Connect2sport’s experience to date is that most diverse young people prefer not to make the high level of commitment required by clubs – but some are prepared to commit to more than casual, ad hoc play.
Diverse young people like to have a certain level of structure and competition – they often want more complexity than casual play but not as much as club membership.
Tips for setting the right pathways
- Accept commitment may be minimal from some diverse young people and that most will prefer to keep things flexible
- Adapt a programme’s commitment levels to reflect your community’s needs
- Keep registration simple for diverse young people. Accept it may be difficult to get diverse young people to complete registration forms – and to get the forms submitted by registration deadlines.
- For group sports, have a key contact for each team who can help with communications.
- Expect a drop in numbers during exam time – particularly for communities that prioritise education. This is true of both a school and university setting. You may
- Expect a drop in numbers during particular cultural or religious festivities. For example, Connect2sport programmes experienced a drop in numbers during Ramadan – particularly for the ‘Girls Only’ programme.
- Learn to keep programming light over these periods and/or to make sure programmes offered during these periods are built with the expectation of low numbers.
- Promote pathways to play and make sure the community you are working with is aware and understands the different pathways available. Particularly promote alternative participation pathways that suit diverse communities unique needs.
- Accept that not all diverse young people will want to progress to club membership. This is true for all young people, but is perhaps more true for diverse young people.
- Try not to put too much pressure/resource into making people transition up the pathway or fit your model of delivery – instead deliver to the community’s need.
Case Study: Boys Futsal at Roskill
Diverse young men involved in Connect2sport’s football programmes sometimes felt that the level of commitment expected in the club structure was a barrier to their participation. While they were prepared to offer some level of commitment, they preferred to keep things flexible. Learn more about how Connect2sport’s Futsal league.