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Thread: Ethnic minority runners?

  1. #11
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    As long as it is AVAILABLE to all then it shouldn’t matter one jot if some ‘category’ of society chooses not to take it up. To have ‘equal’ take-up (I.e. representative in proportion to society) is not a worthy aim in itself. The logical conclusion of such policies is quotas, which is not a good thing in a free society.
    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    I think there's an important difference between under-representation due to prejudice and bias (ie, certain groups being excluded), and under-representation that is not (ie, certain groups choosing not to take part). I think fell running is pretty open to anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    I guess if only one subset of the population is availing of the "free service" then that is adversly effecting the other sections of society.

    The same is happening in schools, they cannot be favouring boys (via funding,etc) sport over girls sport, even though they would be much more boys wanting to partake and at a higher level.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by benshep View Post
    it shouldn’t matter one jot if some ‘category’ of society chooses not to take it up.
    True, but I think goverment adjancies cannot use that as a justification, they are held to higher standards when deciding on investment.

  3. #13
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    As if public funding can only properly be allocated to things that will be taken up in proportion (or more) by certain (minority or otherwise) groups of people defined by race/gender/proclivity etc? I don’t buy into that.
    Quote Originally Posted by noel View Post
    I think there's an important difference between under-representation due to prejudice and bias (ie, certain groups being excluded), and under-representation that is not (ie, certain groups choosing not to take part). I think fell running is pretty open to anyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    I guess if only one subset of the population is availing of the "free service" then that is adversly effecting the other sections of society.

    The same is happening in schools, they cannot be favouring boys (via funding,etc) sport over girls sport, even though they would be much more boys wanting to partake and at a higher level.

    Basicaly more money for boy's sport means less money for girls sport, which then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, with less girls getting interested in sport.
    Quote Originally Posted by DrPatrickBarry View Post
    True, but I think goverment adjancies cannot use that as a justification, they are held to higher standards when deciding on investment.

  4. #14
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    This is something that I have often mused over, given that so much fell running takes place within easy reach of places like, Bradford, Blackburn and Oldham, with their large ethnic minorities; but in the past I have thought it wise not to "give this viper's nest a poke" (to use Llani Boy's phrase). As others have pointed out, it's not just fell running, but many other outdoor activities: I remember on one of my longer cycle rides a few years ago, observing that while the entire ride was within the triangle of Leicester, Derby and Birmingham, non-white faces seemed to be absent from the many other cyclists I encountered on the country lanes (females and under-40s were also rather rare).

    Back in 1995, a Singaporean lady (of Chinese ethnicity) was dragged off to the Turnslack fell race by her boyfriend who wanted to show her the strange British activity of fell running and introduce her to a part of the country he liked. After the race, he took her walking over the moors to Mankinholes Youth Hostel. Rather remarkably, she did consent to marry me, even after this treatment. But the point is, she did comment to me that she had noticed that she was the only non-white at the race venue (and she had spent 80 minutes waiting for me to finish, so she had plenty of time to observe!); and this is just 15 miles from the centre of Manchester.

    But in conclusion, I do agree with Noel, Bob and others that it is not really a problem. I don't see anything in our sport that discriminates against ethnic minorities, and I think we are welcoming to anyone who turns up at a fell race that is within their abilities.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member bigfella's Avatar
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    It was a while ago, and it looks like 'common' sense prevailed.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/4150853.stm
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  6. #16
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    Got me thinking. Is this more about the urban/rural split of where people live, rather than people's ethnic cultures? Does where you find yourself living, or choose to live, become the determining factor of whether you're likely to want to be out on t'fells, having fun? Even if the fells are readily accessible from the city you are in. Does the urban environment inculcate an urban mindset? Maybe not? Maybe a relatively high proportion of the populations of fell runners, mountaineers, rock-climbers, etc live in cities - which would debunk that theory!
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  7. #17
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    It's an interesting question. I don't think for one moment that fell running is in anyway creating barriers to ethnic minority runners, and I'm sure most races/clubs/participants would genuinely welcome anyone in to the sport. But to just say 'the door is open, anyone can come in' isn't the same as encouraging participation.

    The UK has a rich history of racism endemic in its society and predominately/all white institutions often won't look like very welcoming places to those of different ethnic backgrounds (even though those institutions aren't in any way racist and would welcome anyone). Sometimes a little pro-activity is needed, not only to open the door, but to say "Hey, come in, we'd love you to get involved!".

    I guess in the case of fell running it's not through lack of willing, more no money/time/resource (thinking particularly of clubs) to reach out to different communities to engage them. If it were possible I'm sure there'd be plenty of folk willing to do it, and fell running's participants might become a little more diverse.
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  8. #18
    I'd be most grateful if a few more folk, from whatever background, would turn up and run slower than I do. Thanks in advance.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Sam W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    It's an interesting question. I don't think for one moment that fell running is in anyway creating barriers to ethnic minority runners, and I'm sure most races/clubs/participants would genuinely welcome anyone in to the sport. But to just say 'the door is open, anyone can come in' isn't the same as encouraging participation.

    The UK has a rich history of racism endemic in its society and predominately/all white institutions often won't look like very welcoming places to those of different ethnic backgrounds (even though those institutions aren't in any way racist and would welcome anyone). Sometimes a little pro-activity is needed, not only to open the door, but to say "Hey, come in, we'd love you to get involved!".

    I guess in the case of fell running it's not through lack of willing, more no money/time/resource (thinking particularly of clubs) to reach out to different communities to engage them. If it were possible I'm sure there'd be plenty of folk willing to do it, and fell running's participants might become a little more diverse.
    Good post. I’d add that encouraging people of all ages from ethnic minority backgrounds, as well as girls & women, would be a very positive step. Fell running is part of a rich tapestry of running disciplines & is also one of the most accessible in terms of cost (race fees being minimal in comparison to road counterparts). It’d be very healthy for the sport to encourage the next generation to take it up - vital, in terms of keeping fell running alive & relevant. Does the FRA have any such schemes?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    I guess in the case of fell running it's not through lack of willing, more no money/time/resource (thinking particularly of clubs) to reach out to different communities to engage them. If it were possible I'm sure there'd be plenty of folk willing to do it, and fell running's participants might become a little more diverse.
    It is not just "communities", it is anybody. How many clubs activly try to get people to join. I am thinking anybody that is not a middle aged white male?

    My son is involved with Manchester Canoe Club and they have a coach there who works with the complete novice kids. It is very frustrating trying to reach out to kids and then so many come for one or two sessions and do not come back many more drop out when the winter arrives.

    My wife is the same with Marple Athletic Girls football team, they are really struggling to get a big enough squad from a town of about 24,000.

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