Sporting Equals Latest Insight Release - Young Black Males

Sporting Equals latest consumer research conducted with young Black, African and Caribbean males suggests that many of them face overt barriers to participation due to their perceptions around behaviour and lack of knowledge amongst sport providers in how to engage with them.

The key drop off point is often after school, many participated in school sport however once they moved into adult participation they found not much was on offer for them. The vast majority of responses cited that poor experiences of school sport led to them looking elsewhere for entertainment or social interaction. There is a high latent demand amongst this group but factors such as socio-economic status, education and awareness allow many to become distrustful of organisations and structured programmes.

The research revealed that for many young black males felt resources being unfairly shared and 'skewed' to other minorities favour. They often perceive a lack of strong identity and some alienation with media portrayal asserting a negative black culture.

“The media seems to concentrate on the negative stereotypes by not concentrating on positive Black images of successful young African/Caribbean youths in society who are highly motivated to achieve and therefore not involved in the negative stereotypical role.”

Focus Group Participant, aged 23

“A lot of the black role models are the wrong ones. A footballer, a gangster, a DJ - that's all they see and that's how narrow there lifestyle choice is. So we need to raise their self-esteem and show them that they have options, not all of us are rich, not all of us are in popular, and there is a place for you in society '' Focus Group Participant, 21

Many Black, African and Caribbean communities are based in inner-city areas and sporting offers have to be local and easily accessible. Many lack confidence in engaging with sporting structures and service providers outside school. Many young people work to support their families and struggle with finding the motivation so a tailored approach is needed focussing on the fun and social aspects. The health aspects appeal to these males however they also need a sense of belonging, a social structure to keep them out of trouble and role models to help support and sustain participation.

For access to the full insight report please contact Shaheen Bi, Head of Research & Projects, Sporting Equals shbi@sportingequals.org.uk 0121 7771375

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