Inclusive Sport

Inclusive Sport

Everyone should be able to participate in sport and physical activity in a welcoming and inclusive way, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ability, cultural background, ethnicity, location or life stage.

Every person should be treated with respect and dignity and protected from discrimination, harassment and abuse.

We recognize the importance of fair treatment for people to enjoy themselves and perform at their best. That’s why Australian sports and physical activity providers must create discrimination-free and harassment-free environments. This commitment ensures member protection and effective complaints resolution processes.

Inclusive Sport Framework

Having an Inclusive Sport Framework in place sends an overt message that the sport will not tolerate discrimination, barriers or disadvantage. It shows that everyone is included, everyone is treated equal and everyone will be made to feel part of the organisation. It can also help attract new members, sponsors and other community organisations with similar values, who want to align with your brand and activities.

Inclusive Sport Laws

There are federal and state/territory anti-discrimination laws that make discrimination and harassment unlawful in relation to a person’s gender, sexuality, disability, race, colour, national and ethnic origin, descent, ethnic or ethno-religious background in all areas of life, including sport. It is important to communicate federal, state and territory government anti-discrimination information to ensure people are aware of compliance within different jurisdictional legislation.

The 7 Pillars of Inclusion

The 7 Pillars of Inclusion is a broad framework to give sports clubs and associations a starting point to address inclusion and diversity. This model is about giving a ‘helicopter’ view of inclusion which looks at the common elements that contribute to creating inclusive environments that reflect the communities that we live in. 

The seven pillars are:

Many national and state sports organisations have used the framework to assess where they fit and to address inclusion and diversity. Are you looking to apply the 7 Pillars Framework to your local club?

This process ensures member protection and effective complaints resolution processes. This process ensures member protection and effective complaints resolution processes. 7 Pillars will assist you with identifying your strengths and weaknesses around inclusion and diversity and help you along the path to creating a strong, inclusive culture for your club. 

Pillar 1: Access

Access is both physical and attitudinal. Here, we must focus on how to create a more accessible, welcoming environment in your club.

Pillar 2: Attitude

Attitude is often cited as one of the biggest barriers and underpins all the pillars of inclusion. Furthermore, a positive attitude goes a long way to making inclusion a reality.

Pillar 3: Choice

Sport is not ‘one size fits all’. The focus should be on finding practical ways to participate in sport at the chosen level. Inclusion is about providing this range of options.

Pillar 4: Partnerships

Inclusion rarely happens in isolation. For inclusion to work you need to have effective, mutually-beneficial partnerships.

Pillar 5: Communication

Effective communication is critical to the success of inclusion. Inclusive communication means you may need to change your habits and methods. How you speak and listen to existing and new members is important.

Pillar 6: Policy

To make inclusion part of core business, there needs to be a firm commitment to member protection. Notably, complaints resolution is essential to ensure a safe and welcoming environment. This is best done in the form of policy.

Pillar 7: Opportunities

New opportunities in sport don’t happen by chance. Specifically, we need to make practical changes to what we do so that all people get a fair go.

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