Friday, April 5, 2019

Sports Equity and Inclusion in British Rowing

Sports truth and inclusion body in British wrangleBritish wrangle A critical re look out quarrel is a pleasure which involves propelling a gravy sauceboat on a body of water using oars to push against the water and produce a draw and quarter to move the boat. quarrel itself tail assembly be recreational or competitive and competition in course domiciliate be traced patronize to Ancient Egypt. Modern boat as a period of play dates back to the 10th Century in London. The arrival of Boat Clubs, for example, the Leander club in England, and the formation of University and public schooltime row teams, especially at Oxford, Cambridge, and Eton in the early 18th Century, propelled the popularity of the sport to other Universities and boat clubs just nigh the globe including the U.S and Ger m any(prenominal) an(prenominal) (Burnell, P climb on, 1997). Rowing is also one of the oldest Olympic sports. Initially it was recrudesce of the 1896 Olympics provided the racing c ould not go ahead out-of-pocket to bad weather. Since 1900 it has been present at every Olympic Games with competitions ranging from individual races (single scull) to eight-person shells (coxed eight). Rowing has also had women participants from 1976 and Paralympic athletes from 2008 (Olympic Studies Centre, 2015). contempt macrocosm an amateur sport, rowing in Britain has al charges reflected the division of societal classes by being synonymous with the much(prenominal) upper classes. Sugden, Tomlinson (2000) life this by suggesting that involvement in Henleys boating regatta base be a clear sign of high social status. Social classes, in their virtually underlying form can be described as a division of a smart set found on social and economic status (English Oxford Dictionaries, 2017). Later in the report I will test this provided using different theories and c formerlypts.During the rise in popularity of sports in Britain in the 18th century al most(prenominal) sports, for example, football and Rugby, were much associated with the working and refuse center field classes and other sports, for example, tennis and golf, where more(prenominal) than associated with the upper middle and upper classes (Wilson, 2002). This can be attri onlyed to all cultural consumption, including sports consumption, which requires the right tastes and preferences as well as familiarity and skills. This is called cultural capital. (Bourdieu, 1986, cited in Holt, 1998). Cultural capital is be by access to cultural processes and products. These include the way by which educational, social and intellectual experience can used to advantage the social and economic impersonate of a particular individual or sort out (Bourdieu, 1986, cited in Beedie, Craig, 2010, p. 268). The access to higher(prenominal) levels of educational knowledge in the 18th Century was achieved through the public schools which required bungs to attend. Therefore, they attr hazarded stud ents from more economically advanced backgrounds and crocked families that could afford the fees. These included schools like Westminster, Harrow, and the previously mentioned Eton (UK Parliament, 2017). As rowing was only available at boat clubs, universities, and public schools, all of which were out of reach to all but the belief class, rowing became the pre allot of the higher classes. People in poverty and low social classes, therefore, found it harder to move in the sport.Rowing in England today is reign overed by British Rowing. The organisation was founded in 1882 and oversees both indoor and on-water rowing. They ar responsible for the teaching of rowing in England and the selection of crews and individual rowers that represent Great Britain. They atomic number 18 affiliated with the International Rowing Federation and the International Olympic Committee. British Rowing has roughly 30,000 individual members that persona in age from 11 to over 80. Individual members be usually linked to one of 550 associated rowing clubs, which in reverse are within ten rowing regions in England. Each region has a regional rowing council and representatives who represent them on British Rowings Council. The British Rowing Council is made up of the members of the Board, the Regional Chairmen, the unearned President, the Honorary Rowing Safety Adviser, the Regional Representatives, Home Nations Representative, and Honorary Life Vice Presidents (Governance British Rowing, 2017). The members of the Board are the Directors of British Rowing who meet regularly to manage the business of the organisation. This is headed by the chairman, Annamarie P service of processs, CBE. Together they create and govern the policies and initiatives of British Rowing. This report will look specifically at the candor and Inclusion policies and initiatives for British Rowing.Equity is about being fair and impartial and examines in relateities vector suming from race, class, gende r, ethnicity, sexuality, age, religion, or dis skill (Fletcher, Dashper, 2014). Being inclusive is about providing many different extracts to suit tribe of all ages, skills, and backgrounds, in the most appropriate manner that is executable. Therefore, Equity and Inclusion in sport can be defined as being fair and providing a range of opportunities for different people from different backgrounds to participate in sport. By being equitable and inclusive, a uninfected organisation, or sport in general, can aid to tackle inequalities that are present in wider society.In sociology and sport the whim of disparity has been broadly characterized and has been connected to different political ideologies. Inequality, as characterized from the right, is unavoidable, or is all essential(predicate) for society to cope well. Conversely, from the left, inequality is a social detriment and ought to be killed by vote ground or progressive means. This can mean democratically via policies a nd initiatives or even via revolution and forced change. As indicated by Donnelly (1996), Sport by its very nature, produces, and displays inequality. Early research proposed that sport reflected existing inequalities i.e., it was a microcosm of society. Regardless, more critical research of sport has since uncovered that, as opposed to being a passive member and simply reflecting inequality, sport, by means of social operators collaborations with sporting spaces, is effectively involved in creating, repeating, supporting and indeed, acts as a site for resistance when it comes to inequality (Dashper, Fletcher, 2013). Jarvie, Thornton (2012) add to this by stating that Inequality is often limited to devil notions of inequality namely inequality of condition and inequality of hazard. Inequality of condition refers to factors such as time, income, occupation, and education, whereas, inequality of opportunity focuses on the individual and the degree of freedom they may have. Equit y and inclusion policies should aim to run afoul these inequalities. In gild to correctly analyse the candour and inclusion policies and their impact on a group within society an organisational fancy up analysis will be conducted for British Rowing in regards to their Equity and Inclusion policies and initiatives (Appendix).A SWOT grid / matrix is a grid that highlights the specializations, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats associated with an organisation. The strengths are positive factors that are internal to the organisation and within their control. The weakness are also internal factors that may hinder the organisations ability to attain their goals. Opportunities are external factors that the organisation can use and take advantage of in order to progress. Threats are also external factors that could jeopardise the organisations progress. Once the grid has been filled the information is analysed to ascertain the limitations and issues impact the organisation. The be nefits of a SWOT analysis are that it is cost free, quick and easy to use, anyone can conduct it, it can highlight strengths, weaknesses, deter threats, capitalise on opportunities, provide a rectify agniseing of the organisation and help develop goals and strategies. There are, however, limitations to a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis cannot provide solutions, doesnt prioritise issues, it is sluttish to human error, can produce a lot of useless information and doesnt speak to complex devil sided factors that could be considered a strength or a weakness. Taking these into consideration I have listed 3-5 find out points in each grid and will expand on them during the analysis.The first strength that was highlighted was that the British Rowing Equity Policy identified reveal principles in regards to legality in rowing. It res publicad that Sports Equity is about fairness in sport, equality of access, recognising inequalities and taking steps to address them. It involves changi ng the culture and structure of sport to ensure that it becomes equally accessible to all members of society (BRITISH ROWING EQUITY POLICY, 2014). It goes on to explain that no members will be treated differently due to certain factors (age, class, gender etc.) and that anyone can have an equal opportunity to participate. This shows that the equity policy has considered the both notions of inequality as previously discussed and that it will try to address these issues. The insurgent strength highlighted was the implementation of an equity action aim to display their commitment to sports equity. The action plan is 5 points and one key point is the commitment to tackle under representation should effort be unevenly distributed. They also terra firma the need to review the policy annually which is good practice. The third strength highlighted was the recognition of the legal requirements to be fair and equitable. This includes The Equality act 2010 among others. The forth strength highlighted was the Adaptive rowing initiative designed to encourage people with disability to join rowing. Through this initiative, they also recruit people to participate in the Paralympics. This is an excellent strength and one that is surely equitable. The final strength was a statistic from 2013 demo that 52% of new recruits were men and 48% were women which displays a very even split between the two genders. This shows their equity policy is working to break d suffer gender barriers as previous stats showed a 60/40 split in favour of men (British Rowing, 2013).The first weakness in the equity and inclusion initiatives was that conjunction from state schools remains low. 7% of the U.Ks school children are educated by self-sufficing schools but 54% of Great Britains elite rowers from the 2012 Olympic games were educated at independent schools. Those from state schools learnt almost merely from boat clubs (Brown, 2016). The second weakness was that the cost of equipment/membe rship. Membership at clubs can be on reasonable 150-300 for a junior participant and even more for adults (Club rules, forms and prices, 2017 and Smithson, 2017). There is also a membership fee with British Rowing from 17 for a junior to 1150 for a lifetime membership. These fees may not be affordable for those who are struggling financially and who are in poverty and therefore the costs of the memberships act as a barrier to participation for those individuals. The final weakness is that equity policy states that British Rowing will publicise this to all employees, members, volunteers and officials through its website, Almanack, magazine and club mailings (BRITISH ROWING EQUITY POLICY, 2014). This is good to an fulfilment but there is no mention of publicising its equity policy beyond its members and inner circles. By publicising its equity policy to a wider and more diverse audience in the public it is possible to encourage more participation from individuals that may not realis e the opportunity is there to join the sport and that it is inclusive.The first opportunity highlighted was the increased popularity in rowing after the success of the 2012 Olympic games in London. British Rowing endured a spike in new recruits of 12.2% in the final 6 months of 2012 (British Rowing, 2013). British Rowing could take merely advantage of this by specifically targeting certain groups in society that have low participation levels. The second opportunity is related to the first. It was that the one of the Olympic legacys goals were Promoting community engagement and achieving participation across all groups in society through the Games (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Annual Report February 2011). The final opportunity is that rowing is one of Britains most successful sports. They have accumulated 68 medals, including 31 gold, in mens rowing alone at the Olympics, tertiary overall in the history of the games. This can inspire more people to join and be part of the sport.The first threat highlighted was that costs may remain high or even grow with inflation. be to participate is a barrier for individuals but the cost for state schools to build facilities and buy equipment, such as boat houses, indoor rowers, storage rooms etc., can be a major factor in state schools deciding not to become involved in rowing. Another threat is that, despite being one of Britains most successful sports, rowing still falls behind other sports such as football, rugby, tennis, cricket, badminton, swimming, and athletics, in terms of popularity (Russell, 2014). Other sports may be more appealing to new participants and sports that are contend regularly at both state and independent schools will inevitably have higher participation levels and a more diverse participation pool. The final threat is that now that the 2012 Olympics is long over, and the buzz around rowing is diminishing, the opportunity to encourage state schools and people from social deprivation backgrounds to participate could be fading.From the SWOT analysis, we can see there are issues and challenges for people in social deprivation and in the lower classes of society. To fully understand the context and impact of this, definitions must be understood and sociological theory must be applied. Sociology, as defined by Giddens (2001), is the study of human social life, groups and societies. A theory is a framework for understanding, but it always develops within a particular cultural context and is always provisional theory provides us with a starting point for our understanding but it begs to be expanded, contradicted, refined, replaced (Birrell, 2000). Therefore, a sociological theory is a framework of understanding around the study of human social life, groups, and societies. Three key terms must also be understood and they are political theory, power, and politics. Ideology is the shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify the interests of dominant groups (Giddens, 2001). Power is the ability of individuals, or the members of a group, to achieve aims or further the interests they compel Many encounters in society are struggles over power (Giddens, Sutton, 2013, p. 584). Politics takes place wherever conflict exists about goals and the method of achieving those goals (Houlihan, 2002). The way in which society develops unequal layers based on wealth, income, status, and power is defined as social stratification (Beedie, Craig, 2010, p. 116). Karl Marxs Conflict Theory can be used to better understand the social stratification from the perspective of poorer groups and less powerful of people.Karl Marxs work on conflict theory can be best understood by taking into consideration the context of the social world in which he lived. He developed his work during the mid-19th Century, which was a time of deep political and social unrest, due to the rapid expanding system of industrial capitalism and the political and economic issues that accompanied it (Foster, 1979). These political and economic tensions helped to further divide society in the form of social classes, that competed against each other, forming a class conflict. The Marxist view on social class can be basically divided into two main groups but the reality is that there are at least four groupings, which Marx identified to a certain extent. They are the lumpenproetariat, the proletariat, the petite bourgeoisie, and the bourgeoisie. They can also be called the underclass, the working class, the middle class, and the upper class. Each have their own problems and goals and are interconnected and interdependent to a certain degree. This makes it hard to allocate class labels at propagation as it be a fluid and elastic term that is ever changing. Nevertheless, Marx describes the upper class as the class in control of the means of production and the classes below are the ones that make these means possible by selling their labour for wages. This division of labour cau ses relationships between classes to become formative where the upper classes exploit the lower classes by maximising commodity production for profit rather than need. This profit driven ideology is based on and creates inequalities and these inequalities between the classes cause conflict. This relates back to the definition of power where by conflicts in society are struggles over power and that the groups that wield the most power (upper class) can further their aims and interests that they hold. This also because relates back to our definition of politics that it takes place wherever conflict exists about goals. This explains why some of the most powerful people in society are located at the summit of politics (Rigauer, Tomlinson, 2002).When applying this sport, it is important to understand, as previously mentioned, that sport can act as a microcosm of society and reflect the fractures and divisions within society. If unexampled sport was developed in the 19th Century in ta ndem with the rise of industrial capitalism, then it is understandable that the same divides and conflicts that were in society at the time were reflected in sport. Houlihan and Malcolm (2016) add to this and state that Sport reflects and reproduces the ideologies of capitalism like aggressive individualism, ruthless competition, elitismThese ideasin sport, reflect the broader structure of capitalist society.Having considered the historic context of rowing at the beginning of the report, it is clear to see how Sugden, Tomlinson (2000) suggested that rowing was a sport more associated with the upper classes. As rowing as a competitive sport began to form in independent schools, which became less and less accessible to the lower classes with the rise of industrial capitalism, the only class with the opportunity to participate in the sport were the upper classes that attended the high fee paying schools and as a result rowing, with its lack of lower class members became a sport for th e upper class in the 19th century. Beedie, Craig (2010) support this with an example of the town of Bedford. Bedford is a town with a tradition for rowing due to the River Ouse which flows near it. The stinker roots entry points to rowing here were dominated by the fee paying independent schools and thus, any school children from state schools wishing to get involved in rowing had a very modest opportunity to do so. They go on to state that rowing does not reflect the cosmopolitan potpourri of social groups living in Bedford, but instead remains populated by those privileged educationally.Despite conflicts of social classes being less volatile and society being more integrated in the modern era of sport, the class divide in British Rowing is still clear to see. Of the 12 bestride members in British Rowing, only 2 attended state schools and of all the elite athletes that represented GB, 54% were educated in independent schools. Despite the organisations significant steps to impr oving inclusion for disability and young-bearing(prenominal) participants, it still has an identity as an upper-class sport. This could be further explained again using Marxism as Marx suggests that the ruling elite controls the means of mental production (Storey, 1993). If the people in charge of British Rowing and the principal sum figures and elite athlete are constantly coming from upper class backgrounds, then the image and idea of rowing being an upper-class sport cannot be changed. As I have previously mentioned, equity and inclusion polices should seek to negate the inequalities associated with that sport. One of those inequalities was highlighted as a lack of opportunity for people in poverty and the lower classes as poverty is at the core of exclusion (Collins, Kay, 2014).To combat this inequality and exclusion, I recommend that British Rowing should seek to reach out to other organisations to form a compact with the goal of bringing more water sports to state schools. Craig, Mellor (2010) state that the recognition of, and involvement in, common activities enables and promotes social cohesion. Therefore, if more and more people from poverty and social deprivation backgrounds can have a better opportunity to participate in rowing it would change relations between social classes even more and help to alleviate any barriers. For British Rowing, it will also provide a much larger pool of athletes to choose for elite level competition, for example the Olympics, and this could boost Great Britains success in the sport even further. They have proven that initiatives for specific populations (Female, Disability etc.) can improve participation and success in those groups and further effort for people in poverty could boost participation for that group also. Other authorization means of improving participation could be to place a cap on membership fees so that they cant rise to a level that will become unaffordable to more people. Reaching out to stat e schools and providing them with equipment would be highly costly to the organisation. As sport becomes more commercialised and media heavy it is perhaps an option for British Rowing to negotiate a TV or sponsorship deal to raise capital for initiatives to improve equity and inclusion in their sport. Events at the Olympics and The Boat Race are the two main televised rowing events. As The Boat Race is one day per year and events at the Olympics only come once every 4 years, opportunity to highlight the sport to wider audience is not as frequent as some of the sports competitors. Staging exhibition races or creating completions for television could get more regular coverage and help to spread interest in rowing and also raise funds for initiatives to improve equity and inclusion. As sport not only reflects society but also helps to shape it, by using rowing to break down social barriers within the sport, and within social groups, society too may be effected in a positive way. Breaki ng down these barriers will help to provide more opportunities for participation and to be more fair and equal.

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