Cultural Diversity in Sport

Cultural Diversity in Sport         
Prepared by  Prepared by: Chris Hume, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Australian Sports Commission
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Paul Oliver, Director, Oliver and Thompson Consultancy (January 2017).
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated:  19 September 2017
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Community Sport Coaching
Australian Sports Commission


The demographic makeup of communities across Australia is changing. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS);

  • 28% of Australian were born overseas;
  • Almost most 50% of Australians have parents born in other countries; 
  • Over 260 languages are spoken; 
  • Almost 20% of Australians have some form of a disability; and,
  • Over half (50.2%) of our population are women and girls.
    [References - ABS: 3235.0 - Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2015 (August 2016); 3412.0 - Migration, Australia, 2014-15 (April 2016); 4430.0 - Disability, Ageing and Carers, Australia: Summary of Findings, 2015 (October 2016)]

Sport and physical activity play an important role in our communities. Sport can promote social inclusion and community well-being. Yet it can also inadvertently or otherwise promote exclusion and place unnecessary barriers preventing greater community participation.

Key Messages 


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


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


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


More inclusive sports realise greater growth among other opportunities.

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