Competitive culture is stopping Aussie kids from participating in sport

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A study of Aussie sports clubs has found the culture of competitiveness is preventing kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities from participating in junior sport. Results from 450 surveys and 101 interviews over three years found a focus on performance and competition negatively affects junior sports clubs’ commitment to diversity and participation. Those who identified as men at these clubs were also, on average, more likely to be homophobic, endorse stricter gender roles, enforce violence as a natural masculine trait, and less likely to hold pro-disability attitudes. These findings suggest club culture can affect who participates and how they participate, and can put off kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities, the researchers say.

Journal/conference: PLOS One

DOI: 10.1371/journal. pone.0214537

Organisation/s: Victoria University, Swinburne University of Technology, Monash University, Curtin University

Funder: This study was supported by the Australian Research Council ( in partnership with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), the Centre for Multicultural Youth and the Australian Football League [grant number LP130100366, awarded to RS, DL, RJ, KF and SG]. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


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