Sport England have published their ‘Sport for all’ report, which highlights the ethnicity gap in physical activity and sport across the country. The report highlights how deep-rooted inequalities mean people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are far less likely to be physically active. It is the most comprehensive picture of how those from BAME communities are taking part in sport and physical activity.
The report considers:
The report is clear in highlighting that the ethnicity gap in activity is not a new phenomenon, but has been a persistent feature in the Active Lives data (2015-19) and before that, in the Active People data (2005-16). This consistent activity gap highlights that despite great awareness and work within the sector, we are still not reaching a large portion of the population. The ethnicity gap is also persistent across the lifecourse, with the data showing an ethnicity gap in activity levels from the age of five upwards.
As well as being less likely to be active, people from BAME backgrounds are also less likely to volunteer within sport and physical activity.
The report also explored the levels of participation and the different sports and activities that are popular amongst those within BAME communities. However it is also clear that whilst this provides a broad picture, it is not a complete one; we need deeper insights and further exploration of the individual and community tendencies towards specific sports and activities.
As well as looking at the individual and community aspects that influence the activity levels of those from BAME backgrounds, the report also looks into the wider eco-system and its role in shaping attitudes, behaviours and experience of sport and physical activity. Focusing solely on the barriers and motivations of individuals will not enable a full enough understanding of where the current issues and potential solutions really exist.
The report also looks at a number of factors that can have an influencing factor on activity levels including; the individual, society, racism and discrimination, capability, opportunity, motivation, socio-demographic factors, gender, long-term health conditions, religion.
The analysis shows that to address long term inequalities within sport and physical activity, we need solutions built out of an understanding of: