Perceived Barriers

Barriers can come against any sport, they prevent society from participating in an activity whether it is intentional or not. As previously mentioned, sailing is viewed as a boring sport which is supported by the fact that there is little media coverage and when there is, it is long and nothing really happens. However those involved in sailing know that there is a certain skill to sailing and that when actually participating in the activity it can be a lot of fun. As the general population now rely on media sources to invite them into an activity, sailing is not presented in a positive light when it is rarely shown.

Another barrier that is presented in Sailing is that of the weather or conditions. In order to go sailing there must be wind as the boat cannot move without the use of wind. Because of this barrier, people are often not bothered to wait for the perfect condition and therefore never make the effort to go and pursue sailing. This ties into the barrier of not having the knowledge to sail. As sailing can be a very technical sport it is important that whoever does participate in sailing learns the correct skills. This again relies on good conditions as too much wind could be dangerous for a beginner, but too little wind means that there is no point in sailing.

The other barrier that arises is that of lack of resources. Local research showed that only 35% of the selected population actually knew of a Sailing facility, compared to the 65% that didn’t (Figure 1.11). The lack of knowledge of resources prevents the local community from being able to participate in a sport that can be done socially, competitively or even just as a family outing. It also prevents them from learning a new skill that wouldn’t usually be learnt. As was recognised from Figure 1.4, Watching TV/Movies was the most common way leisure time was spent. The general public are unaware of sailing as it is never televised or advertised unless it’s the Sydney to Hobart race.

Physical Activity plays a major role in that of an Australian, as this country is considered a sport mad nation. Physical activity is also a big part of any lifestyle as it provides a method to become healthy and fit. Sailing is one form of physical activity that has been performed over the many years and that is often a sport that hasn’t been as greatly participated in than other sports. To a great extent it is seen that the attitudes and patterns in sports participation on the Sunshine Coast is similar to that of the National results.

It was seen that in the community of the Sunshine Coast that there wasn’t much of a difference between the participation rate of men and women. It was seen that 46% of males participated in some physical activity during the week compared to the 44% of females (Figure 2.1) and that 10% didn’t participate in any physical activity at all. This was further backed up when the local research demonstrated that the age group of 18-25 had the largest participants in physical activity of males (Appendix B). These results have proven to exceed that of the national standard which claims that “The participation rate was higher for males (31.1%) than females (23.2%).”( [2]

Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, [Online]) This could be due to the fact that the Sunshine Coast is a place where any form of physical activity can be done, thanks to resources such as the beach or local pools or gyms. Whereas some areas, especially in the remote outback may not have the facilities such as a pool or the beach where the residents do not make the effort to do any other form of physical activity. This also shows that as males are more likely to participate in physical activity that females on the Sunshine Coast and in the wider community of Australia are more concerned with socializing or their career than how much physical activity they perform.

It was then demonstrated that the Sunshine Coast’s preferred type of physical activity is walking, which was demonstrated in Figure 1.3. This Figure showed that walking had far more participants over the age groups than any other form of physical activity. This again complied with the national data which showed that again walking was a popular sport amongst the population. As shown in Figure 2.2 females seem to enjoy walking as a form of physical activity than men. This is proven in the local data collected (Figure 2.3) which also shows how the participants are more likely to be female rather than male. As previously mentioned this could be due the Sunshine Coast’s wide range of facilities. The Sunshine Coast offers the beach, the bush-lands, forests, numerous hills as well as simple gyms where residents can participate in walking.

One of the factors that played a role in the participation in physical activity is the main motivation or the influence for the physical activity. As was demonstrated in Figure 1.6 Enjoyment was the main motivation or influence for someone participating in physical activity which was followed by Health and Fitness. This is however different to the national, but only slightly. In a 2007 survey of households around the nation it was seen that “For those who participated more than 12 times within the 12 month period before interview, the majority of people (54% or 5.2 million) reported health and fitness as the most common main motivator.” ([5] “Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation”)

As the Sunshine Coast is a usually sunny place and locals are friendly (everyone knows everyone) the motivation of enjoyment is typical as physical activity gives residents the opportunity to socialise whilst exercising. Over time it has been seen that when it comes to sport, money, media, advertising and sponsorship play a major role. All of these factors play a part as they are the things that give the sport “Power”. Money simply refers to the funding that surrounds the particular sport. Sponsorship is the financial support given in exchange for some specific return. This usually involves advertising of the sponsors company or an athlete endorsing a product of the sponsor which promotes the company.

The media and advertising can work hand in hand. This is because the media is a powerful tool in advertising. As there are many forms of media (magazine, TV, internet, newspaper etc) advertising can appear in any of these forms. The use of advertising makes the public aware of a sport or aware of the tools or gear that can be used in the sport. The main use of media that involves sport is the television.

The television has a major impact on consumers as it gives them a chance to enjoy sport without having to move from the comfort of their own home. Another main use of media is magazines and newspapers. These forms of the media influence the way the sport is seen and how those involved in the sport are seen. An article that is written or even just a simple photograph in the newspaper or magazine can either make a sport seem appealing or utterly absurd. It is also powerful when a “big name” of the sport has a negative article written about them as it can turn society against the person and the sport itself.

From the national and local data it was discovered that males were more involved in physical activity than females. Media has an influence on this as majority of the time the media displays information about sports which males play instead of those that are played by females. Examples of this are rugby and AFL compared to that of netball or the females league of basketball. It was also resolved that the most common form of physical activity was walking. Walking is a great form of physical activity as it can be done at any time, anywhere, with anyone and it doesn’t cost anything. Money is needed for various amounts of physical activity especially when it comes to team sports, but if the nation and the local community are offered a way to exercise that doesn’t cost money they are going to take it, especially when during the current economic recession.

Within the community of the Sunshine Coast it can be seen that Sailing does not have a high or very noticed profile with the residents. This was shown by the low participation rates and low percentage of knowledge of sailing facilities on the Sunshine Coast. This is because on the Sunshine Coast, although there is much access to appropriate waterways for sailing, sailing as a sport is not advertised, therefore meaning that the public is unaware of its presence. Another factor for sailing’s low profile is money.

As the country is currently going through economic crisis, money is not readily available to spend to go sailing, this is an issue as sailing facilities can be expensive. Sailing on the Sunshine Coast is more viewed as a recreational activity than a sport. This is displayed in Figure 2.4 which shows the Enjoyment (52%) and Social (26%) reasons were the main motivation behind participating in Sailing, whereas Competition (6%) is one of the lowest motivators.

Nationally, sailing is seen as a leisure activity more than a sport unless you are participating in one of the larger races such as the Sydney to Hobart. This is evident in Appendix F which shows a time table of sailing events for those associated with Yachting Australia. The events that are held are not that of social but of competition. However you must be a member of Yachting Australia to participate. The profile that Sailing has in Australia is that it is either a very competitive sport or that it is a boring and mundane leisure activity.

Sailing is also seemed to be for the rich population of the country as the sponsors are companies which have quite expensive products such as “Audi, Gill, Ronstan, FSE Robline and OAMPS Insurance Brokers ([11] Yachting Australia Homepage)” . Due to this, those of society which don’t have a lot of money are lead to feel as though they shouldn’t sail because it costs way too much and isn’t really for them.

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