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Netball and Cultural Diversity

April 30, 2012 by

Netball season has ‘kicked’ off and here on the Central Coast it seems to be as popular as ever with young and not so young alike. I thought to take the opportunity to ask how representative of multicultural Australia your club is? And even to point you in the direction of finding a club for yourself or your daughter if you want to fit right into the sporting culture of Australia.

Below you can read some tips from Netball Australia on getting getting/keeping the game of netball representative of the cultural diversity of this country.

The full report can be read here:

http://www.hreoc.gov.au/racial_discrimination/whats_the_score/pdf/netball.pdf

Fostering Inclusion

Netball Australia embraces ethnic diversity in the community by encouraging the participation of all individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) backgrounds.

The organisation’s core values are to ‘treat all people with dignity and respect’, ‘embrace diversity’ and ‘be sharing, open, inclusive and cooperative’.28

It urges clubs and associations to encourage cultural respect and diversity to attract people from different nationalities to participate in the game. Associations are also encouraged to make amendments to by-laws (if necessary) to allow all participants to play in a fair environment.

Netball Australia’s Junior Netball Policy has a checklist and strategies which relate to ‘ethnicity’. The policy asks whether ‘clubs and associations offer opportunities for young people to participate in netball regardless of their ethnicity?’

Suggested strategies include to:

Be flexible to accommodate cultural and religious beliefs (e.g. relaxing uniform requirements, raising awareness of important religious/cultural events and practices, and scheduling competitions surrounding them).

Conduct cross-cultural training programs for administrators/coaches/umpires and offer training programs to all members.

Offer ‘come and try’ days in known, family-friendly environments, such as schools.

Establish ethnic teams within the existing competition structure.

Encourage parents from ethnic backgrounds to become involved – provide specific training for them.

The policy then asks if ‘clubs and associations ensure a positive and welcoming culture for young people from varying ethnic backgrounds?’ The strategy suggests to: ‘include images of participants from varying ethnic backgrounds in all promotional material and consider providing promotional material in a range of languages’.

What’s the score? (A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport)

The checklist goes on to ask whether the ‘club/association develops and dedicates programs specifically to encourage young people from CLD backgrounds to participate in sport?’ The strategy suggests that clubs ‘consult with community leaders and cultural groups and seek support for netball programs’ and ‘promote junior netball programs to CLD families or groups’.

The policy also has a checklist covering ‘socioeconomic status’ which asks ‘does your club or association offer opportunities for young people to participate in netball regardless of their socioeconomic status?’

Suggested strategies include to:

Offer low cost resources/programs for schools/clubs located in low socio-economic areas.

Provide/lend used balls/bibs to school groups/competing teams.

Offer discounted/subsidised school clinics and travel arrangements to or from training/competition.

Establish similarity between club and school uniforms (i.e. wear anything of a certain colour).

‘Used uniform swap’ – recycle old club/association uniforms.

Offer financial subsidies for players in representative teams.

Allow membership payments to be spread over the season for individuals.

Investigate sponsorship.

Create a variety of membership options (e.g. short season or family membership for club fees).

The checklist also asks if ‘your club/association encourage community involvement in supporting young people from low socioeconomic areas?’

The strategy suggests to:

Conduct fundraising events to attract the community into supporting young people from low socio-economic areas.

Establish relationships with the PCYC/YMCA and encourage them to conduct netball programs.

Offer training and professional development opportunities for members of community organisations and other volunteers.

Apply for funding via local councils or state governments.

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