Access and Equity

10 October 2016

Two terms that are import to sport and closely linked are equality and equity. While being closely linked and sometimes though the mean the same both have different meaning in relation to sport. Firstly the term equality refers to a situation where individuals as well as groups are equal and have the same rights and ability to access opportunities. Secondly the term equity can be studied to determine whether resources are distributed fairly to all members of a society. Both of these terms can be closely connected with physical activity.

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Figueroa’s framework was developed in 1990 by professor peter Figueroa as a way to explain how access in sport and physical activity can vary between individuals. In this framework 5 different headings are seen. The individual level is about the personal attributes of an individual which determines their access to sport. The interpersonal level focus on the interactions one may have with significant others including coaches, parents etc. the institutional level recognising that there are significant other institutions that have rules that may impact someone’s access to physical activity.

The structural level shows that peoples access to sport and physical activity may be influenced by the distribution of resources both human and financial. And the last level is the cultural level. This level individuals or group’s beliefs, values and coaches may affect ones equity in accessing physical activity. All of these level allow us to further understand why individuals, and group’s access to sport, or physical activity may not always be equitable or equal. Focusing on the structural level of figuros framework, it can be seen that equity and access in the PE class is not always fair.

By first focusing on physical resources such as equipment, it is evident that there is never enough to enable everyone to be playing badminton at once. With 27 people in this PE class and only three courts there is definitely not enough room for everyone to participate at once, therefore leading some unable to do anything forced to sit and watch. The problem could be fixed by better uses some other resources which can include using the Brigid centre court, which will allow more people to play at once. Though by doing this creates another issue of the resource of a teacher, by the teacher being in one sport, thers in the other sport will not be obtaining equal coaching. By just looking at this one level of structure it is evident that our PE class unfortunately is not equitable. One inequity that continues to arise is the issue of transport and supervision. This has been experienced personally as there has been many time when I have been unable to participate due to my parents working and myself being unable to travel where I need to be. Many of these times though I have been able to fix this issue by carpooling with friends or even coaches. In the future I will continue to encounter more inequity issues in sport and physical activity.

One of these may possibly be financial. The cost of being a part of a sporting club continues to rises as the fee’s go up and so does the price of uniforms. It may come a day where the cost is too large and as an adult in the future I may not be able to afford these costs for myself of my children. Equity and equality and subjects that are continually related back to sport and physical activity. By looking and understanding the 5 levels of Figaro’s framework we are able to see how access to physical activity and sport may be to as fair to all individuals.

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