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Opportunities for Participation
Section 4 - Barriers to Participation…read more

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Key Terms
Quantitative research: data is collected that allows for a numerical or statistical
Qualitative research: conclusions are drawn from the basis of discussions or
descriptions from individuals.
Barrier to participation: an obstacle or a perceived obstacle that prevents an
individual from participating in an activity, excluding their own capabilities.
Equality of opportunity: an equal chance to participate regardless of gender,
sexual preference, age, race and social class.
Inclusiveness: including people of all kinds within an activity or group.
Discrimination: treating people differently through prejudice ­ unfair treatment
of one person or a group of people based upon a stereotypical view of that group
or person.
Prejudice: holding a preformed judgement or opinion of someone based upon
irrational, incomplete or inaccurate stereotypical views.
Stereotype: an oversimplified view of someone, a standardised image. May
include attributes that are incorrect or only partially true.…read more

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Inclusiveness and Equal Opportunity
Equal opportunity means that all individuals have the same chance to participate
and that they are not denied an opportunity on unreasonable grounds. Equality
of opportunity can be denied by:
A lack of facilities
Inadequate recreational or sporting infrastructure
Lack of sufficient personal resources
Discriminatory actions against individuals denying them access to facilities, clubs etc.
The Government (through Sport England, the local authorities and the voluntary
sector) are all attempting to ensure that there is equality of opportunity in terms
of facilities and the infrastructure if sport and recreation.
Public and voluntary can go a long way to achieve equality of opportunity by
providing facilities and support at a low cost to those of more limited means.
They achieve to seek the following:
Access to a reasonable range of physical recreation and sport opportunities for all
within a community
Provide the opportunity to receive the benefits of participation, but without
attempting to provide access to all activities.
A level of provision that enables talented individuals to fulfil their potential.
Try to promote inclusiveness in sport.…read more

Slide 4

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The Barriers to Participation
There are 5 general barriers to participation in sport and physical recreation:
Lack of opportunity
Lack of personal resources
Group or peer pressure
Lack of opportunity:
Even with public and voluntary sector support there is a variation in the
level of provision, and this reflects the economic conditions within a local
community ­ despite Government funding to areas of low economic
wealth, there are still large differences between communities in different
parts of the country.
Public sector provision is focused on providing a level of opportunity that
is deemed to be sufficient to meet minimum needs.
It is likely that as exchequer and Lottery funding continues to be focused
on less wealthy areas this inequality in provision will reduce but not disappear.…read more

Slide 5

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The Barriers to Participation
Personal resources:
As a result of family circumstances, we all have different levels of
income and family work or commitments ­ time and money that we
can devote to things other than providing for our basic needs or
meeting our commitments to others.
These differences affect our opportunity to participate.
Discrimination in sport:
Research shows that individuals suffer from unfair discrimination
which impacts upon their participation.
Discrimination results in an individual results in an individual being
excluded or prevented from participating, usually because of a
stereotypical prejudice about race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender or
People that hold prejudicial views consider that a particular group of
people are inferior and therefore unable to participate in a particular
activity, or are not worthy of being part of the group, club or team.
This prevents them from participating.…read more

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The Barriers to Participation
Fear of discrimination:
The fear of being abused or being made to feel unwelcome is likely to lead people to avoid such
treatment by not trying to join.
It may also lead to groups setting up their own organisations or teams solely to avoid any possibility of
discrimination or to provide the security of being with others like themselves.
Such actions may increase participation but may also lead to a greater sense of isolation and does not
address the central issue of discrimination.
Stereotypical views:
Discrimination can also occur through assumptions about what an individual
may be good at due to stereotypical views of their strengths and weaknesses.
For example, boys from UK Caribbean or African background are
encouraged to engage in explosive sports where speed and strength are the
advantage due to false beliefs about genetic advantages (e.g. boxing, sprinting).
Females are encouraged to take up `female appropriate' activities (e.g. dance)
based upon a female stereotype.
Status of sport:
Research has shown that for some groups within society sport is of low social and economic value, so
young people within these groups are discouraged from developing their talents and abilities.
This can lead to a lack of fulfilment and cause tensions within families and communities as well as
diminishing the number of elite performers coming through from grass roots.…read more

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