A love of sport can be found in people of different races, backgrounds and cultures. Yet this shared interest can raise a number of complex issues that involve balancing a person’s cultural traditions with their compliance with social norms and club rules and procedures.
Information to help you understand the issue
- Australia is a culturally diverse nation in which people from more than 200 different countries live, work and study.
- People from multi-cultural backgrounds have a significantly lower level of club participation than those from English speaking cultures.
- The structure of Australian club sport is unique and it may take time for people from other cultures to understand our sporting system, practices and expectations (e.g., arriving at practice on time, questioning the umpire’s decision).
- Each sporting club determines its own culture, which means it has the opportunity to be flexible and supportive of people from a diverse range of backgrounds.
Although it is unlawful in most states and territories to discriminate against a person on the basis of their race, ethnic or ethno-religious background, some laws permit discrimination in sport (e.g., clubs can be established to meet the needs of particular cultures). You need to check the law in your state/territory to see if any exceptions/exemptions apply.