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Youth forum seeks views on barriers in sports

Youth forum seeks views on barriers in sports

What’s keeping our city’s ethnic youth out of high level sports?

This question is being addressed by a youth forum allied to the NZ Police’s Community Football Cup (NZCFC).

The Ethnic Youth Forum at Fendalton Community Centre on Friday will bring together youth players participating in the NZCFC for an information-gathering session aimed at identifying barriers to sporting participation. The forum is a direct outcome of the NZ Diversity Conference held annually by the Human Rights Commission.

The Christchurch City Council and NZ Police will then collate the information and work together on a document to help Canterbury sporting bodies identify changes that might result in more ethnic youth becoming members.

John Price, Acting District Commander for Canterbury District says: "Our ethnic youth in Christchurch love sport. You see them in our city’s parks and reserves having loads of fun - and they're world champions in the making. However, we know that it can be scary for them to connect with sporting groups as our structures, costs and language all unintentionally present barriers."

Police established the NZCFC event three years ago as a channel to positively interact with ethnic communities. The Youth Forum is another initiative in the programme to better understand the issues affecting youths in ethnic communities in New Zealand.

The support for and the need for interaction with ethnic communities is echoed by the Christchurch City Council, with Deputy Mayor Cr Ngaire Button saying the Council is keen to provide the physical environment and the right atmosphere for ethnic people to socialise and connect with the broader local community.

Migrants and ethnically diverse people feel a sense of belonging to a society, as well as improve their physical and mental health, through representation in sport and recreation, says Cr Button.

“As a city council that values diversity we have been providing services to eliminate those structural barriers that prevent some of our people from accessing those services, such as sport and recreational activity,” she says.

One good example is the area that is set apart in QEII Park which allows women of other ethnicities to enjoy our facilities without causing anxiety to them, she says.

Cr Button will officially open the Forum on Friday.

Feedback received from ethnic youth will be compiled in a report and presented to sporting bodies to help guide their future development of sport amongst ethnic communities. Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres will be the chief guest at the Ethnic Forum.

* Omar Slaimankhel from the Vodafone Junior Warriors will attend the Youth Conference. Omar has kindly agreed to speak and spend the day with the youth. He will also attend the New Zealand Communities Football Cup on Saturday. (See attached info on Omar)

Ethnic Youth Forum
Fendalton Community Centre
Clyde Road,
Friday 26 November 2010
10 am – 3 pm

ENDS

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