Australia is a vibrant, multicultural country. It is home to the world’s oldest continuous indigenous cultures. Australia is also a nation of migrants. The 2021 Census found that almost half of Australians have a parent born overseas (48.2 per cent) and the population continues to be drawn from around the globe, with 27.6 per cent of people reporting a birthplace overseas.
When it comes to sport participation, figures show that people born in non-English speaking countries are less likely to participate in sport and physical recreation than those born in Australia, with women from non-English speaking backgrounds having the lowest levels of participation.
Many people who have migrated to Australia may have played sport in their home countries prior to arriving. But once they have settled in Australia, they can face significant barriers and challenges to participating in organised sport and other recreational activities:
People from multicultural backgrounds participate in sport for the same reasons as anyone else – to have fun, get active, make friends and learn new skills. However, there are some specific things that you should consider when encouraging multicultural communities to get involved:
English is often not the first language of new Australians, but language barriers are just part of the communication challenge. Awareness barriers need to be addressed too, as many among multicultural audiences do not know where to look for sport clubs and programs or how to join. Sport Australia’s Market Segmentation Research found that multicultural audiences tend to respond well to offers of joining mainstream organisations when this is communicated through trusted sources such as community and cultural networks.
So, how can you ensure your communication is targeted for multicultural people in your community?
Everybody should have access to sport for all the amazing benefits it provides. By adopting a positive mindset and taking action to create more opportunities to get involved, grass roots sport can become a more welcoming, vibrant and connected place that reflects the rich diversity of the wider community.
Visit www.inclusivesportdesign.com for more inclusive sport resources, tips and tools.
Michael is a Diversity and Inclusion in Sport Consultant and is the Founder of Inclusive Sport Design. He draws on his 15 plus years’ experience as a sports administrator leading inclusion programming, strategy and policy to help sports people and organisations at all levels create more welcoming and inclusive opportunities. Why? So that sport is something that Every Body can be a part of.
This article was modified for brevity by Play by the Rules. For the full article please visit: https://www.ethnolink.com.au/blog/including-multicultural-communities-in-grassroots-sport/