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Barrier

Connect2sport recognised early on that cost is a real barrier for some community members. Connect2sport therefore developed programme pricing structures in consultation with the community.

 

Response

Discussions with Connect2sport programme participants and community organisations representing the refugee and migrant community found the barrier of cost affects different groups for different reasons. Discussions indicated two groups that faced particular challenges when accessing sport:

  • Communities that simply cannot afford to pay – no matter how small the contribution. New migrant and refugee communities often fall into this category. Some school-aged migrants particularly struggle to access money, particularly those from larger families.
  • Communities that possibly can afford to pay – but chose not to prioritise this against other competing commitments.

The project found it challenging at times to separate those in genuine need from those that can potentially afford to pay something but choose not to. Coupled with this was the fact that many previous sport programmes for diverse communities were offered at no or low cost – meaning the project therefore often faced pressure to deliver programmes for free, even from those that could potentially afford to pay towards the programme costs.

As part of its vision for sustainability, Connect2sport delivery models aimed to ensure programmes were self-sustaining. Trying to move the community towards a more sustainable model is difficult and in the end, the project moved towards the following pricing structures:

What was free and why? What was charged and why?
Community based ‘have a go’ opportunities

In recognition that the purpose of these events is recruitment and promotion, where people want to simply try out the sport at no cost.

All ‘in school’ programmes (13-17)

In recognition that school aged migrant youth sometimes struggle to access funding. Costs to these programmes were minimal, with the only direct cost being coach and/or referee support.

All volunteer training opportunities

In recognition that these opportunities help build the capacity of the community and contribute towards the long term sustainably of Connect2sport programmes.

Community based programmes (18-24)

A minimal fee was collected to cover some of the basic costs of the programme, ensuring that long term the programme is self-sustaining.

While these programmes target the adult market, they are open to all ages and the same fee is charged no matter the age of the participant.

It is important to note that most programmes struggled to cover their full cost – this was made difficult by the fact fees were minimal, collection difficult and participation numbers fluctuated considerably from week to week at the beginning of each programme.

 

Results

While this structure was mostly effective, the project also learnt there are some participants attending the community based leagues and programmes that genuinely cannot afford to pay the minimal fee. In an attempt to better to separate those who are in genuine need from those that can potentially afford it but choose not to pay, the project developed a participant funding model similar to Sport Otago and Sport Canterbury’s Sporting Chance model.