Inconclusion, it can be seen that the ABMEgroup is heavily under-represented in various sports. This is due to the existence of personal barriers, socioeconomicbarriers, cultural barriers, and environmental barriers that limit theparticipation rate of this group. Considering the success of racial equalitypolicies and community training initiatives in the UK, the two strategies arerecommendable in encouraging higher participation of this group in organised sport. Theother initiative that has greatly succeeded in increasing the participation ofABME people in sports is the use of active training to empower more of them insport facilitation roles. One of the most successful of these projects is theActive Communities initiative that works closely with the ABME communitymembers. It has specifically developed unique sports programmes and supportingfacilities that are used to train community sportsleaders (Long et al., 2009).
The sports leaders areexposed to coaching knowledge and training which helps them to motivateother community members to adopt sports. They arealso instructed on how to achieve wider communal objectives. In theActive Communities project, special attention is devoted to the more sensitivegroups of people within the ABME, such as girls and women, very low-incomeindividuals, and people with disabilities (Longet al., 2009). This strategy has motivated more women to engage insport, thus lowering the gender inequality in sporting activities.
The mainreason behind the success of this initiative is focused on the specific needsof the ABME communities. Variousclubs in the UK have developed anti-racist slogans that help to inspire ethnictolerance. In some professional football clubs like Northampton and CharltonAthletic, all members are required to adhere to specific Racial EqualityStandards set by the club management (Long etal., 2009). This has made them beamong the most successful clubs in fighting racism and promoting inclusion.Many organisations that fight racism inthe sport have been established, including ShowRacism the Red Card, Kick It Out, Football Unites Racism Divides (FURD),among others. FURD, in particular, works closely with the Millennium Volunteersto 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 ofapproximately 60 percent of volunteersfrom the ABME group (Long et al.
, 2009). This has increased the number of people fromthis ethnic minority group who participate in football in the UK.Inthe promotion of sports uptake among theABME people, two strategies have been applied successfully in the UK. Theyinclude the formulation of racial equality policies and active training of sports facilitators from the group.
As notedabove, racism is one of the main barriers that hamper the participation ofthese people in an organised sport likefootball. Back in 1997, the English Sports Council developed a guide that wouldfoster 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) andby the European Year against Racism (Long et al., 2009). Racial equality is actively promoted in the UK, and this hastranslated to more inclusion for the ABME group and other minority groups inthe country.
For instance, Sports Englandhas made a mandatory requirement for a sportsorganisation to internally promote racial equality for them to qualifyfor future funding. This strategy has succeeded since many sports organisations including the National SportsGoverning Body has quickly integrated racial equality in their establishments (Long et al., 2009). As a result, racismcontinues to decline in the country, thus creating a favourable environment forthe minority groups to participate in sports.TwoSuccessful Initiatives that Promote Participation of ABME Group in SportEnvironmentalbarriers contribute greatly to the low rates of participation of the ABME groupmembers in the sport. To start with, there are relatively fewertraining and sporting facilities in the regions where the minority people live.Consequently, many of them experience severe mobility issues in trying toaccess the available sports facilities,many of which are located outside their areas of residence (Dashper et al., 2017).
In Wales, thefootballers that come from other places are rejected mainly because they have a limited understanding of the Welshsport. Recently, many clubs in Wales have expressed an interest in absorbingplayers from the ABME community, but they lack the resources necessary to meetthe needs of these minority people (Dashper etal., 2017). This can largely be attributed to the environmental constraints.Community-level barriers such as “unfamiliar environments” push manyof these people away from the sport. Amajority of them prefer to participate in physical activities that areaccessible to them like fitness exercise, gym, and swimming (Koshoedo et al., 2015). It is clear thatcommunity-level barriers discourage many from the active uptake of elitefootball, among other organised sports.
Anotherbarrier that is closely associated withculture is racism. Research shows that racial and ethical constraints play amajor role in reducing the level of participation of the ABME group in footballand other sporting events. Ethnic differences in the UK have sparked intenseconflict in many sports arenas. For instance, a recent survey conducted inEngland revealed that many football stadiums displayed hate messages that fuelledracism. Many football managers and news editors have been implicated in racistremarks, with many professional footballers reporting cases of harassment basedon their racial identities (Long et al.
, 2009).The Black Minority group is especially moreexposed to racial hatred. It can beargued that limited understanding of the importance of social diversityhelps to increase racism. Many ABME group members are locked out of the lucrative football coaching roles due totheir ethnic affiliations. This problem has specifically made it more difficultto increase inclusion in the coaching organisationsin the England and Wales, with many organisationalleaders preferring to maintain their ‘unequal’ workforce (Norman et al.
, 2014). Racism, therefore, becomesa major impediment that lowers the rate of sports participation among thisgroup.Thecultural and religious expectations of these people also pose another barrier.In many ABME communities, the people expect sporting activities to incorporateand promote their cultural and religious practices. Based on socialreservations, many of them insist on having certain provisions, such assame-sex instructors, single-sex facilities, and use of lifeguards.
Thesecultural expectations are particularly more important to the Muslim communities(Koshoedo et al., 2015). Regrettably, theelite football is governed by different rules, and this makes it very difficultfor these people to be accommodated in thesport. In other cases, the ABME group members fear that participating in sportwill weaken their traditional values or lead to the disappearance of certaincultural practices.
The individuals have to make a tough choice betweenembracing sport and retaining their customs. Moreover, the absence ofindoor-facilities that are culturally-sensitive makes many of them to avoidphysical activities (Koshoedo et al., 2015).Proper sensitisation of the people on theneed to embrace new cultural practices that are beneficial to them is needed tomotivate Black Minority people to engage in sport.