The key to having a successful club is having one that represents your community. Community is diverse, community represents a range of genders, ages, physical and mental abilities. This page explores some of the opportunities for ensuring that your club is setup for success and has the capabilities to accommodate the wide variety of user groups that exist within your local community.
Building an Inclusive ENvironment
For resources on creating an inclusive environment for LGBTQI+, head over to the Proud2Play website. https://www.proud2play.org.au/
Creating a child safe environment doesn’t have to be difficult, head over to the Play by the Rules website for resources on the ‘Start to Talk’ campaign. https://www.playbytherules.net.au/start-to-talk-campaign
Everything should start with consultation, find out what your members want and need. Be open and accommodating, seek to understand the challenges that certain members face. Whether it’s a new clubhouse or a new uniform design, everyone should be considered. Just because it works for you may not mean it works for everyone else! Seek feedback and engage with it in a meaningful way.
Women and Girls
In 2022, the Victorian Government funded a study into Women & Girls in male dominated sports. You can check it out by clicking here.
The study found that the rate of retention is much lower than males, and that females tend to be ‘new’ to sport rather than transitioning from other sports. Stereotypes can be incredibly damaging to entry and harrassment is a
Some of the identified issues:
- Rate of retention for females was much lower than males.
- Stereotypes – ‘only a male sport’
- Harassment and inappropriate comments
- Lack of resources and support for womens teams (e.g. volunteers, facilities and equipment access)
- Ensure that female role models within the club are identified, your state or national players and key volunteers. Share their stories.
- Ensure that you’re acknowledging the successes/results of your female teams and players, in the same way that you platform anyone elses successes.
- Skill development opportunities are offered to new and returning female players.
- Leadership development opportunities specifically aimed at females within the club. e.g. Coaching training, administrative training, or other officials roles
- Female representation at a committee level.
Offering a female-only Come and Try day can drastically improve your chances of recruiting female players. This is something that clubs like Redcliffe Padres, Pine Rivers Rapids and Wests Bulldogs have used to bolster and increase the number of women playing. Other targeted initiatives or specific branding/campaigns can partner with the Come and Try days to improve recruitment.
It provides a clearer expectation to potential female members, removing that psychological barrier, or the expectation that they’ll be disregarded.
Provide specific development opportunities for female coaches, administrators, scorers and umpires.
Athletes with Disabilities
Adaptations of traditional baseball
Under Little League, the Challenger division is intended to offer an adaptive baseball program for individuals with physical and intellectual challenges.
For more information, please visit the Little League Challenger Division website by clicking here.
Beep Baseball is an adaptive version of baseball suitable for blind, low-vision and legally blind players. The game utilises sound for players to be able to identify where the ball and bases are located.
For more information, please visit the Beep Baseball website by clicking here.
Accommodations can be made that allows Baseball5 to support athletes of all abilities. More resources and information to be released.
First Nations peoples represent 3.8% of the national population as of 30 June 2021 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Only 37% of First Nations peoples aged 18+ participated in sport-related activities at least once a week in Queensland. A majority of whom participate in Athletics or Swimming.
There is major government focus on increasing the number of First Nations participants in sports.
The Queensland Government offer the First Nations Sport and Recreation Program which is targeted at increasing physical activity levels in non-discrete communities. Baseball Queensland’s existing clubs and regions are eligible to apply to this grant.
More information can be found at this link: https://www.qld.gov.au/recreation/sports/funding/first-nations-sport-and-recreation-program
Banguu Baseball is a First Nations baseball initiative under the Redlands Rays Baseball Club in South East Queensland. Reach out to them for more information, a description and their aspirations are available at this link: https://www.redlandsrays.com.au/banggu