Barriers to Participation

There are a number of well documented barriers which may prevent people from accessing sport and active recreation opportunities in their communities. These include:

  • access (transport, distance, physical barriers etc.)
  • facilities (location, access ramps, safety lights etc.)
  • affordability (cost of participation – fees, memberships, equipment etc.)
  • awareness (how to get involved, how to join)
  • willingness (not interested / don’t have time)
  • perceptions (about the club, how they might accept me)
  • knowledge (don’t know how to play, don't understand the rules, feel too much like a novice)
  • skill level (have a disability, illness/injury, limited ability or experience)
  • apprehension (don't know anyone there, what if I'm not accepted)
  • no encouragement (family members not interested, no role models)

Select tackling the barriers from the menu for practical ideas on how to reduce barriers for members of your community.

Know Your Community
  • It is important for clubs to know their community when preparing to become an inclusive place. In that way clubs can take an active role in reducing some of the barriers e.g. offering affordable experiences in areas where unemployment is high
  • What is your community? Is it your neighbourhood, town or region?
  • Is it an ageing population or does it have young families?
  • Does your community have new people arriving or have they been there for some time?
  • Are there local organisations and schools that your club could work with?

Assistance with community profiling can be found at: