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James Sutton

on 9 March 2015

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Unit 6- Sports Development
-Barriers to Participation

The Rugby Football Union is the national governing body for grassroots and elite rugby in England, with 2,000 autonomous rugby clubs in its membership. Involved within the RFU are 500 paid staff and helps to train and support more than 60,000 volunteers. Consisting of this are 50 Rugby Development Officers, six Area Managers and 120 Community Rugby Coaches across the country, who provide some 30,000 coaching sessions a year for young people.
Barriers to Participation and Weaknesses
Barriers to Participation and Weaknesses
Barriers to Participation and Weaknesses
The Football Association (FA) is the governing body of football for England. It is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game.
BADMINTON England is the National governing body for the sport of badminton in England. It aims to govern, encourage and develop the sport for all throughout England. To be able to do this however the sport has to have some form of structure that also involves a player performance pathway as to how they progress through the levels into an elite player.
There are a number of barriers that prevent individuals from participating in football and progressing through the stages of the sport. One of these barriers is the separation between gender, both male and female. In terms of participation levels, there is a far greater of male participants participating in football compared to female participants. This reduction in participation levels means that there are a greater number of men playing football in the professional and grass roots game. This is also affected by the media coverage of the women's game and the reduced coverage there is, in comparison to the professional female game. Because of less media coverage, the women's game is less well known about by the general public. They are less encouraged to become involved within the sport of football because they do not see women playing the sport.
A barrier that prevents individuals form participating in and progressing in the sport of rugby is the physicality of the game. Many individuals want to participate in Rugby but are deterred by the intensity and physicality of the sport. Due to the nature of the game, it is very physical and requires high intensity from the performer too. Many people watch rugby and want to participate in the sport but because when they realize how physical the sport is, they choose not too. They are deterred by the physicality of the sport.
A barrier that prevents individuals from participating in and progressing in the sport of badminton is the cost involved to be able to participate in the sport. To be able to physically play the sport of badminton, a number of factors need to be considered first and these involve the equipment. For instance the performer must first purchase a badminton racquet which can be quite expensive depending on the type and model. Also the individual has to find a facility that has the equipment for badminton, such as badminton nets and posts. The membership fee along side the cost of the equipment can prevent a number of individuals from participating in the sport of badminton because they cannot afford to do so.
The plan of the FA is based around three core goals, namely:

-Build winning teams
-Football for everyone
-Govern the game effectively
Player Performance pathway
As a recommendation to reduce the barriers to participation, I would recommend that the FA who are the governing body of football should create initiatives that aim to increase the number of women involved in football and also increase the media coverage of the women's game. To increase the number of women footballer's, the FA should create a football tournament for the general public, that allows only female competitors to participate in. To do this, the FA could organize premier league clubs to raise awareness of the tournament and to help to increase publicity and also host matches, such as the semi's and finals of the competition. The tournament would be for the women of all ages, of teams of 6 so it would be a six-a-side tournament. With the aid of premier league clubs, women all over the country could be made aware of this competition. Because the tournament involves only female competitors, women are more likely to participate because they will feel comfortable with playing football against other women. The tournament would have to be made fair too so to ensure this, female referees would be used. This is because women are more likely to feel comfortable with a female referee as well as other female competitors.
Another barrier that prevents individuals from participating in football is the opportunities that they are available to them. For a professional player, they are presented with a number of opportunities to participate in football, but for other individuals they face less opportunities. The opportunities presented to them are reduced because of the location that they live in which could also mean that facilities near by are reduced too. They cannot participate in football because they do not have access to facilities close by to where they live or are not able to join a football team either.
Another barrier to participation in the sport of badminton is that many individuals may not have any past experiences of playing badminton. This means that they will be unaware of how to actually play the sport of badminton and the rules and regulations involved within it. This prevents a number of individuals from participating because they do not understand how to play the sport because they have never been taught the rules and so have no previous or past experiences of playing the sport of badminton. Nowadays Badminton is a compulsory sport taught at school in PE but those of an older generation are more likely to have not played the sport of badminton so have no experience of the sport.
In terms of recommendations, I would firstly recommend that the RFU, works in cooperation with local clubs to introduce the sport of tag rugby and make the sport more publicized amongst the general public. Usually tag rugby is a game for younger children who are too young to play the full physical version of the sport so this game would be ideal for individuals who want to play the sport of rugby but do not want to play the physical side of it. If clubs around the country introduced a training session where members of the general public were given the opportunity to play tag rugby and develop an understanding of the rules and also compete against one another. This would increase the participation levels within the sport, raise awareness of the both Rugby and Tag Rugby as well as promote the Rugby clubs that were providing the Tag Rugby sessions.
In terms of recommendations, I would recommend that leisure centers raise awareness of the facilities that they own and that the general pubic can make use of. To do this they would need to use promotional equipment such as posters, leaflets and potentially free taster sessions to raise awareness of the badminton facilities that they have and the equipment that the general public is able to make use of. Many leisure centers have badminton courts as well as racquets that the general public can use for a small fee. By raising awareness of this, individuals can play badminton for a small fee without having to pay for expensive equipment to do so. It tackles the barrier of high costs.
Another barrier that prevents individuals from participating in the sport of rugby is the opportunities to participate within the sport of rugby. In many areas across the country, the opportunities to play rugby as part of a team are limited which means that an individual wishing to take part in the sport of rugby, has less chances and opportunities to do so. The reduced number of clubs means that there are less opportunities.This in turn means that there is a reduced number of people participating in the sport. Because of the reduced number of clubs, there is too a reduction in facilities to which individuals can use play rugby. Such as rugby posts on local parks for instance.
I would also recommend that to increase the opportunities many individuals have to participate in football, that the FA work in cooperation with local councils to develop and introduce and initiative that will increase the number of football pitches and goals on local parks. Throughout the country there are many local parks that do not have football facilities such as a painted pitch and goalposts. The council and the FA could work with another so that the funding could be generated in order to ensure that there were at least five pitches in each city. This would then ensure that everybody around the city would have access and the opportunity to use an outdoor football pitch to train and play football on. This form of initiative would not cost a great amount of money to introduce and could be made to happen quickly and effectively as long as the council were willing to do so.
I would also recommend that the RFU works to increase the capacity of the local Rugby clubs and also works to increase the awareness of these clubs so that the general public living in a close proximity will be aware of the club and what it provides. By raising the awareness through open days of the club, creating a working website and using leaflets and posters more of the general public will be made known about the club and will be encouraged or will encourage others to use it. This in turn will increase the numbers of participants involved within Rugby. Also by increasing the capacity, the cub can expand and begin to help develop local parks so that they have rugby facilities such as a pitch and rugby posts. This would esure that members of the general public would be able to sue this equipment free of charge.
I would also recommend that to ensure that individuals gain experience and an understanding of the sport of badminton, leisure centers across the country should provide badminton sessions for members of the general public with no experience in the sport. The center would need to first raise awareness of the sessions and then actually provide the sessions. To begin with they would have to be the very basics of the sport and then as the participants begin to gain an understanding the sessions can be progressed slowly and steadily. The participants can slowly and steadily build up their understanding and experiences of the sport. If a number of leisure centers across the country were to introduce this simple scheme then a number of the general public would be able to become involved in sport and more specifically the sport of badminton.
To be able to do this, the FA has a complex structure that enables them to govern the game of football as well as provide opportunities for everybody to become involved within the sport as well as build winning teams, such as the national team.
Involved within this structure is the structure of how a player progresses to become an elite player and the National Squad. The lowest level of football is grassroots football which is the very start of the football ladder which ends at the elite and senior national squad.
RFU is owned by its member clubs which means it is neither a charity or a company so it aims to make a profit to reinvest in rugby union in England. Its income is made up of funding from sponsorship, government, ticket sales from international matches at Twickenham, hospitality and catering, a travel company and television rights.
The organization is there for everybody involved in Badminton and those that want to get involved no matter their age, gender or ability. It breaks down the barriers to participation through its work at both the lowest and highest levels in the sport. Badminton England provides Primary School Programmes as well as adult social badminton too. They aim to provide badminton for all ages and abilities throughout the country. As an NGB they invest their knowledge, expertise and funding to provide a secure future for the sport of Badminton by strengthening the domestic stage and developing talent to success.
The structure of the FA has many strengths to its name which is why it is such a popular sport for the nation and why the premier league produces some of the best, English talent.
One of its strengths lies within the structure of the FA and how it is set up to develop young talent. The player performance pathway demonstrates the likely route for a rising talent and the potential they may achieve. The FA attempts to nurture this talent and attempts to ensure that the football club helps to do this too. Once a player has been recognized as a talent, the FA ensures that they are developed as a player through their academies and development centers, helping them to maximize their potential. The strength lies within their ability to do this.
Another strength is the plan of the FA and their three core aims. Their aims provide a focus for the NGB and something that they can strive towards. They know exactly what they want to achieve and are developing ways to do so within their organisation.
A strength is the number of clubs that are involved and working with the RFU. This is because the more clubs that work together with one another and the RFU, the more active the RFU can be in raising the awareness of these clubs and increasing the numbers of individuals participating in Rugby. The more clubs registered, the more publicizing that can be done and the more people that can become involved in the sport.
A strength of the sport of Badminton is its structure of the player performance pathway. The initial structure is simple to follow and can be quite easily progressed upon. There are four stages, excluding the senior rep squad and progressing through these stages is difficult as a player, but attainable, making it a strength of the sport. The players are able to climb through the player pathway because of its effectiveness at progressing the players through the ranks and nurturing their talent.
Another strength is the fact that the RFU is owned by its member clubs so it is not an organization that is out to make a profit. The profit that they do make is reinvested back into the sport and Rugby Union too. This means that the RFU are constantly attempting to ensure the continuation and development through its investment back into the sport.
Another strength of the sport is the actual NGB of the sport which is Badminton England. Badminton England is very proactive in attempting to ensure the maximum amount of individuals are involved in the sport of badminton as possible. Through its school programmes and social gatherings, it brings together individuals involved within the the sport to play against one another and to ensure that the popularity of the sport continues. The continued work of the NGB maximizes the potential that the sport of badminton can achieve.
The four values of BADMINTON England are "F.A.C.T":

-We live FOCUS by pursuing our goals with clarity, drive and determination.
-We live AMBITION by striving to attain excellence with motivation and passion.
-We live COURAGE by having the confidence to evolve by making the right decisions for the right reasons.
-We live TEAMWORK by understanding and respecting each other’s roles and being a supportive unified team.

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