It is very important for sporting organisations and clubs to get to know the demographic in their local community. Once you gain a basic awareness of the needs of the people and groups in your area and display your willingness to embrace them and cater for their differences, you can begin to engage with the different partners in your community.
There are many organisations, services, centres or groups you can establish mutually beneficial connections with. Sponsors, councils, government and peak bodies all have an interest in creating more welcoming and inclusive places to play sport. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and have a conversation – this is always a better option than an email.
Review the multicultural, disability and Indigenous organisations, services and centres in your area on an online community directory and then seek partnerships to show the whole-of-community focus of your club.
You could also partner with current programs such as Racism it Stops with Me, Our Watch, Reconciliation Australia, Pride in Sport Index and campaigns like Let Kids be Kids, Changing the Game.
It is difficult for sports to determine what specific strategies and programs need to be developed to increase the engagement and participation of diverse groups in the community without measuring the participation of these groups in your sport and finding out what the barriers to inclusion are. That’s why it is very important for your sport and its clubs to get to know the demographic in their local communities.
There is a community profile tool on the ABS website which can provide you with a general community profile to review. You can also look for data about specific target population markets. Fill out a profile template to give you a snapshot of what you sport demographic looks like. This will be a handy reference point for decision making when it comes to your inclusion activities.