The British Esports Association has today joined the Sport and Recreation Alliance, a sports industry body that provides advice and support to members and works with the government and policy makers in the world of traditional sport.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance works with clients such as the Football Association, British Cycling, the Lawn Tennis Association and UK Athletics. The organisation has a membership directory split into the following: “Games and Sports, Major Spectator Sports, Movement and Dance, Outdoor Pursuits, Water Recreation and Other Memberships”.
The British Esports Association falls under the “Games and Sports” category, which represents the largest number of clubs and active participants of any division. The website states that “the work of this division embraces areas of common concern to sports’ governing and representative bodies and many of the issues covered are of direct relevance to members of other divisions”.
In becoming a member, British Esports becomes the first dedicated esports member. The release outlines that the association has become a member to “get closer to sporting societies and bodies, to show them what esports is and the benefits it offers and to help educate and work with them”.
Notably through joining, the British Esports Association has signed the Mental Health Charter, an initiative developed by the Professional Players Association with the mental health charity Mind and also the Sport and Recreation Alliance.
The sports industry has embraced esports in a big way in recent years, with sports clubs signing pro players and teams, and making investments and acquisitions in competitive gaming. In joining the Sport and Recreation Alliance, British Esports hopes to bring a greater understanding of esports to the traditional sports sector.
British Esports has also signed the Mental Health Charter, an initiative developed by the Professional Players Federation, mental health charity Mind and the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The charter aims to help create a cultural shift in wider society and help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues. The full charter can be downloaded here.
In signing the Charter, British Esports has made three pledges:
- To promote wellbeing and good mental health within esports, encouraging physical activity and for players to take part in esports in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Allow members to send in requests around mental health and to team up with an expert to assist them.
- Recruit ambassadors and champions who are willing to support the Charter including those who have personal experience /close experience of mental health problems and those who can champion the programme.
Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey MP and Vice Chair of the British Esports Association, commented: “We’re delighted to have joined the Sport and Recreation Alliance, who do a lot of good work with Government, policy makers and the media.
“As the first esports association to join the Alliance, it shows they are forward-thinking and open to new digital trends. The sport industry has shown keen interest in esports over the past few years and that will no doubt increase.
“We’ve also signed the Alliance’s Mental Health Charter – we feel promoting good mental health in esports is an important part of our mission and are happy to have outlined three pledges. We’ll be looking for ambassadors in this area, so if you’re keen to get involved, let us know.”
Andrew Moss, Chair of the Sport and Recreation Alliance, said: “It is great to welcome the British Esports Association to our membership. The growth and popularity of esports, both professionally and at a grassroots level, is a prime example of how our world continues to evolve and influence how we get physically and mentally active.
“Sport and recreation can contribute to some of society’s biggest problems, including social inclusion and mental health, and esports has a big role to play in helping this agenda.
“It can help to bring communities together and change lives whether as a spectator, a participant or a volunteer. The British Esports Association’s pledge to take practical action around mental health is incredibly positive and we look forward to working with them as they continue to champion the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation which aims to break down the stigma and promote best practice across the sector.”
Esports Insider says: Another big announcement from British Esports as they really start to push on in the space. Being a member of Ukie and now the Sport and Recreation Alliance goes to show the proactive measures the Association is taking. Mental health is vitally important in all walks of life, so it’s great to see the charter being signed.