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Thread: Ethnic minority runners?

  1. #21
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    There's a lot of peer pressure involved as well no doubt - why do something "odd" when you are only going to get picked on through social media because of it?

    Our cycling club has had to organise a women's only ride to encourage more women to head out. This despite both the club president and secretary being female.

    On the male/female split in fell running, it seems that roughly 1 in 7 fell runners are women. This ratio carries through to the Bob Graham both in registrations and successes so it seems like the problem is in the initial uptake rather than viewing the big challenges as something else again.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    There's a lot of peer pressure involved as well no doubt - why do something "odd" when you are only going to get picked on through social media because of it?

    Our cycling club has had to organise a women's only ride to encourage more women to head out. This despite both the club president and secretary being female.

    On the male/female split in fell running, it seems that roughly 1 in 7 fell runners are women. This ratio carries through to the Bob Graham both in registrations and successes so it seems like the problem is in the initial uptake rather than viewing the big challenges as something else again.
    Is it necessarily a problem?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    Wonder if anybody has any views on the lack of participation in fell racing (and general fell running?) from black/Asian/other "minorities" in the UK...?

    I know there has been the odd fellrunner from an Asian background, and certainly quite a number of Eastern European names pop up in all sorts of fell races. And the long-distance/ultra races seem to attract a huge variety of nationalities... At the UTS100 i think almost 50% of the nationalities listed were not from the UK, and at the 10 Peaks again last year, a decent number of European names.

    Will it ever change? It seems hard enough to attract young English runners to the fells, never mind youngsters where perhaps their culture may not even regard mountain running as a viable consideration.

    No issue either way on my part. I guess it's hardly the kind of high-profile sport which will attract people in their thousands out of the cities...
    I think you're right to raise it as an issue, both in terms of possibly adding a richer diversity to fellrunning communities, making it appear less exclusive even if it isn't, but particularly in regard to encouraging wider participation in, and appreciation of, sports and physical activities generally that take place on the fells and wilder parts of the UK. This is because the wider the participation - the wider the political power. Currently, we have the CROW Act which has improved (despite room for improvement) access issues compared to what we previously had in the UK, other than in Scotland. But that could all change easily, such as with potential moves to try to monetise access (charging to enter our National Parks, etc.), or other shifts in political policies. If a wider proportion of the UK's population from all communities value free access, then its becomes politically more difficult to backtrack or introduce other restrictive measures.
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  4. #24
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    Another question: in the UK, where the population is pretty much 50/50 female/male, all other things being equal, do you think itís likely that 6 times as many men as women would take part in fell running? Or do you think maybe there could be some underlying reasons (historical or otherwise) that have prevented women taking part in the same numbers as men?

    How that question is answered helps answer whether itís a problem or not.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mossdog View Post
    I think you're right to raise it as an issue, both in terms of possibly adding a richer diversity to fellrunning communities, making it appear less exclusive even if it isn't, but particularly in regard to encouraging wider participation in, and appreciation of, sports and physical activities generally that take place on the fells and wilder parts of the UK. This is because the wider the participation - the wider the political power. Currently, we have the CROW Act which has improved (despite room for improvement) access issues compared to what we previously had in the UK, other than in Scotland. But that could all change easily, such as with potential moves to try to monetise access (charging to enter our National Parks, etc.), or other shifts in political policies. If a wider proportion of the UK's population from all communities value free access, then its becomes politically more difficult to backtrack or introduce other restrictive measures.
    I'm not necessarily saying it's an issue at all... just a thought, and that it made an interesting topic.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    I'm not necessarily saying it's an issue at all... just a thought, and that it made an interesting topic.
    Ah...perhaps I should have said 'raise it as a question', less loaded than the term 'issue'. Good question/thought anyroad.
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  7. #27
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    Maybe not as many women as men are interested in or want to take part in fell running. If so, is that a problem?
    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    Another question: in the UK, where the population is pretty much 50/50 female/male, all other things being equal, do you think itís likely that 6 times as many men as women would take part in fell running? Or do you think maybe there could be some underlying reasons (historical or otherwise) that have prevented women taking part in the same numbers as men?

    How that question is answered helps answer whether itís a problem or not.

  8. #28
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    As I'm sure has been said before, it should be about equal opportunity and not equal participation.

    I don't see many men, or ethnic minorities for that matter, at our local book club or knitting circle, I don't see that as a problem either.
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  9. #29
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    Well put
    Quote Originally Posted by Hank View Post
    Another question: in the UK, where the population is pretty much 50/50 female/male, all other things being equal, do you think itís likely that 6 times as many men as women would take part in fell running? Or do you think maybe there could be some underlying reasons (historical or otherwise) that have prevented women taking part in the same numbers as men?

    How that question is answered helps answer whether itís a problem or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by bigfella View Post
    As I'm sure has been said before, it should be about equal opportunity and not equal participation.

    I don't see many men, or ethnic minorities for that matter, at our local book club or knitting circle, I don't see that as a problem either.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by benshep View Post
    Maybe not as many women as men are interested in or want to take part in fell running. If so, is that a problem?
    Maybe, but do you really think that's the case? Traditionally women's participation in sport has always been way lower than men's. Is that through choice and preference or because society, generally speaking, hasn't seen sport as being so much an appropriate activity for women? For me, thinking the former seems naive at best.

    Look at women's cricket and football, massively blown up in the last 10 years. Pro competitions, decent media coverage and female pundits (Kelly Cates is probably the best thing about 5 Live's WC coverage). Have women just started liking, playing, "enjoying" these sports? Or are traditional barriers to their participation and a lack of recognition of their abilities starting to change?

    Obviously this is all stuff way beyond fell running and, as I said originally, fell running is a welcoming sport and in no way seeks to prevent anyone from taking part, but to believe the fact it's largely done by white men is anything other than a result of traditional societal norms around who does/should do what is burying your head in the sand.
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