from competing in the sport they govern. They do not have to provide a formal reason for their decision and you will only have rights if you can show that there was some discriminatory reason behind their decision, such as based on race, gender, religion, age and so on. If this is to do with a past conviction then they can use this if they wanted to as a reason to deny you membership/participation.


 


I am not sure what the solicitor you have spoken to has advised you but I presume it would be along the same lines?

Customer:

The solicitors at Sport England said that the NGB must provide me with a copy of the decision and the rules or policy that covers my circumstances. All the NGB has done so far is sent a statement with an opinion.

Ben Jones :

Whether they are obliged to do so would be covered by any specific rules they have in place, something which is specific to them, it is not a law that you can rely on.

Ben Jones :

But for example you have the option to try and get any information they hold about you, which could also reveal the reasons for their decision

Ben Jones :

This is done under the Data Protection Act and you have to write to them and advise them you are making a subject access request and wish to be provided with a copy of all personal information they hold about you

Customer:

They have a disciplinary code which states that they will not discriminate against anyone and they will abide by the Equalities Act 2010. Doesn't the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 form part of the Equalities Act?

Ben Jones :

No it does not it is separate. The Equality Act deals with protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age etc. The ROA deals with past convictions but it does not actually give you a way to legally challenge someone who considers a spent conviction whcn they should not have done so

Customer:

I have been to my local county council and to probation. Both support me and say they have no problem with me coaching or being part of a team in my area, but I suppose that as the NGB has the power it doesn't matter. If my appeal is turned down I suppose I could take the NGB to artibitration?

Ben Jones :

well yes if that is an option under their rules - as a Governing Body they will be governed by their rules so you need to check the options of taking this further under them

Customer:

Ok so I have no where to go with this? Once again ex offenders get discrimnated against and no one can really help. It's been 22 years, for goodness sake! Anyway thank you for your help.

Ben Jones :

I understand and there are ways that will usually remove any mention of this and allow you to get jobs etc with no issues bit in the end if a party gets hold of such information and use it when making a decision on you, they can't really be prevented from doing so

Customer:

OK thank you anyway.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome, all the best

Customer:

Trying to give you a smiley face and it won't allow me to do it for some reason. A box appears that says you haven't finished answering my question!

Ben Jones :

ah, sorry about that, it should work now, thanks for the reminder

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