Cultural Diversity in Sport

Cultural Diversity in Sport         
Prepared by  Prepared by: Christine May, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Paul Oliver, Director, Oliver and Thompson Consultancy (November 2017), Dr Andrew Bennie, Director Academic Program, Health & Physical Education, Western Sydney University (January 2018).
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated:  12 January 2018
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Community Sport Coaching
Australian Sports Commission

Introduction

Australia is often described as a culturally diverse, or multicultural, country. It is home to the world’s oldest continuous cultures (Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples), but has also embraced significant levels of migration throughout its more recent history.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS):

  • 28.5% of Australian were born overseas;
  • Almost 50% of Australians have parents born in other countries; 
  • Over 260 languages are spoken; 
  • Almost 20% of Australians have some form of a disability; 
  • Up to 11 in 100 Australians may have a diverse sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity; and
  • Just over half of our population are female.

[sources: ABS: 3235.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2015 (August 2016); 3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2015-16 (March 2017); 4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia:Summary of Findings, 2015 (October 2016), Face the facts: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex People statistics, Australian Human Rights Commission infographic, (2014).]

Sport and physical activity play an important role in our communities by promoting social inclusion and community well-being. However, sport can also promote exclusion and place unnecessary barriers to greater community participation.


Key Messages 

1

Australia has a diverse multicultural population and sport participation in many of its regions reflects this diversity.

2

Sport can be used for positive social change—it can help build more inclusive, healthier, happier, and safer communities.

3

Sporting organisations and sports clubs should continually seek to identify barriers that may preclude people from participating in their sport.

4

More inclusive practices in sports can assist with growing the participant base and in improving community physical, social, mental, and spiritual health and well-being.




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