LITERATURE SYNTHESIS ON THE TOPIC: How do ethnicity and gender influence access to sport and recreation opportunities?
Ive attached the 4 articles along with the annotated bibliography written earlier.
· Write a 3-5-page (750-1200 word) literature review (or synthesis) using the four research articles.
· Minimise the use of direct quotations from the four research articles.
· Exemplary assignments will not just be a compilation of the annotations from the previous portion of this assignment, but will instead use the research articles to construct an argument that addresses the topic selected by each student.
· Use APA to cite your research articles and format the entire assignment in APA style.
Each of the themes you identify should highlight important issues within that topic as identified by the researchers whose work you are reading. These themes might reflect the questions asked by researchers, the methods used, and/or the central conclusions found. (You might also suggest “gaps” in the literature, if any are apparent to you as you review your articles.)While your synthesis might not have a specific thesis statement (although it can), your introduction should focus on the broader topic (or research question, if you prefer) addressed by the body of literature that is represented by your four articles and the themes that you have identified within them.
You should conclude by summarising the key themes in the body of literature you are reviewing and any other important take-away messages.
LITERATURE SYNTHESIS ON THE TOPIC: How do ethnicity and gender influence access to sport and recreation opportunities? Ive attached the 4 articles along with the annotated bibliography written earlier
Article gathering: Topic# 6 Umna Imran Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management, University of Manitoba KPER2120 Dr. Russel Field & Colleen Plumton October 30, 2020 Ahmad, A. (2011). British football: Where Are The Muslim Female Footballers? Exploring The Connections Between Gender, Ethnicity and Islam. Soccer & Society, 12(3), 443–456. https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2011.568110 Aisha Ahmed (2011) explores the topic of ethnicity and its relationship with sport, particularly football. She focuses on gender and ethnicity and refers to women and their participation in British Football. First, the author connects the issue of sport with gender and ethnicity and brings in other factors. The topic evaluates Muslim women’s participation in sports and how their ethnicity and gender connect with this participation. Ahmed’s article’s research question is “where the Muslim female footballers are in the British Football arena?” Moreover, the research hypothesis is assessing the connection between Islam, ethnicity, and gender. All these aspects play a central role in Ahmed’s research of women and sports based on their ethnicity and gender. Aisha Ahmed uses important data to present her point, and she obtains the information from people via interview transcript material. Ahmed’s research used a multimethod interview approach since it enables result corroboration and efficient information production. Aisha Ahmed presented several findings regarding her research topic. First, she discovered that women in Islam do not participate in sports because traditional roles expect differently. Secondly, Ahmed also presented that some people view women as too pretty to participate in football activities. In other words, most of these people relate football with masculinity hence considering it not for women. Additionally, the author also finds out that cultural values also hinder women in Islam from participating in football activities. Aisha Ahmed concluded that cultural values and other critical aspects prevent women Islam from taking part in sport. Laar, R., Zhang, J., Yu, T., Qi, H., & Ashraf, M. A. (2018). Constraints To Women’s Participation In Sports: A Study of Participation of Pakistani Female Students In Physical Activities. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(3), 385– 397. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2018.1481875 Laar et al. (2019) explore the barriers women face while attempting to participate in sporting activities and use Pakistan’s provinces as the location for study. The topic revolves around the historical discouragement of women from competing in sports and other physical activities. The authors’ study’s research question is, “what are the barriers women face in sporting activities?” The hypothesis for this analysis entails the challenges in sporting activities based on gender. However, the authors also utilize the ethnicity factor since they only use Pakistani women. Laar et al. (2019) used observational information and other field data in the investigation. The methods used in the study entails stratified random sampling executed by application of questionnaires. The questionnaires were modified and designed specifically for Laar et al. (2019) ‘s study and helped with data collection. To enhance the study method, the authors used M-plus to eliminate questions with no influence on women’s participation in sports. Several results are associated with the study conducted by Laar et al. (2019). First, the authors discovered that sub dimensions of challenges, including cultural values and mass media influences, were the core factors that hindered women from participating in sports in Pakistani provinces. Additionally, the authors also found out that religious values also hinder women from sports participation. The authors concluded that people in urban areas provide women more opportunities compared to people in rural areas due to cultural values and strict adherence. For further research, Laar et al. (2019) point out that it is significant to study reasons that promote minimal sport participation by students in institutions. Sawrikar, P., & Muir, K. (2010). The Myth of a ‘Fair Go’: Barriers to Sport and Recreational Participation Among Indian and Other Ethnic Minority Women in Australia. Sport Management Review, 13(4), 355–367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2010.01.005 Sawrikar and Munir (2010) explore the barriers that prevent women from participating in recreational and sports activities. The authors focus on ethnicity and gender, and women in India and other Australian ethnic minority females. The research question and hypotheses used by the authors is, “What are the issues and challenges to sport and recreation participation among ethnic minority women?”. Public data sets and field information were used to help with the investigation. To answer the study questions, Sawrikar and Munir (2010) focused on using two distinct methods. First, they used a literature review to evaluate existing research and evidence regarding barriers to women’s participation in sports and other recreational activities. They evaluated international and national literature to identify a theoretical framework for comprehending challenges women from ethnic minority groups encounter in sports. Secondly, the authors used focus groups to collect field data and evidence of barriers to women’s participation in sport and recreational activities. The results from the authors’ study present essential insight regarding women’s sport participation and barriers. For example, the authors discovered several barriers prevented Indian women from participating in sports, including socio-cultural issues, access to sporting activities, resources, and interpersonal challenges. For other women in ethnic minority groups, similar barriers prevented them from participating. The authors concluded that addressing such barriers can uplift Indians and other women from minority ethnic groups to participate in sports activities. Lastly, Sawrikar and Munir (2010) suggest that it is important to create and execute strategies that promote women’s participation in sport and recreational activities. Strandbu, Å., Bakken, A., & Sletten, M. A. (2017). Exploring the Minority–Majority Gap in Sport Participation: Different Patterns for Boys and Girls? Sport in Society, 22(4), 606–624. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2017.1389056 Strandbu et al. (2019) explore majority and minority young people’s participation in sports activities. The research topic focuses on the gaps involving majority and minority sport participation, particularly the difference in participation between young boys and girls. This study’s research question is, “What is the difference in participation between boys and girls in sports?” The authors seek to evaluate the patterns and gaps in sport participation based on gender among young individuals. The authors base their study on a conducted survey in this research area and use it as a guide to present answers to the study question. Strandbu et al. (2019) used the survey method to collect data in their study, and they also used secondary schools as the foundation of the study. It was a voluntary participation, and parents were informed before the actual survey was taken. The authors discovered that several factors contributed to the gap in sport participation involving boys and girls. First, both minority and majority boys were more active in sports than girls, where majority girls participated more in sports than the minority girls. Strandbu et al. (2019) also discovered that these gaps were influenced by several reasons, including socio- economic resources, religious impact, age, parental labor market, and daily life. The authors concluded that the study indicated the essence of considering gender when evaluating sports participation discrepancies involving youth from the majority and minority backgrounds. Girls from minority groups participated less in sports than those from majority backgrounds. However, for the boys, there was no significant gap in sports participation for both backgrounds. Reference Ahmad, A. (2011). British football: Where Are The Muslim Female Footballers? Exploring The Connections Between Gender, Ethnicity and Islam. Soccer & Society, 12(3), 443–456. https://doi.org/10.1080/14660970.2011.568110 Laar, R., Zhang, J., Yu, T., Qi, H., & Ashraf, M. A. (2018). Constraints To Women’s Participation In Sports: A Study of Participation of Pakistani Female Students In Physical Activities. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 11(3), 385–397. https://doi.org/10.1080/19406940.2018.1481875 Sawrikar, P., & Muir, K. (2010). The Myth of a ‘Fair Go’: Barriers to Sport and Recreational Participation Among Indian and Other Ethnic Minority Women in Australia. Sport Management Review, 13(4), 355–367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2010.01.005 Strandbu, Å., Bakken, A., & Sletten, M. A. (2017). Exploring the Minority–Majority Gap in Sport Participation: Different Patterns for Boys and Girls? Sport in Society, 22(4), 606–624. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2017.1389056
LITERATURE SYNTHESIS ON THE TOPIC: How do ethnicity and gender influence access to sport and recreation opportunities? Ive attached the 4 articles along with the annotated bibliography written earlier
The myth of a ‘fair go’: Barriers to sport and recreational participation among Indian and other ethnic minority women in Australia Pooja Sawrikar a,* , Kristy Muir b aSocial Policy Research Centre (SPRC), University of New South Wales (UNSW), G2 Western Campus, Western Grounds, Sydney, NSW 2052, AustraliabDisability Studies and Research Centre (DSRC), University of New South Wales (UNSW), F8 Law Building, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia 1. Introduction Sport and recreation are key leisure activities in Australia and integral components of national culture and social life. Indeed, sport ‘‘has been loftily described as the national obsession of Australians’’ (Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b), and arguably forms part of the stereotyped national identity; to be Australian is to be ‘‘sporty’’. In addition, sport in Australia is widely considered to be a ‘level playing ﬁeld’ (Kell, 2000), where all people, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or disability for example, haveequal access and opportunityto participate. However, the most recent national data shows that large discrepancies in regards to participation in sport and recreation occur across different groups in the Australian community. The ﬁgures inTable 1indicate that women participate less than men, and people from non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB) participate less than their English-speaking counterparts. The discrepancies are considerably stark when the rates are examined by both gender and region of birth. AsTable 1shows, women from Southern and Central Asia have particularly low participation rates. While almost two- thirds of Anglo-Saxon women participate in sport and recreation (64.7%), only 43.6% of women from this region, of whom Indian women are likely to form the largest proportion, participate. Given that Australia has ﬁrmly established itself as a multicultural nation, with 24% of its population born in non-English speaking countries (ABS, 2007, 1301.0), it is important to explore why this cultural diversity is not emulated in national rates of participation. Indeed, sporting and leisure organisations and associations could be missing out on a large group of people Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 ARTICLE INFO Article history:Received 30 May 2009Received in revised form 12 September 2009Accepted 3 January 2010 Keywords: Women Ethnicity Sport Level playing ﬁeld Social inclusion Indian ABSTRACT The latest national data shows that ethnic minority women in Australia have the lowest rates of sport and recreational participation, raising doubt about whether everyone has ‘‘a fair go’’ to participate. This article explores the types of barriers perceived or experienced by Indian women in Sydney, compared to a larger group of culturally and linguistically diverse women across Australia. Support was found for socio-cultural, access, resource and interpersonal constraints. Moreover, it appears that Indian and other ethnic minority women generally perceiveaccessto sport as equal, but not necessarily theopportunityto participate, indicating a level of social exclusion. The researchers suggest that promoting an image of cultural diversity in the institution of sport can signiﬁcantly stimulate the interest and participation of Indian and other migrant women. This may not only beneﬁt their personal health and wellbeing, but it may also increase their sense of social inclusion in sport (and) in Australia. 2010 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. * Corresponding author. Tel.: +61 2 9385 5504; fax: +61 2 9385 7838. E-mail addresses:[email protected](P. Sawrikar),[email protected](K. Muir). Contents lists available atScienceDirect Sport Management Review journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/smr 1441-3523/$ – see front matter 2010 Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.smr.2010.01.005 who could increase their membership and add to the cultural richness of their organisations. Moreover, increasing participation among people from non-English speaking backgrounds may also assist in improving social inclusion more generally, as well as the health and wellbeing of individuals (Collins & Kay, 2003; Cortis, Sawrikar, & Muir, 2008). The lower rate of participation is likely to be attributable to a number of factors, and which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. For example, it could reﬂect cultural differences in a value for participation in sport and recreation, or it could reﬂect measurement issues in the way ‘‘participation’’ is deﬁned. However, it could also reﬂect institutional, or broader social barriers that inhibit or prevent migrant women from participating. If the latter is the case, then social exclusion is occurring. That is, ethnic minority women have lower levels of participation because of factors beyond their control, and not because they do not value participation per se (Burchardt, 2000). This challenges the myth that sport in Australia is a level playing ﬁeld to which all people have a ‘‘fair go’’. Indian women have been selected for this study because Indian-born Australians form one of Australia’s largest minority groups (ABS, 2007, 3101.0). Currently, there is no known research about the experiences of Indian women’s participation in sport and recreation in Australia. However, this is demonstrative of a broader issue in the current knowledge base on gender and ethnicity issues in sport and recreational participation. Research into the barriers NESB women face to sport and recreational participation is not extensive and has only recently received empirical and theoretical attention (Taylor, 2004). AsStoddart (2006)has pointed out ‘‘the role of sport in ethnic communities…in Australia is almost untouched by investigation’’ (p. 753). As it is, research about women in sport has been criticised for developing relatively slowly, let alone moving beyond the overwhelming focus of those born in Australia or Britain (Taylor & Toohey, 1997). Thus, the tendency for gender and ethnicity to be analysed separately (Burdsey, 2006; Hanson, 2005; Scraton, Caudwell, & Holland, 2005) has left gaps in knowledge about the nexus between gender and ethnicity in sport and recreation (Taylor, 2004). Also, much of the research which has examined and explored issues for NESB groups, does so generally; grouping together the experiences of several ethnic minority groups with the effect of homogenising their needs and challenges (Hanson, 2005). WhileTaylor and Toohey (1998a,b)have done some sound research into the issues faced byspeciﬁcNESB groups in Australia, there is little understanding of how the experiences of women from a particular ethnic minority group may reﬂect the experiences of women in the broader NESB community in Australia. Finally, most of the research in this area is from overseas, especially the UK (e.g.Carrington, Chivers, & Williams, 1987; Scraton et al., 2005), USA (e.g.Hanson, 2005), Canada (e.g.Choudry, 1998), and Norway (e.g.Walseth, 2006). The research in Australia can only be said to be nascent (e.g.Taylor, 2004; Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b). This article will contribute to the national (and international) literature on Indian women’s lower participation in sport in Australia, the nexus between gender and ethnicity, and on the cross-cultural comparative experience of ethnic minority women in Australia. More importantly, if participation in organised or formal sport is going to increase for Indian-born women in Australia, and other ethnic minority women, it is important to understand perceived and experienced barriers and to determine how some of these barriers could be addressed. Therefore, this article aims to understand why participation rates are lower for Indian women; to determine the perceived or experienced barriers that Indian women may face and how these compare to other ethnic minority women living in Australia; and, ﬁnally, to outline how some of these barriers could be overcome to support the inclusion of Indian women and other ethnic minority women who face similar barriers. By addressing these aims, the article will inform the development of policies and practices aimed at increasing the participation of ethnic minority women in organised or formal sport and recreation. This will assist to ensure that a ‘‘fair go’’ means real social inclusion; that is, policies and practices address not only the right to access sport, but also other barriers that might currently preclude people’sopportunityto participate. Table 1 Participation in sport and physical activity by sex and region of birth, Australia (2002). Region of birth Males (%) Females (%) North-West Europe 69.8 64.7 Australia68.5 63.6 Oceania and Antarctica 69.1 63.6 Sub-Saharan Africa 72 60 Americas67.5 56 North-East Asia 68.8 53.5 South-East Asia 61.1 52.3 Southern and Central Asia a 63 43.6 Southern and Eastern Europe 44.1 40.7 North Africa and the Middle East 42.7 19.5 Source: Migrants and participation in sport and physical activity (ABS 2006b, p. 10). aCountries that comprise Southern Asia include India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal; countries included in Central Asia are Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan (ABS 1249.0). Data from the ABS report, ‘Migrants and Participation in Sport and Physical Activity’ (ABS 2006b,p. 10) does not provide information on the proportion of women from each of these countries. However, given that India is the only country from the Southern and Central Asia region that is in the top ten country of birth list of overseas-born Australian residents (ABS, 2007, 3101.0), we infer that they are likely to comprise the largest group in these results. The 43.6% rate of participation for women from this region has been used as a proxy of participation for Indian women here.P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 356 2. Method To answer the research questions, two main sources were used: a literature review and focus groups with women from various ethnic minority groups living in Australia. A review of the national and international literature was conducted to identify a theoretical basis for understanding the barriers that women in general and women from ethnic minority groups may face in participating in sport and recreation. This literature was used to assist in developing a focus group schedule, which in turn reﬂects the theoretical framework used in this study (see Section2.2). Twelve focus groups were conducted across three states in Australia (New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia) in early 2007. Focus groups were conducted in this study as they provide a rich source of contextual data and enable causal relationships between the factors of interest to be ascertained. Participants were recruited using an arms-length approach through local community organisations (e.g. community centres, education, language, health, recreation and other non- government organisations), community radio announcements and community notice boards in the target areas. Data from the focus groups were thematically analysed according to the theoretical framework used in this study. 2.1. Sample The total focus group sample included 94 women, ranging from 16 to 70 years of age and who were born in 35 different countries. The largest number of women were from Iraq (n= 11; 12%), Japan (n= 10; 11%), Somalia (n= 9; 10%) and India (n= 8; 9%). Focus groups were held in both urban and regional areas, were comprised of both single and mixed ethnicity groups, and were either with sport participants, sport non-participants or a mix of both sport participants and non- participants. This paper draws on the issues that emerged in one of these focus groups – Indian women in urban NSW (Sydney) who were a mix of sport and non-sport-participants – and compares these to the ﬁndings of the broader study. The focus group with Indian-born women living in Sydney was comprised of seven women ranging in age from 25 to 49 years. As they were a mix of both sport participants and non-participants, the views presented in this study reﬂect women interested in sport but not necessarily participating, as well as women who are participating and postulating why some Indian women do not participate (seeTable 2for demographic details on the samples). All participants completed a short demographic survey at the completion of the focus group discussion. All women were born in India and had resided in Australia for between 1 and 15 years. One woman was studying full time. Two women were caring for children full time and three were caring part time. Four were working full time and the remaining three working part time. All seven women were university educated. Four were living as a couple with children, one was a single parent, and the remaining two were living in lone person households. Two of the women were Christian and ﬁve were Hindu. Three women were Australian citizens, two were permanent residents, and two were temporary residents. All self-identiﬁed their ethnicity as ‘Indian’, and all spoke a language at home other than English. Five women indicated they began participating in organised sport during childhood (between 2 and 12 years of age) with four of these stopping their participation between 18 and 25 years of age. With only seven participants, the sample size of the group of Indian women is small and so the ﬁndings should not be generalised as relevant to all Indian women in Australia. Indeed, India is not a homogenous culture or group of people, especially when religion, education and socio-economic status (SES) are taken into account; each of these plays a signiﬁcant role in attitudes about and participation in sport. For example, Islamic woman from India may have arguably more in common with Iraqi or Middle Eastern women than with Hindu or Christian woman from India about their views on sport and recreational participation. However, these seven women do provide a case study of how a group of 25–49-year-old Indian-born women Table 2 Demographic summary of the Indian sample and the total sample. Focus group LocationNSport participants? Ethnicity Participants Non-participants Mixed Single Mixed a 1 Urban NSW 7UIndia 2 Regional VIC 3UMiddle East 3 Regional VIC 11UMiddle East 4 Urban NSW 6UU 5 Urban NSW 6UU 6 Urban SA 11UU 7 Urban SA 9UU 8 Urban SA 8UJapan 9 Urban SA 9USomalia 10 Regional NSW 9UU 11 Regional NSW 7UPaciﬁc Islands 12 Regional NSW 8UU aThe mixed ethnicity focus groups were comprised of women born in the following countries: Afghanistan, Australia, Burundi, Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, United Kingdom and Vietnam.P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 357 participate in formal and informal sport and recreation and their perceived and experienced barriers to participation, compared to a larger diverse group of ethnic minority women living in Australia. 2.2. Theoretical framework The six-factor model of constraints proposed byTsai and Coleman (1999), coupled with other literature, has been used as the theoretical basis for predicting the kinds of barriers Indian and other ethnic minority women in Australia may perceive or experience to their participation in sport and recreation. The six factors are based on affective, physiological, socio-cultural, access, resource and interpersonal barriers. These categories are largely either psychological or practical (seeTable 3). Affective constraints refer to the extent to which sport is appealing or meaningful. This is important to consider as differential rates in sport and recreational participation are not alarming per se, and ‘‘we cannot assume that minorities would wish to emulate middle-class whites leisure habits, if granted equal opportunities’’ (Roberts, 1983, cited inFleming, 1994). Indeed, ‘‘the relative under-representation of South Asians in sports participation may not be a ‘problem’ to address’’ (Fleming, 1994). Therefore, it is more important to investigate the causes of these differential rates: do many ethnic minority women living in Australia simply choose not to participate, or are they experiencing barriers preventing them from participating? WhileFleming (1994)has rightly pointed out that such a dichotomy may be ‘‘misleadingly straightforward’’ (because an apparent lack of interest may actually be attributable to other systematic socio-cultural, organisational or institutional barriers), it is ﬁrst important to ascertain interest and willingness if governments and sporting organisations are going to implement structural changes to encourage Indian and other migrant women to participate in (at least) formal sporting and recreational activities. The second category of barriers, that may be challenging to address easily, or outside the scope for sporting organisations, are physiological constraints. Physiological capacity is based on age, health and injury. However, barriers become more complex when the third category, socio-cultural constraints, is examined. To clarify the distinct components of ‘socio-cultural constraints’, the researchers have separated this category into three sub-factors: gendered and cultural expectations, acculturation, and direct and indirect racism. Gendered and cultural expectations involve the intersection between societal norms for gender groups (for example, domesticity for women) and cultural expectations of gendered behaviour and life trajectories. The literature suggests that the barriers NESB women face may have more to do with gender than culture (Dixon, 2009; Hanlon & Coleman, 2006; Taylor & Toohey, 1997, 1998a,b; Tsai & Coleman, 1999).Taylor and Toohey’s (1998a,b)study of 1800 women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in Australia, for example, found that the most common constraints among these Table 3 Potential barriers to participation in sport and recreation by category, sub-category and examples. Barrier category a Sub-theme b Types of constraints within barrier b Affective Appeal/meaning Physiological Age Injury Socio-cultural Societal and/or cultural Gender (time and family etc) General under-representation of all women in sport in the media Vigorous activities are perceived as inappropriately unfeminine Sport is not culturally appropriate across different age ranges Acculturation Absence of a sense of belonging Resisting sport because it is a perceived vehicle for assimilation Community pressure to remain ‘Indian’ rather than feel like being assimilated Family and traditions are to come before personal needs like exercise Vernacular of exercise Direct and indirect racism Racism on the ﬁeld and in the community Lack of ethnic minority women in the media Institutional racism Access Transport Information (e.g. translated documentation and other linguistic requirements) Provision of appropriate facilities and dress requirements (e.g. religious requirements for modesty) Resources Cost (e.g. prioritising settlement needs) Time Interpersonal Company Fear because of limited knowledge/skills aTsai and Coleman (1999).bSawrikar and Katz (2008); Gemmell (2007); CCEH (2006); Hanlon and Coleman (2006); Walseth (2006); Stoddart (2006); Sawrikar and Hunt (2005); Scraton et al. (2005); Keogh (2002); Johnson (2000); Triandis (2000); Tsai and Coleman (1999); Taylor and Toohey (1998a,b, 1997); Choudry (1998); Fleming (1994); Carrington et al. (1987).P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 358 women were related to gender and other social factors, rather than culture. This is unsurprising given that women perform a greater proportion of care and domestic responsibilities over the life-course and so have lower levels of ﬁnancial independence and less leisure time (Bittman & Wajcman, 2000). Other gendered barriers have also been noted within the literature, including the perception that participating in vigorous sports is inappropriately unfeminine (Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b) and that poor media representation of women in sport may reinforce low participation rates (Carrington et al., 1987). It is expected that gender will impact on the focus group participants’ involvement in sport, but that there may also be a strong interaction between gender and cultural expectations. Barriers to participation may also emerge as a result of the process of acculturation. Acculturation is the on-going negotiation of cultural preservation and cultural adaptation (Berry, 1980); that is, the process of maintaining cultural heritage while also developing a sense of belonging to a new group. It is difﬁcult to balance these two needs if and when cultural norms underlying (sporting or other) activities clash. For example, the timing of sport may clash with culturally based family gatherings (Scraton et al., 2005) and taking part in sport may be perceived within some (usually collectivistic) cultures as selﬁsh—putting the individual before family and tradition (Choudry, 1998). In collectivistic societies such as India, there is relatively less tolerance for breaching the norms associated with familial roles compared to individualistic societies such as Australia (Triandis, 2000). The psychic discomfort or cognitive dissonance that may arise from the conﬂicting needs to take care of one’s health as well as meeting the needs of others in the family could prevent or inhibit participation in sport and recreation. Thus, it was expected in this study that Indian women in Australia value their health but are less likely to participate in formal or organised activities, possibly because of a culture clash. Activity that is referred to as ‘‘exercise’’ may be viewed as taking time to prioritise personal needs over the needs of others, such as meeting their family commitments. One factor that affects acculturation is migrants’ sense of belonging. Migrants are more likely to adapt to ‘Australian culture’ if they feel they belong to Australia (Sawrikar & Hunt, 2005). Participation in sport can demonstrate a sense of ﬁtting in and being accepted (Gemmell, 2007; Stoddart, 2006), but without a sense of belonging, people may not feel comfortable to join sporting or recreational organisations (Gemmell, 2007; Walseth, 2006). This may tap into a more pervasive or underlying issue about the institution of sport being predicated on an assimilationist model (Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b). Thus, Indian women may not participate in sport as a way of resisting the perception that sport is being used as a vehicle for assimilating them. On the other hand,Walseth (2006)found that censure and derogation from adult members (especially males) in the community of young Muslim women in Norway dampened or prevented their continued participation. Thus, it was also predicted that community pressure to remain ‘‘Indian’’ may act as a barrier to Indian women in Australia looking to take up sport and recreational activities. It is also expected that racism may hinder participation. Direct and indirect racism are recognised as barriers to sport and recreation participation.Scraton et al. (2005)found that racism was commonly experienced by South Asian footballers in the UK, through use of language and reference to players’ skin colours.Fleming (1994), in one of the most comprehensive explorations of the sport-ethnicity relation for young South Asians in Britain, argued that ‘‘racism – at the individual and institutional levels – continue to inﬂuence the sports involvement and leisure choices that young South Asians make’’ (p. 162). As he pointed out: The failure to acknowledge the centrality of racism in the sporting and leisure experiences of South Asians has dogged otherwise well-intentioned research…This is the most serious omission in much of the work that has considered young South Asians and sports participation…The preoccupation with cultural difference is a diversion and a distraction fromthemost fundamental issue–the pervasive impact of racism in all of its guises (p. 162). Finally, practical issues, such as access to appropriate information, facilities and resources (ﬁnancial and time), as well as interpersonal factors, such as having someone to attend a sporting activity with and having the skills and knowledge of a sport, are predicted to have an impact on the focus group participants’ involvement in sport (Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, 2006; Johnson, 2000; Keogh, 2002; Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b, 2002). Importantly, resource and interpersonal constraints are seen as relatively easy to address by formal sporting organisations. The above categorisations were used to determine the similarities and differences between the perceived or experienced barriers that Indian women face compared to other ethnic minority women living in Australia. These categories were used to develop a coding framework to analyse the focus group data. The data was then coded, thematically analysed and critically examined against the literature. While hypothesising that the women would share the six broad barriers, homogeneity was not expected between the groups when sub-themes and speciﬁc examples were explored. 3. Results and discussion For sport and recreational organisations, it is important to understand whether ethnic minority women simply choose not to participate, or if they are experiencing social exclusion because of perceived or experienced barriers to participation. If the former is the case, then it may not be worth sporting organisations or governments investing in structural or practical changes in order to increase participation rates among this group. As such, affective barriers, or women’s lack of interest in taking part in sport and recreation is ﬁrstly explored, followed by physiological barriers, which are also difﬁcult for sporting organisations to address. The article then examines barriers that sporting organisations may be able to address. These fall P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 359 within socio-cultural (gender and culture, acculturation and racism), access, resource and interpersonal constraints. The ﬁndings are listed inTable 4and discussed in more detail below. 3.1. Affective Neither a lack of interest, meaningfulness nor willingness constrained the Indian women or those in the broader focus groups from participating in sport and recreation. Six of the seven Indian women indicated on the demographic survey that they did not currently take part in some physical activity, but of these, four noted that they were ‘‘interested’’ or ‘‘very interested’’ in participating in sport. These results testFleming’s (1994)concerns about assumptions that ethnic minority women want to ‘emulate’ Australian born women’s participation in sport. The ﬁndings demonstrate that in this group of Indian women, although participation in sport was low, it did not reﬂect low interest in sport. The Indian women considered sport important for wellbeing and this was also reﬂected across the broad group. Participants perceived a range of health beneﬁts from participating in sport and recreation, such as feeling good and keeping ﬁt; managing weight (especially for those affected by migration-related changes in diet); and recovering from illness or injury or staying active. The Indian women and women in the broader groups also discussed the social beneﬁts of taking part in sport. Speciﬁcally, sport was seen as an opportunity to develop friendships, develop skills, increase conﬁdence and mix with women from other cultures. Therefore, neither the Indian women nor the women in the broader groups were constrained by a lack of interest or appeal. 3.2. Physiological In addition to interest in sport, physiological constraints are another group of barriers that sporting organisations cannot easily address. Although the focus groups included older women and women who identiﬁed that they were not participating because of previous fear of injury, physiological issues did not constrain the Indian women, or those in the broader group. Table 4 Barriers and constraints for the Indian sample compared to the total sample. Barrier category Sub-theme Types of constraints within barrier in the literature Findings Indian womenBroader group Affective Appeal/meaning Physiological Age /U Injury /U /U Socio-cultural Societal Gender (time and family etc)UU General under-representation of all women in sport in the media U/ Vigorous activities are perceived as unfeminine and therefore inappropriate Cultural Sport is not culturally appropriate across difference age rangesU Acculturation Absence of a sense of belongingUU Resisting sport because it is a perceived vehicle for assimilation Community pressure to remain ‘Indian’ rather than feel like being assimilated.UU Family and traditions are to come before personal needs like exercise.UU Vernacular of exercise Direct and indirect racismRacism on the ﬁeld and in the community U Lack of ethnic minority women in the mediaUU Institutional racismUU Access Information (including translated documentation and other linguistic requirements)UU Provision of appropriate facilities and dress requirements (e.g. religious requirements for modesty) /UU Transport U Resources Cost (e.g. prioritising settlement needs) /UU TimeUU Interpersonal CompanyUU Fear because of limited knowledge/skillsUU P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 360 Where physiological considerations were evident, women were eager to ﬁnd activities or sports to match their physiological capabilities. As Nidhi 1(45–49 years old) pointed out: Sometimes I have injuries from sports and it puts you out of action so then I take the safest sports like walking because there’s less injuries. Therefore, the availability of organised mild activities is important, because although walking will provide health beneﬁts to migrant women, it is unlikely to improve social inclusion in Australia. Having said this, some Indian women may choose not to participate in such organised activities as a matter of personal preference, but it is the opportunity tochoosethat is seen as crucial in determining whether social exclusion is occurring. Both Indian women and those in the broader group expressed an interest in participating in group activities, which suggests that there is a market of women interested and willing to participate in a range of formalised activities and that social exclusion is occurring to some extent. Therefore it seems that these women were excluding themselves from participating for other reasons. These reasons are discussed below. 3.3. Socio-cultural As noted above, to clarify the distinct components of socio-cultural barriers, three sub-factors are explored below: gender and cultural expectations, acculturation, and direct and indirect racism. 3.3.1. Gender and cultural expectations Similar to previous research, this study found that traditional gender roles, which relegate the domestic duties of marriage and childcare to women, affected rates of participation among the Indian women and the broader group of women who participated in the focus groups. As Priyanka (30–34 years old), an Indian woman pointed out, ‘‘I used to play (hockey) but as soon as I left uni and got married, it all vanished! All the household responsibilities are put on you, so you don’t think in that way’’. Women from other ethnic backgrounds also reﬂected on the impact of gendered norms. Kasi, an Afghan in her late teens living in regional Victoria stated: ‘‘[People in the Afghan community will say] what is wrong with you? See this girl, she’s not good, she go for sport that’s why my family don’t allow us [to take part]’’. Similarly, Carmina (60+ years), an Italian woman living in regional NSW, noted: ‘‘Because you’re a girl, it’s not important for you to play sport, it’s important for you to learn how to keep a house, how to cook, how to iron’’. There was, however, a clear intersection between these gendered norms and cultural expectations for the Indian women and the other ethnic minority women who took part in the focus groups. The quotes from Priyanka, Kasi and Carmina all demonstrate the impact of gendered norms on these women’s participation, but the cultural expectations determine where on the life-course sport is considered appropriate. For Indian women, sport is culturally acceptable for children, but for Kasi and Carmina, their cultures considered sport a distraction from their future domestic roles, regardless of age. Similar to ﬁndings on research with Indian women in Canada (Choudry, 1998), it is not culturally normative for Indians across all ages and skill levels to participate. Support for participating in sport was withdrawn as children became older and education and career became increasingly more valuable. As Priyanka (30–34 years old) noted: Parents knew it was important for the kids to go out and play for their own ﬁtness, but it was up to a certain extent then you always had to balance between sports and studies…studies come ﬁrst, you have to do well in your education. Emphasis on children’s education is seen as an important pathway for promoting and enhancing the family’s name and standing in the community; a centrally important value among collectivistic societies (Triandis, 1990). Also, sport in India was considered ‘‘a luxury, and not a way of life. In Australia, you know [people do not think] you’re not just going and wasting your time, but back home, it’s like you’re wasting your time [if you play sport], so totally different value’’ (Nidhi, 45–49 years old). As such, it appears that part of the reason why Indian women participate less than their Anglo counterparts is because sport is not as pervasive in the Indian cultural lifestyle. As Radhika (40–44 years old) pointed out, ‘‘Sports has never really been developed as an interest right from the childhood yeah, sport really comes at the bottom of our list of priorities’’. This was also reinforced at professional and institutional levels. Indeed, as Sneha (25–29 years old) said, ‘‘the breadwinner wouldn’t mind taking a loan from the bank for your education, but if you want a career in sports then they would say no’’. While there has been some shift in theextent to which a career in sports is considered a socially and economically viable pursuit, it is slow to progressand comparatively unsupported. Nidhi (45–49 years old) explained: With the media and television exposure and the Commonwealth games. I think now the trend is changing a little bit. People are seeing you can make riches out of sports careers, and if your child is really extraordinary then your child is 1The focus group participants’ have been changed to protect their anonymity.P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 361 given the encouragement. When I’m visiting (India) I’m ﬁnding that change in attitude but it’s very gentle and not all the people are open to all the suggestions. The lower support for continued participation in sport across age is emulated even at the institutional level in India. As Radhika (40–44 years old) pointed out: China is very similar to India, large population but if the Olympics is 16 years from now, they start grooming. For them education is still important, so sport might not be the top-most priority, but still there is a sector of the population which is given that facility by the government. We [India] are still lacking that in our country. While this research aims to examine the beneﬁts of participation in formal and informal sport and recreation, rather than participation incompetitivesport, the lower support for sport even at the institutional level in India (except cricket) is indicative of the general lack of encouragement for sport and recreation across the age span. For all of the women who participated in the focus group, this pervading view coupled with the cultural norm of a life trajectory, from childhood (where sport is encouraged) to education and then career and family, has likely come with them when they migrated to Australia and affects their participation in sport and recreation. Contrary to the literature (Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b), the women in this study were not constrained by a perception that participating in vigorous activities was unfeminine. In addition, the general under-representation of women in the media was not directly expressed as a deterrent by the Indian women. 2Women in both the Indian and the groups in the larger sample, however, reafﬁrmedTaylor and Toohey’s (1998a,b)conclusions that the ‘‘promotion of ‘real women’ from different ethnic backgrounds needs to be undertaken’’ (p. 86). The lack of culturally diverse media images for women from ethnic minority groups to relate to may underpin their lower participation rates (supportingCarrington et al.’s, 1987 earlier ﬁndings). Tanya, an Indian woman (30–34 years old), explained: I agree it’s supposed to be a level playing ﬁeld and there is equal access; we’re free to join any clubs we want, there’s no restrictions…But the image of sport here is the bronzed blonde Australian…Even though no one says you have to be like that overtly to participate, I think subliminally it kind of affects me…We don’t have any images to relate to, we don’t have any mirrors to see ourselves…It’s just the whole image that sport has in the media…it’s so white even the advertisements. Like Tanya, despite unanimously believing that sport in Australia was a level playing ﬁeld in terms ofaccessto opportunities, the Indian and other focus group participants did not perceive that theopportunityto participate was equitable because of the imagery within the media and the lack of representation on the sporting ﬁeld (this is further discussed below). 3.3.2. Acculturation The literature recognises the impact of acculturation (Berry, 1980) on women’s participation in sport and recreation. The challenges of balancing cultural preservation with cultural adaptation and trying to develop a sense of belonging were also discussed in detail in the focus groups. As predicted, a culture clash (Triandis, 2000) was recognised between the Indian women’s desire to participate in sport and their desire to adhere to cultural expectations of taking responsibility for the care of family. As Radhika (40–44 years old) pointed out: ‘‘Culturally…you can’t just leave your family and go; that becomes difﬁcult’’. Therefore, the need to prioritise family commitments over participating in sport was seen to constrain participation. In this study, lack of group belonging and discomfort from being an ethnic minority manifested not only in relation to a lack of participation in sporting activities, but also in avoiding participation at the spectator level. For Tanya (30–34 years old), not knowing the rules of popular sports precluded her joining in and spectating: If there are people doing it that you don’t identify with, it’s always a prohibiting factor. You always think ‘‘I won’t ﬁt in, or I don’t know the rules’’. You know, I have no clue what the difference is between AFL and NRL! I’d love to go and cheer at these games but. If I saw some Indians playing touch footy I’d love to go join them. At the moment it’s like a white thing. I can’t join them, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know the rules. Importantly, Tanya’s admission demonstrates that exclusion can occur on two levels: as spectators and participators. This research did not ﬁnd any evidence ofTaylor and Toohey’s (1998)concern that ethnic minority women’s participation in sport and recreation was lower than their Anglo counterparts because of a resistance (perceived or real) to assimilate to ‘Australian culture’. None of the Indian women reported feeling either overtly or covertly pressured to participate in sport to become ‘‘more Australian’’. This seems to suggest that women in the Indian-Australian community see sport in Australia as welcoming of their ethnicity and cultural diversity more generally. 2However, this was noted by one woman in the broader study. Seﬁna described how men’s sporting organisations and achievements receive more publicity, which made her feel that the message was that it is the woman’s ‘‘job to stay at home’’.P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 362 On the other hand, some evidence was found for community pressure to remain ‘‘Indian’’ by not participating in sport and recreation. However, unlike the ﬁndings byWalseth (2006), this community pressure for cultural preservation was not seen as a way of avoiding cultural adaptation and becoming less ‘‘Australian’’. Instead, it was the lack of support from other Indian woman in the community, who consider that women who want to participate in sport are contravening the cultured, gendered, and age-appropriate norm, which was seen as a constraint on their participation. As Priyanka (30–34 years old) pointed out: People are very conscious of what other people think. That puts restriction on you. Like say if I go swimming… everyone’s going to say ‘‘what’s wrong with you? Is this an age to learn swimming?!’’ That kind of attitude just puts you off. In summary, feelings of exclusion and lack of belonging, and discomfort from not knowing the rules of games typically played in Australia, were reported as barriers to participation in sport among these ﬁrst generation Indian women. However, participants do not feel that sport is being used as a vehicle for their assimilation. These results indicate contradictory ﬁndings: if participants report that they do not feel pressure to assimilate to Australia’s sporting culture, then where does their feeling of exclusion and lack of belonging come from? To reconcile these differences, the researchers argue that there is an interaction between two sides. On the one hand, it is possible that sport in Australia may have open-door policies, in line with the notion of a ‘level playing ﬁeld’, but that other more covert or subversive forms of exclusion are being perceived or experienced as barriers to participation. In conjunction with this, it is possible that despite wanting to be part of Australian sporting groups, there is internal community pressure to adhere to cultured, gendered, and age-appropriate norms to not participate in sport, especially if this conﬂicts with their family responsibilities. 3.3.3. Direct and indirect racism Direct and indirect racism on the ﬁeld and within institutions are recognised as barriers to sport and recreation participation (Fleming, 1994; Sawrikar & Katz, 2008; Scraton et al., 2005) and therefore the researchers expected to ﬁnd instances of racism to have hindered the participation of some of the Indian women. However, there was no evidence for personal experiences of racism on or off the ﬁeld among the study’s sample. Nonetheless, some instances of racism were noted by a minority of the women from the larger study. For example, Sadia, an African-Australian in her late teens described her experience of racist exclusion in school sport: The girls wouldn’t pass the ball. Why? Because I’m black. That is the racism that happens. They just wouldn’t do it. That’s why most black girls would just not play sport, unless we have a majority team…When you play sport you want to feel part of a team you want to feel like you’re contributing, but when you’re excluded you don’t feel like you’re part of a team at all. In regional Victoria, Iraqi women described feeling public hostility and compromised safety and, as a result, excluded themselves from recreational activities: ‘‘I organised a walking group but especially when they talk about Islam on the media, we can’t go outside, they call out ‘‘terrorist’’. I don’t feel safe walking down the street’’. While the Indian women did not report perceived or experienced racism on or off the sporting ﬁeld as a barrier to their participation, they did report indirect institutional racism as hindering their participation. They noted the failure of sporting organisations to implement multicultural policies and to have sporting teams that reﬂect the cultural diversity of the local population. As such, the Indian women and some women in the broader study felt that sport is largely exclusive to white Australians. This was further reinforced by the lack of media images representing women from different ethnic backgrounds playing sport. Such perceived exclusion seems to suggest that access to sport in Australia is level but that the opportunity to participate is not. It may be relatively easy to assume that cultured and gendered norms are the main reason for the different rates of participation in sport for Indian women compared to their Anglo counterparts, and the interactive nature of structural or institutional messages from the media on individuals’ motivation or desire to participate may be overlooked. Indeed, Indian women may be looking to use sport as a way of gaining a sense of belonging to Australia and integrate their Indian and Australian cultural identities, in their process of acculturation. Covert resistance to help facilitate this process of cultural adaptation, through the lack of support for cultural diversity in the higher echelons of competitive sport and lack of media images that immigrant women can relate to, may only serve to make these women retreat from their interest in sport. The intersection between social and cultural constraints, therefore, can place signiﬁcant barriers on women’s participation to sport and recreation in Australia, even if there are slight differences in how women from different ethnic backgrounds experience these constraints. For example, for some women from ethnic minority backgrounds, these socio- cultural barriers may be compounded by access, resource and interpersonal obstacles. 3.4. Access constraints Three main factors are well cited as impacting on women’s access to sport and recreational activities. These include, attaining the appropriate information, the provision of appropriate activities and facilities and transportation (Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, 2006; Johnson, 2000; Keogh, 2002; Taylor & Toohey, 1998a,b, 2002). These access constraints P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 363 were noted as possible barriers to ethnic minority women in general, but were not necessarily cited as personal barriers for the women in this research. Lack of information about sporting and recreational opportunities was not directly reported as a barrier among the Indian women. As Tanya (30–34 years old) pointed out: ‘‘The information is there there’s lots of information there I think’’. Nevertheless, local newspapers and radio stations were quoted as good sources for sporting organisations to advertise in: ‘‘Indian shops, newspapers, local newspapers, Indian newspapers, those are very good sources of information (Priyanka, 30– 34 years old).’’ Lack of recreation provision was cited as a barrier to participation among the Indian women, and this was similarly found in the larger study. Two Indian participants felt that exposure and access to sporting and recreational opportunities was limited based on geographical location. Nidhi (45–49 years old) explained, ‘‘Sydney’s so big, you don’t know what’s happening in other suburbs’’. Similarly, Tanya (30–34 years old) said: ‘‘Everything’s focused around Bondi and Manly, there’s nothing in the western suburbs’’. These comments reﬂect both a lack of availability of activities in certain geographic areas and a lack of understanding of what may be available in their own local community. Therefore, access constraints based on lack of recreation provision were noted, but these were also related to insufﬁcient information about local activities and this issue was not exclusive to Indian women. This research also explored whether low English proﬁciency and religious requirements affected participation. No evidence was found that these factors affected, or were seen as barriers to, participation for the Indian women. This likely reﬂects the participants’ high English proﬁciency (as the education system in India is most often in English). Also, none of the participants used religion to explain their value for modesty, should this value be of import to them. These results were contrary to the results of the larger sample. English language skills were perceived as major barriers for CALD women, especially for those who had not been in Australia for long, such as the Muslim women in regional Victoria, and the Somali women in Adelaide. Language proﬁciency shaped women’s opportunities to ﬁnd out about, access and participate in sport and recreation activities, and poor English skills left women feeling socially isolated and uninformed. Maria explained that as she became proﬁcient in English, friends from her workplace began to invite her to play sport: ‘‘My work friends said to play tennis and I did because I love sport’’. In the larger study, the availability of safe, comfortable and culturally appropriate sport and recreation facilities were identiﬁed as important inﬂuences on participation. The most important issue was access to women-only exercise spaces, and private change room areas, especially for the Muslim women in the study. Indeed, culturally inappropriate facilities or dress requirements generally pushed some groups of ethnic minority women into non-organised, informal physical activities, like walking. Notions of modesty were strongest for (but not exclusive to) women in the larger sample from Muslim backgrounds. For example, Amira (who preferred women-only time at the pool to swimming in long clothes) described how she adapted her dress for swimming but found it uncomfortable: I’m covered too. I ﬁnd it difﬁcult. Not all the sports I can do, you see, just a few, because it’s a bit hard, like at swimming we go and it’s only for women. I go sometimes to one for everyone [men and women] but I have to wear a long one [gestures] and cover my head. It’s not comfortable. A similar theme emerged among the Christian Paciﬁc Islanders and one Hindu Indian woman. As Moana (a 40–44-year- old Papua New Guinean woman from regional NSW) explained, ‘‘It’s our religion [Christianity], our values, to cover the body’’. The Hindu Indian woman in the focus group in Adelaide, Shikha, explained similar notions of modesty among Indian women: In India swimming is not so much a part of most women’s activities, even not for men, because it’s more concerned with what parts of the body you can show and you cannot show…some parts of the body are considered sacred or private or something, so I think that’s why some of these outdoor activities where there is a lot of revealing is not encouraged either. Thus culturally appropriate dress and/or facility requirements may be required for women with a range of different religious backgrounds. Lack of transport was not cited to affect or constrain participation in the sample of Indian women, which is likely a reﬂection of their socio-economic status. This is contrary to the larger study, in which public transport to and from facilities, or having facilities close to home, was important to how the women could access sport and recreation opportunities. 3.5. Resource constraints As ﬁnancial and time constraints can hinder people’s participation in sport and recreation, it was expected that money constraints (especially after resettlement costs and possible lack of ﬁnancial independence) and time constraints (especially after childcare and housework commitments) would affect participation rates among the women in the focus groups. However, at the time of the focus groups, cost was not a barrier to participation in sport and recreation for the Indian women, which probably reﬂects their relatively high socio-economic status. All of the participants were university educated. However, the women noted that for a number of years after migration, limited ﬁnancial resources impacted on their participation. As Radhika (40–44 years old) explained: P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 364 We had so many other priorities in life that money was just hand to mouth, managing daily expenses, so we couldn’t even think about going to [join sporting] clubs or buying expensive outﬁts. The prohibitive cost of sport was iterated in the results of the larger study both in the short- and long-term. As Elene, a Sudanese-Australian and former state level tennis player commented: ‘‘I’d love to get back into tennis and I’ve wanted to for a couple of years. I just can’t afford it. I really cannot afford it’’. Time constraints were expressed by both the Indian women and most women in the broader group. As discussed earlier in this paper, time constraints were largely related to family, domestic and work responsibilities. Importantly, these are common problems for women from a diversity of cultures, including Anglo-Saxon Australians. 3.6. Interpersonal constraints Two interpersonal factors constrained Indian and other ethnic minority women’s participation in sport and recreation in Australia: having someone to participate with and having the skills and conﬁdence to take part. A large number of women agreed that they would be more likely to participate in sporting organisations if they had someone to accompany them. Although the literature indicates that participation in activities with family and friends can offer supportive environments for the expression and transmission of identity (Taylor & Toohey, 2002), this sample indicated that participating in sport and recreation with women from the same cultural background was not necessary in facilitating their participation. As Priyanka (30–34 years old) explained: It doesn’t bother me if there are people from my cultural background, as long as I know they’re interested in hockey, and I know one or two other people who have introduced me to the club, that should be enough for me. These ﬁndings were similar in the larger group. The key factor is having a link within a sporting team or club that directly invites or approaches women. This ﬁnding has important implications for recruiting women into organised sporting associations. A lack of skills and conﬁdence emerged as a particularly strong barrier to participation. For example, Tanya (30–34 years old) commented: I always think I’m so terrible at swimming, and they’re all so fantastic, I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I’d love to swim so effortlessly like most Australians do, but one of the things that stops me [is], ‘‘What are they going to think of me?’’ This dumb Indian just thrashing about. Therefore, lack of skills was seen as a barrier to participation. 4. Policy implications The ﬁndings show that Indian women and women from other minority ethnic backgrounds share some key barriers to participating in sport and recreation in Australia. To increase the participation of these women, sporting organisations and/ or governments can implement a range of practical strategies to help overcome some of these barriers. Gender and time constraints can be overcome by offering affordable child care. The cultural impact of dropping out of sport during teenage years to focus on education could be partly addressed by implementing sporting strategies that target ethnic minority secondary and tertiary students. A sense of inclusion and belonging could be addressed by increasing the number of media images of ethnic minority women taking part in sporting activities. Tanya suggested that advertising campaigns, which reﬂected the sentiment of ‘‘Hey it’s [sport’s] for everyone, everyone’s welcome’’ and included visual images of ‘‘all sorts of people’’ participating in sport and recreation would be an incentive for others to start joining in. The power of the media to give exposure and voice to ethnic minority groups, and facilitate their inclusion, was pointed out by one of the participants: After the Cronulla riots last year, they had surf life saving classes for Muslim women from Lakemba and now they’ve all graduated, and they have this thing called the ‘‘bhurkini’’ and I think it’s all the media attention that got them there, that’s all it is. I’m sure that many Muslim women want to do all this stuff, but now they have the conﬁdence because they can see the images there and it’s ﬁne (Tanya, 30–34 years old). Furthermore, targeting ethnic minority women and increasing the visible presence of these women on local sporting ﬁelds may also assist to further increase participation rates and negate perceptions and/or the existence of institutional racism. Participation in sport could also be increased by targeting recently arrived migrants and offering skill building opportunities, such as sporting lessons, and free or affordable introductions to participation in sporting activities. Furthermore, a buddy system that introduces women to sport may assist to address some of the interpersonal constraints. Many women within the focus groups suggested that having a ‘‘friend to go with’’ and someone to answer questions and help build knowledge around rules and skills would increase participation rates. Also, promoting the beneﬁts to heart and diabetes health could be a ‘selling point’ for many Indian women, especially if these are related to changes in diet after migration. P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 365 The more sporting organisations and governments develop and implement strategies and practices that promote cultural diversity in sport and recreation in Australia, the more likely Indian women and women from other cultural backgrounds will express an interest and participate in sport because it will reduce the extent to which sport in Australia is seen as an exclusive rather than inclusive institution. Similarly, the more women from different ethnic backgrounds express an interest and participate in sport, the more responsive sporting organisations and governments will be to develop and implement strategies that promote their inclusion. That is, institutional support for cultural diversity in Australia, and personal interest in sport among Indian and other ethnic minority women, are in mutual interaction with one another. Further, supporting equitable opportunity to participate in sport at the community level could nurture the interest, skill and chances of becoming successful in competitive sport (if ability and desire coexist). In conjunction with the implementation of multicultural policies, this could help decrease institutional racism and help ensure that the personal, socio-cultural and economic beneﬁts (Collins & Kay, 2003) of a culturally diverse sport and recreation populace are facilitated. 5. Conclusion This article demonstrates that women from different cultural backgrounds are not homogenous in terms of the barriers they face to sport and recreation. However, a number of barriers are shared and, if addressed, may assist to increase participation in organised sport and recreation. Four of the six constraints proposed byTsai and Coleman (1999)broadly applied to Indian women and women from other ethnic minority groups. Importantly for sporting organisations, the women who participated in the focus groups found the idea of participating in sport and recreation meaningful and appealing. While physiological constraints affected some women’s choice about the types of activities they participated in, they did not entirely constrain participation. Socio-cultural, access, resource and interpersonal barriers were shared by the Indian women and the women who participated in the other focus groups. However, examples of constraints within these categories sometimes differed by ethnicity and culture. Consistent with the literature, the Indian women and women from other ethnic minorities who participated in the focus groups had low participation rates in sport and recreation because of gender and cultural constraints, an absence of a sense of belonging, community pressure to maintain their culture, cultural requirements for placing family and traditions before exercise, a lack of representation of ethnic minority women in the media, institutional racism (socio-cultural); insufﬁcient information and/or appropriate facilities (access); cost and time (resources); and company and limited skills and knowledge (interpersonal). Importantly, this study found that one of the most signiﬁcant barriers to participation in sport in Australia is a feeling that sport is an exclusively white institution. This ﬁnding directly contradicts the widely held belief that sport in Australia is a ‘level playing ﬁeld’ and socially inclusive, in which access and opportunity to participate are equitable for all groups in the community. Feelings of exclusion, lack of belonging, lack of media images of culturally diverse women participating in sport, and institutional racism that results in sporting teams that do not reﬂect the cultural diversity of Australia, were reported as examples of how sport in Australia generates social exclusion. In addition, pressure to participate in sport as a way of assimilating to Australian culture was not reported, and in the main, access to sporting opportunities were seen as equitable. Arguably, this could be because Australia’s sporting culture is premised on equal opportunity policies that makeaccessto sport level, but not on multicultural policies that would makeopportunitiesto participate in sport level. Despite a number of shared barriers to sport and recreation, some differences emerged between the Indian women and the women from the broader groups. Unlike the broader groups, the Indian women did not note the general under- representation of all women in sport in the media, racism (on the sporting ﬁeld or in the community) or transportation as hindering their participation in sport and recreation. Overall, the Indian women perceived and experienced fewer barriers than the other ethnic minority women. Yet, while sport was not considered culturally appropriate after childhood for the Indian women, age ranges were not generally relevant to the constraints women from the other groups faced. Contrary to barriers found by other researchers for NESB women, this research did not ﬁnd a lack of appeal or meaning, the notion that vigorous activities are unfeminine and inappropriate, the perception that sport is a vehicle for assimilation, or the vernacular of exercise inhibits the focus group participants’ sport and recreation habits. The contradictory ﬁndings further reinforce that both within and between ethnic minority groups, women can face different barriers to sport and recreational participation. Although the sample is not representative, the results are still important. The focus group participants provide a valuable case study to assist us in understanding the perceptions and experiences of migrant women’s participation in sport and recreation in Australia, and, in turn, address some of the barriers they face. Some practical strategies that may assist in addressing shared barriers include, offering childcare, increasing the representation of ethnic minority women in the media, implementing strategies at educational and community levels to encourage ethnic minority women to join sporting organisations, offering knowledge and skill building opportunities, and a buddy system. In addition, however, the (culturally related) choices and preferences of Indian and other minority ethnic women to participate in non-organised or informal activities should also be supported. Not only does this help preserve their cultural heritage and allow Australia more broadly to showcase its multiculturalism, but it also allows these women to reap beneﬁts for their physical health and wellbeing without having to experience the discomfort associated with acculturating two cultures. For example, promoting the beneﬁts to heart and diabetes health could be a ‘selling point’ for many Indian women to take part in non-formal opportunities that are already established. Moreover, making cross-cultural comparisons in P. Sawrikar, K. Muir / Sport Management Review 13 (2010) 355–367 366 participation rates highlights the need for a more sophisticated measurement in national data sets, to ensure that measures of ‘participation’ are capturing culturally relevant data. For example, participation in culturally appropriate activities such as Bollywood dance classes that are locally organised among members of the Indian-Australian community in non-formal settings may not be accurately captured in national data sets. It is important for the institution of sport in Australia to develop and implement strategies that ensure it is perceived as inclusive of, and reﬂects the cultural diversity that makes up, its populace. This in turn will reap the personal, socio-cultural and economic beneﬁts of sport for individuals, organisations and nationally. At its best, and in light of Australia’s multicultural milieu, implementing multicultural polices that would promote the representativeness of Australia’s cultural diversity in professional sporting teams and in the media, can help overcome inequity in social inclusion, promote a sense of belonging, and increase social cohesion and capital. Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge Natasha Cortis’ role in the research and also Ilan Katz and Tracy Taylor who provided advice throughout the project. This research was commissioned in 2007 by the Australian Government Ofﬁce for Women, Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, FaHCSIA). 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