16 October 2007

What’s the Score? A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport

A report released today by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) reinforces that sport is for everyone and highlights how Australian sporting organisations and government and non-government agencies are working in practical, effective ways to make this happen, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tom Calma said today.

What’s the Score? A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport sheds light on what existing strategies and programs have been adopted by 17 national sporting organisations, federal and state governments, various non-government sporting agencies and human rights institutions to combat racism within sport.

The report also looks at what steps have been taken to develop an inclusive, non-discriminatory culture within sport by players, spectators and the broader viewing public.

“It is clear that incidents of racial abuse and vilification are prevalent across all major sporting codes, involving professional sportspeople, amateurs, coaches and spectators. The fear of racism in Australian sport is also a major barrier to participation for Indigenous people and those from various ethnic and cultural groups,” said Commissioner Calma.

“It seems clear to me, if participants find their involvement in sport safe, enjoyable and welcoming then they will be much more likely to continue this sport from childhood into their adult lives. As such, our sporting organisations need to ensure that their policies and programs are focused on making sport inclusive and fulfilling to those who take part – then everyone is on a winning team.”

What’s the Score? A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport will provide the basis for organisations to consider future policy strategies aimed at both addressing racism within sport, as well as promoting an inclusive and non-discriminatory attitude.

It covers a range of sports including cricket, Australian rules football, netball, rugby league, basketball, hockey and football (soccer) and their respective national, state and local sporting organisations.

The report is available free from HREOC publications at www.humanrights.gov.au/about/publications or by calling (02) 9284 9600.

The report is also available for download at www.humanrights.gov.au/whats_the_score/

Media contact: Louise McDermott 02 9284 9851 or 0419 258 597