Connect2sport experience has taught us that the format or style of play needs to be developed in close consultation with the community – some communities such as young African men will prefer to play in a high competitive format, whereas for others, such as the young Muslim girls, it is more important that the environment is social and welcoming than competitive.
Tips for setting the Right Format
- Develop your format in close consulation with your community.
- Think of ways diverse young people can join with their friends. Often playing with friends is more important to diverse young people than playing with people of equal skill levels. Many diverse young people see this as a key barrier to joining a club was because they want to play with friends as a team.
- Consider small prizes or incentives to win. Diverse young people, particularly diverse boys are motivated to participate if a prize is on offer. Some communities prefer to receive written acknowledgement or a ‘thank-you’ for their participation.
- Develop clear structures, Code of Conducts and rules to manage your programme environment. Some diverse young people, particularly young men, can be competitive. The highly competitive nature of participants sometimes creates a volatile environment – this requires rule and structure.
- Engage strong, decisive and independent Referees and support staff to enforce rules and structure. This reduces the chances of tension erupting.
- Communicate consequences of any rule breaches or poor behaviour and making sure these consequences are implemented when needed.
- Recognise that while girls from diverse communities love sport – most want to keep it casual. Security and privacy are often more important than competition.
Case Study: Badminton at Mount Roskill Grammar School
Diverse young people involved in Connect2sport badminton programmes at Mt Roskill Grammar School showed a desire to play in a more structured environment. However they felt they couldn’t due to barriers such as cost, limited time and difficulty committing to playing on certain days/times. Learn more about how Auckland Badminton response.