conclusion, it can be seen that the ABME
group is heavily under-represented in various sports. This is due to the existence of personal barriers, socioeconomic
barriers, cultural barriers, and environmental barriers that limit the
participation rate of this group. Considering the success of racial equality
policies and community training initiatives in the UK, the two strategies are
recommendable in encouraging higher participation of this group in organised sport.
other initiative that has greatly succeeded in increasing the participation of
ABME people in sports is the use of active training to empower more of them in
sport facilitation roles. One of the most successful of these projects is the
Active Communities initiative that works closely with the ABME community
members. It has specifically developed unique sports programmes and supporting
facilities that are used to train community sports
leaders (Long et al., 2009). The sports leaders are
exposed to coaching knowledge and training which helps them to motivate
other community members to adopt sports. They are
also instructed on how to achieve wider communal objectives. In the
Active Communities project, special attention is devoted to the more sensitive
groups of people within the ABME, such as girls and women, very low-income
individuals, and people with disabilities (Long
et al., 2009). This strategy has motivated more women to engage in
sport, thus lowering the gender inequality in sporting activities. The main
reason behind the success of this initiative is focused on the specific needs
of the ABME communities.
clubs in the UK have developed anti-racist slogans that help to inspire ethnic
tolerance. In some professional football clubs like Northampton and Charlton
Athletic, all members are required to adhere to specific Racial Equality
Standards set by the club management (Long et
al., 2009). This has made them be
among the most successful clubs in fighting racism and promoting inclusion.
Many organisations that fight racism in
the sport have been established, including Show
Racism the Red Card, Kick It Out, Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD),
among others. FURD, in particular, works closely with the Millennium Volunteers
to run a football academy that predominantly draws people from the ABME group.
Their project has received a further boost from the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) which is composed of
approximately 60 percent of volunteers
from the ABME group (Long et al., 2009). This has increased the number of people from
this ethnic minority group who participate in football in the UK.
the promotion of sports uptake among the
ABME people, two strategies have been applied successfully in the UK. They
include the formulation of racial equality policies and active training of sports facilitators from the group. As noted
above, racism is one of the main barriers that hamper the participation of
these people in an organised sport like
football. Back in 1997, the English Sports Council developed a guide that would
foster good practice among the various local authorities titled Working towards Racial Equality in Sport.
This document has informed most of the operations performed by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) and
by the European Year against Racism (Long et al., 2009). Racial equality is actively promoted in the UK, and this has
translated to more inclusion for the ABME group and other minority groups in
the country. For instance, Sports England
has made a mandatory requirement for a sports
organisation to internally promote racial equality for them to qualify
for future funding. This strategy has succeeded since many sports organisations including the National Sports
Governing Body has quickly integrated racial equality in their establishments (Long et al., 2009). As a result, racism
continues to decline in the country, thus creating a favourable environment for
the minority groups to participate in sports.
Successful Initiatives that Promote Participation of ABME Group in Sport
barriers contribute greatly to the low rates of participation of the ABME group
members in the sport. To start with, there are relatively fewer
training and sporting facilities in the regions where the minority people live.
Consequently, many of them experience severe mobility issues in trying to
access the available sports facilities,
many of which are located outside their areas of residence (Dashper et al., 2017). In Wales, the
footballers that come from other places are rejected mainly because they have a limited understanding of the Welsh
sport. Recently, many clubs in Wales have expressed an interest in absorbing
players from the ABME community, but they lack the resources necessary to meet
the needs of these minority people (Dashper et
al., 2017). This can largely be attributed to the environmental constraints.
Community-level barriers such as “unfamiliar environments” push many
of these people away from the sport. A
majority of them prefer to participate in physical activities that are
accessible to them like fitness exercise, gym, and swimming (Koshoedo et al., 2015). It is clear that
community-level barriers discourage many from the active uptake of elite
football, among other organised sports.
barrier that is closely associated with
culture is racism. Research shows that racial and ethical constraints play a
major role in reducing the level of participation of the ABME group in football
and other sporting events. Ethnic differences in the UK have sparked intense
conflict in many sports arenas. For instance, a recent survey conducted in
England revealed that many football stadiums displayed hate messages that fuelled
racism. Many football managers and news editors have been implicated in racist
remarks, with many professional footballers reporting cases of harassment based
on their racial identities (Long et al., 2009).
The Black Minority group is especially more
exposed to racial hatred. It can be
argued that limited understanding of the importance of social diversity
helps to increase racism. Many ABME group members are locked out of the lucrative football coaching roles due to
their ethnic affiliations. This problem has specifically made it more difficult
to increase inclusion in the coaching organisations
in the England and Wales, with many organisational
leaders preferring to maintain their ‘unequal’ workforce (Norman et al., 2014). Racism, therefore, becomes
a major impediment that lowers the rate of sports participation among this
cultural and religious expectations of these people also pose another barrier.
In many ABME communities, the people expect sporting activities to incorporate
and promote their cultural and religious practices. Based on social
reservations, many of them insist on having certain provisions, such as
same-sex instructors, single-sex facilities, and use of lifeguards. These
cultural expectations are particularly more important to the Muslim communities
(Koshoedo et al., 2015). Regrettably, the
elite football is governed by different rules, and this makes it very difficult
for these people to be accommodated in the
sport. In other cases, the ABME group members fear that participating in sport
will weaken their traditional values or lead to the disappearance of certain
cultural practices. The individuals have to make a tough choice between
embracing sport and retaining their customs. Moreover, the absence of
indoor-facilities that are culturally-sensitive makes many of them to avoid
physical activities (Koshoedo et al., 2015).
Proper sensitisation of the people on the
need to embrace new cultural practices that are beneficial to them is needed to
motivate Black Minority people to engage in sport.