How to be an inclusive club
Sport and recreation clubs are important to local communities and can be the best place to encourage positive contact and cooperation between people from a range of different backgrounds and abilities.
There is great potential for sporting clubs and community groups to expand their memberships and reduce social isolation, by encouraging people of diverse backgrounds, abilities and age to join and participate.
Sport and Recreation (WA), a division of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) has a position statement with regard to inclusive participation, this being:
“Sport and Recreation expects all Western Australians to have the opportunity to participate in sport and recreation activities regardless of their age, gender, religion, cultural background, sexual orientation, disability, income or geographical location”.
A copy of the full position statement can be accessed from the website or obtained from the Manager, Community Participation at Sport and Recreation (WA).
Australia is a diverse nation, with Western Australia one of the most diverse of all the states and territories. In 2011, Western Australia’s population was 2.2 million people, an increase of 14% from 2006, and expected to increase further from the 2016 statistics. WA had the highest proportion of its population (31%) born overseas of all Australian states and territories, with Perth the highest proportion of overseas-born (35%) of all Australian capital cities.
WA is home to people from more than 190 countries, speaking approximately 270 languages and dialects (including around 50 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages). Western Australians follow more than 130 religious faiths. People from the United Kingdom, Europe, South-East Asia and the Middle East, and more recently from South Asia and Africa, have made Western Australia their home, creating a harmonious environment that respects diversity.
According to the 2011 Census, there were 69,664 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in WA. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent 3.1% of the WA population.
Many culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) groups and individuals participate in sport, mainly at a social level at schools, in local parks, with youth groups, after school and with family and friends from their communities. When comparing structured sports to social physical activity, participation rates by CaLD people are lower than people born in Australia.
There is great potential for sporting associations and clubs to expand their membership by encouraging people of diverse backgrounds to join and participate. This booklet outlines the benefits of becoming an inclusive club as well as practical strategies to assist you.