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A Fair Game for All? How Community Sports Clubs in Australia Deal With Diversity

Ramon Spaaij, Karen Farquharson, Jonathan Magee, Ruth Jeanes, Dean Lusher, Sean Gorman

Academic Literature


Diversity and equality are key issues confronting sport. This article draws on findings from qualitative research carried out in Australia to critically examine how diversity is understood and valued in community sport. The findings suggest that there is a discrepancy between the policy objectives of government and sport organizations and the way in which diversity is understood and responded to in practice. Diversity management is not being adopted widely among local sports clubs. The idea of a moral imperative to cater to people with diverse backgrounds and abilities is largely absent; rather, the dominant discourse is underpinned by a business rationale which interprets diversity in terms of benefits and costs to the organization. This business-driven approach is often detrimental to the social policy objective of ensuring equitable outcomes in sport. A fundamental reconsideration of the rationale and practice of managing diversity in sport is therefore necessary. [Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications Inc., copyright holder.]

Publication information

Journal/Publication : Journal of Sport and Social Issues

Domain/s: Social relationships

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