Welcome to the Sports Diversity Leader Designation Track!

This is your first step toward achieving the Sports Diversity Leader (SDL/SDLT) certification. The SDL/SDLT certification is specifically designed for professional development in diversity, equity/equality, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for leaders in the sports industry.

Walk the Walk

With the rise in representation and acceptance of LGBTQ+ community, it has become trendy to add “diversity and inclusion” statements and/or change a corporate logo to a rainbow pattern every year for pride month. While these efforts are a start, they often fail to embrace what it truly means to be “diverse and inclusive”. To *be* diverse and inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community is to know the history and learn from the LGBTQ+ community.

In the field of sports, there is a lot going on surrounding LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion. A lot of good things are happening, such as professional athletes coming out and continuing to thrive in their sport, but a lot of not-so good things are also happening. It’s all happening so fast, it’s hard to keep up and more importantly, it’s hard to understand how these things are impacting LGBTQ+ people and their involvement in sports.

What do acronyms like LGBTQ+ mean? What is the “pink dollar” and how does it affect your bottom line? Why are events like Pride festivals, Gay Softball World Series and Gay Games relevant and important? To know what and why things like this are, is to better understand what being “diverse and inclusive” truly means.

Learn how to embrace inclusion and become a leader in sports diversity.

Becoming a Sports Diversity Leader is about more than just doing a few online courses. Our Sports Diversity Leaders are people who have shown commitment to embracing the IDEAL Principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Acceptance, and Leadership throughout their professional work and personal lives.

As part of our Sports Diversity Leader (SDL/SDLT) certification program, the “Core Four” online curriculum is specifically designed to help you learn how to become a transformational leader in building your group, team, organization or company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.

  • Four core courses on transformational leadership and working with the LGBTQ+ community.

    • Introduction to Leadership- In this course, you will learn about the importance of leadership and be able to apply various leadership methods within your organization. Included are the qualities that make a successful leader based on personal leadership styles and how to apply them.
    • Types and Roles of Sports Diversity Leaders- In this course you will learn about the different types of leaders, their varying roles within the sports diversity movement as critical change agents as they actively demonstrate the SDLC’s 5 IDEAL principles.
    • Identifying and Mentoring Future Leaders- In this course, you will learn how to identify those all-important future SDL leaders within your organization for mentorship and how to apply SDL’s 5 IDEAL Principles of leadership toward the mentor/mentee relationship.
    • Working with the LGBTQ+ Community- In this course, you will have an opportunity to look inward, to recognize differences and behaviors and develop a true sensitivity as to why certain issues are such hot button topics for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Additional “elective” courses, two of which are required to complete (or attend one Live CSDC Event).

    • Elective courses will be announced soon!
  • Completion Certificate.

    • Proof of completion to fulfill SDL/SDLT certification requirements and to display as part of your role as an SDL/SDLT to build upon the diversity and inclusion initiatives within your organization. You can submit the certificate along with your application package.

Sounds great! Where do I sign up?

Once the four courses are done, what’s next?

  • If you haven’t already, attach your course completion certificate with your application packet in a single PDF document and email it to applications@competenetwork.com.
  • Complete at least two CSDC online elective courses or attend one CSDC live event within six months.
  • You will be required to renew your SDL/SDLT designation each year and complete two online renewal courses or attend one CSDC approved virtual or in-person event within three months of renewing.


Hear what some our Sports Diversity Leaders have to say!