The demographic of the communities in which sport operates in Australia has changed dramatically over the last decade.
Inclusion in sport
The reality is our culturally, linguistically and gender diverse communities are looking for sporting options that celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and most importantly, make people feel like they belong. This is not just about not excluding people – it is about actively ‘including’ them.
A range of research surveys and reports on the challenges and opportunities of inclusive practices in sport provide clear evidence that:
- sport will continue to play an important role in promoting social inclusion, community health/well-being, values and anti-discrimination.
- sports that will thrive in the future are those that best cater for culturally, gender, sexuality and age diverse communities.
- people are making decisions on which sport/club based on those who celebrate diversity and promote inclusion, have safe practices and display integrity in all their actions and decisions.
- all the inclusion benefits of sport are not automatic; they require constant work by dedicated people throughout sport.
Business case for inclusion
The business case for diversity and inclusion is compelling. If people are choosing sporting codes based on diversity and inclusiveness this becomes a critical factor in growing the customer (and sponsorship) base for the sport and ensuring its on-going commercial viability.
Positioning your sport as a leader in diversity and inclusion will:
- enhance your brand and reputation
- ensure consistency in ‘walking the talk’ to meet your strategic objectives
- allow you to meet sport regulatory obligations
- increase governance and risk management and decrease potential legal risks
- increase membership
- increase pathway and participation opportunities
- increase sponsorship opportunities
- increase public support and volunteer base
- ensure greater publicity and positive public image
- provide a better connected and diverse sport community
- break down barriers and promote social inclusion.