'It's the resources of having someone available': Valuing and managing diversity in junior sport

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Farquharson, Karen, Spaaij, Ramon, Jeanes, Ruth, Magee, Jonathan and Lusher, Dean (2013) 'It's the resources of having someone available': Valuing and managing diversity in junior sport. In: TASA Conference 2013 : Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations 50 years of Australian Sociology, 25-28 November 2013, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


Sport is being looked to as a solution to societal problems of social cohesion and connectedness, but for sport to be such a solution, it must be accessible and attractive to diverse peoples. This study examined Melbourne sports clubs’ approaches to fostering and managing diversity. Diversity was defined as difference based on gender, race-ethnicity, sexuality and ability. The study asked whether clubs valued diversity and whether they had policies or strategies that encouraged diversity within their club. Based on 26 interviews with leaders at a variety of sports clubs around Melbourne, we find that while in principle the clubs support the idea of diversity of all sorts, particularly of race-ethnicity and ability, they mostly did not actively promote it. For many, it was something that they would promote if they had the resources. A few clubs had specific programs for people with a disability or from culturally diverse backgrounds which were successful, but most did not have any diversity outreach programs or policies. In addition, different sports prioritised different types of diversity. We argue that the clubs encounter both structural and attitudinal barriers to embracing diversity.

Item type Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/25005
Official URL http://www.tasa.org.au/tasa-members/2013-conferenc...
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords national identities through sport, formation of cultural citizenship, belonging, identity and expression
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