UBC Undergraduate Research

Varsity sport and interculturalism Bourgeois, Michael; Enns, Tyler; Bartnik, Jerod; Dong, Christopher; Shanks, Kirsti 2015-01-16

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 UBC Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Student ReportChris Dong, Jerod Bartnik, Kirsti Shanks, Michael Bourgeois, Tyler EnnsVarsity Sport and InterculturalismKIN 465January 16, 201511901740University of British Columbia Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report”.           Varsity Sport and Interculturalism Michael Bourgeois, Tyler Enns, Jerod Bartnik, Christopher Dong & Kirsti Shanks University of British Columbia Kin 465 January 16th, 2015                                      Table of Contents       Page Number  “Provisio”          1  Purpose         1  Partnership         1  Methods         1-2  Prior Assumptions        2  Limitations         2  Background         2-4  Discussion Questions       4-5  Issues Through an Intercultural Lens     5-7  Recommendations: Goals       7  Recommendations: Actions       7-8  Next Step         8-9  Conclusion         9             1  “Provisio” This study was completed by undergraduate students as part of their coursework for Kinesiology 465-Interculturalism, Health and Physical Activity at the University of British Columbia (UBC). It aims to support improving interculturalism and diversity within the current Varsity Athletic Department.  The information and findings contained in this paper should only be considered preliminary.  Purpose of the Project The purpose of this study was to determine how interculturalism is reflected in varsity sport at UBC and make recommendations to improve inclusion within varsity athletics. This was done by collecting information from athletes to determine which factors increased and decreased inclusivity and interculturalism. From the perspectives of the athletes and coaches, personal experience, and material learned throughout the semester, areas of improvement were determined and recommendations were created. The recommendations were specifically designed to be easily implemented into the current structure of UBC Varsity Athletics.  Partnership  For this project there was two partnerships. The first was with Liska Richer, the manager of the UBC SEEDS Program. SEEDS, or Social Ecological Economic Development Studies, provides students the opportunity to work with faculty to address campus sustainability. The second partnership was with Eva Thomas, the Diversity Advisor from UBC Access and Diversity. Access and Diversity focuses on approaching issues such as diversity and interculturalism by assisting with program initiatives designed to remove barriers faced by students.  Methods  To begin our project we conducted a review of current literature surrounding fostering interculturalism within sports and communities. Gaining a knowledge base on factors that influence interculturalism in sport would assist in understanding what processes are effective in athletic settings. Using this knowledge, we narrowed our focus to our current hypothesis, and had a clearer picture of what we wanted to accomplish. We decided that our project would be to determine how interculturalism is reflected at UBC, and the factors the positively and negatively influence that. From there we scheduled informal discussions with current and alumni members from the Baseball and Track and Field team. These members were international student athletes who had traveled from a different country to experience the academics and athletics at UBC. Using all of the information from the literature and discussions, we came up with recommendations to improve interculturalism within varsity sports. These recommendations were produced to be easily to implement and realistic. Our entire approach was to work from the bottom up, gathering general data, and working our way up to a more specific topic (see appendix A, 1.1). With further   2 resources and time, future studies would include a comparative review of UBC’s undergraduate population compared to the varsity population.     Prior Assumptions This past year UBC performed a Sports Targeting Review, which put the department of Athletics under analysis. Individual teams and programs were put under review and budgets were realigned. here was a lot of public scrutiny surrounding this analysis, so as varsity athletes we were aware of the sensitivity around producing a project that might negatively reflect the Athletics Department at UBC. Initially, we had thought that there was an intercultural wall in sport that could not be overcome, and that pointing out this wall could produce negativity towards Athletics that we did not want. However, as our research progressed we were able to identify barriers and find ways to overcome them. As a result, our original goal was to create a project that helped improve Athletics as a whole instead of focusing on the negative aspects of any one smaller piece.   Limitations This project was mostly limited by time. As a group of five students tasked to complete this project during Term 1 of 2014, we were limited by how much we could accomplish while completing other credits. Since our group consisted of athletes from the Track & Field and Baseball teams we chose to focus our project there.  It was difficult to get a lot of responses and the ones that we did gather were not necessarily ideal candidates. We noted that some of the athletes we talked to were only in first year and therefore they had only had three months to experience the athletic culture at UBC. Furthermore, the majority of the international athletes on our selected teams were still North American (mostly from the United States), which was reflected in the demographic of our interviews. It would have been more helpful to have a wider cultural demographic to draw our conclusions from.  Finally, there was some information that we would have liked to have obtained but were unable to acquire it in a timely fashion.  Background Information In order to narrow our project focus, we reviewed the literature to determine the specific areas that are considered to be strong influences on interculturalism and inclusion within a program or organization. Throughout the literature we found that there was a multitude of different suggestions and recommendations in terms of fostering interculturalism, but we highlighted two different areas that we felt fit with the scope of our project: coaching and managerial positions, and community involvement and partnerships. Given our project focus, we felt as though these two areas would be important when moving forward with our own recommendations. It has been determined that coaches and management play an essential role in fostering interculturalism and inclusion within sport organizations (Dashper & Fletcher, 2013). Adair et al. (2010) suggest that education and multicultural issues need to be directly addressed by sport management programs. However,   3 sport management programs will generally not hold this to high priority because the domain of sport tends to be dominated by groups of the highest power, thus decreasing the focus on interculturalism and other multicultural and inclusivity issues (Cunningham, 2009). There has been some recent observation of increasing acceptance of diversity in sport participation, however the managerial levels of most organizations still consist primarily of western, white, middle-aged, able-bodied men. This creates limited differentiation at the managerial level, which could lead to decreases in sport development and worsened experiences for some individuals (Dashper & Fletcher, 2013). Additionally, Taylor et al. (2009) offer three important methods to managing diversity within a sport organization: the need for sound management principles, the creation of intercultural trust, and the commitment to build inclusive, interpersonal environments. Taken together, these create a firm basis by which a program or organization can begin to challenge the intercultural issues that arise when there is a group of culturally diverse people within an organization.         In addition to coaching and managerial positions, the literature also puts a strong emphasis on community involvement and partnerships. Jordan and Densen (2010) suggest that it is important for student-athletes to be good citizens and invest time to help the community. The benefits of this are twofold and favour both the community as well as the athletic programs. First, student-athletes who achieve the abovementioned characteristics are more likely to get support from the community, and second, student-athletes who develop a relationship with the community are more likely to give back. However, it has been identified that there are often multiple barriers that need to be addressed in order to gain strong relationships within the community. There can be accessibility barriers in terms of program participation that could lead to decreased levels of inclusion within programs (Forde, Lee, Mills, & Frisby, 2014). Additionally, Forde et al. (2014) also suggest that there is often a lack of understanding by the community around the term interculturalism, which tends to create further barriers for those wishing to participate. Interculturalism is a term that places an emphasis on the dynamic which exists between groups (Mahadeo, 2012)   As discussed previously, community and athletic programs are closely intertwined in the process of social inclusion and interculturalism. The increasing rate of immigration is causing many different shifts in population patterns, and sport and recreation organizations are often slow responding to this change (Forde, 2014). Forde (2014) also discuss the importance of managerial roles in social inclusion settings, and this includes how to address challenges encountered when striving to respond to the ever changing population demographics.  Ponic and Frisby (2010) conceptualize that social inclusion is an ongoing relational process whereby people and organizations work together to create structures and spaces that allow community members to make decisions about how and when to participate in physical activity. This concept requires sport and recreation managers and staff to reflect on their organizations policies, practices, and programs. An important part of the research is based upon coaches and management switching from an ethnocentric approach to a ethnorelative approach. The ethnocentric approach is an example of “denial of, defense against,   4 and minimization of difference”, whereas the ethnorelative approach is focused on “acceptance of, adaptation to, and integration of difference”. The main problem with the ethnorelative approach is that inclusion is often masked and the athlete is forced assimilate to the sporting culture, rather that being integrated with it.    Using the background knowledge gathered from the research, as well as common limitations found, we were able to create 8 informal discussion questions to ask our athletes. The questions were based around topics such as assimilation into the sporting cultural at UBC, as well as the inclusiveness and interculturalism of both the team and varsity athletics as a whole. We felt that our eight questions would provide us with the greatest insight into this individuals experience with interculturalism, and would allow us to formulate practical, easily implemented recommendations.   Informal Discussion Questions As part of the research process we prepared six informal questions that were directed towards athletes of the two teams we examined, Track & Field and Baseball (See Appendix B). We were fortunate enough to talk to four athletes. Although that is a limited sample those four athletes span two different countries (other than Canada) and two different sports. It was an expanded demographic we were pleased with. All interview answers can be seen in Appendix C.   One common trend that we saw from the American athletes, across both sports, was that they felt very little pressure to assimilate to the present culture with their respective teams (See Appendix C 1.1, 1.2, 1.3). They elaborated on the fact that Canadian and American cultures were very similar, so the transition was easy. Contrastingly, the one athlete we talked to from the Philippines described feeling the need to “conform” and that his input and advice was disregarded by teammates as “unconventional” or “incorrect” (See Appendix C 1.4). Furthermore,  the Filipino athlete mentions the mocking that he received regarding his different tendencies, which he experienced even while attempting to conform to the team culture (See Appendix C 1.4). It was interesting to us that there was a very clear difference in experiences between North American and Non-North American athletes. The Filipino athlete even specifically said that he felt his team had an extremely low tolerance for intra-sport athletic diversity (See Appendix C 1.4)  Next, we wanted to see how varsity athletics affected the intercultural experiences of individual athletes, and whether or not they felt being part of a varsity sports team aided harmed that experience. One Track & Field athlete pointed out that the concept of varsity athletics is a North American idea (See Appendix C 1.1). From personal experience this is a very true statement. We often have athletes train with us from around the world that are at UBC on exchange that describe a very different training culture where they are from; more of a club than a varsity team format. Since varsity sports is a very different culture than that experienced elsewhere in the world (outside North America) it may not necessarily include or accept ideas from other cultures. However, it is   5 important to note that ideas that work for a different style of athletic culture may not work well in a varsity sport setting; it may have nothing to do with be exclusive in nature. Interestingly, despite his negative experience with varsity sport the Filipino athlete believes that varsity sport can be an avenue to promote intercultural values, diversity and inclusivity (See Appendix C 1.4). However, he states that those qualities might be better promoted in sports that are more universally accepted internationally. He gives rugby, basketball, and volleyball as examples (See Appendix C 1.4).  Finally, we realized that varsity sport provided an opportunity for athletes to travel into cultures very different from their own and we were wondering if they athletes felt prepared for their experiences in those cultures. The American Track & Field athletes both commented on the fact that they have only ever traveled within North America, where the cultures vary little from their own and therefore felt prepared (See Appendix C 1.1, 1.2). The American Baseball player also felt prepared, elaborating by saying that baseball spoke a universal language that was understood despite culture (See Appendix C 1.3). This statement, however, is somewhat contradicted by the teams inability to accept the cultural differences of his Filipino counterpart. The Filipino Baseball player provided the most insight into his experiences. He felt that even though he did not feel prepared to experience other cultures sport provided great opportunity to experience cultures outside of your own (See Appendix C 1.4). He felt the inclusive nature of feeling prepared to experience cultures was more on individual athletes than on sport (See Appendix C 1.4).  Issues Through an Intercultural Lens Through the analysis of our discussions with current athletes and the current literature we noted three main issues that could be improved upon to increase intercultural understanding and inclusion in Athletics at UBC. These issues included coaching and managerial positions, relationships between varsity athletes, and varsity athlete to community interactions. The lack of diversity at the administration level could be one of the main reasons that there is a lack of cultural understanding at the athlete level of sport. As previously stated, sports management is still largely dominated by western, middle aged, able bodied white males which creates a lack of cultural diversity in key positions such as head coaches, and athletic directors (Dashper & Fletcher, 2013). This could represent a hegemonic structuring to the culture within athletics. Hegemony is defined as the dominance over a culturally diverse society by the ruling class. where The ruling class worldview becomes accepted as the cultural norm, further perpetuating its ideologies. (The Columbia Encyclopedia, 1994, p. 1215). The coaches and administration would represent the ruling class where their ideologies are put in place because of their status over the athletes. The lack of diversity at the administration level could have multiple implications when discussing the overall inclusivity of an athletic program. For example, it could filter down and create a lack of diversity at the athlete level, which would further perpetuate the pre-existing culture. Moreover, a lack of diversity foster a   6 lack of understanding or accommodation for cultures outside of their own which would make it difficult for newcomers to feel welcome.   Since a coaches views are often represented by the athletes on the team between athlete interactions play a large role in the cultural inclusiveness apparent. Canadian varsity sports do not receive the same funding as our American counterparts (Dyke 2011). As a result,  recruitment of athletes is often centrally located and becomes more sparse the further geographically. For example, UBC would target high performance athletes in Vancouver and British Columbia first, then look to other provinces within Canada, and finally look outside to international students. This could promote hierarchies within the teams that could lead to athlete conflicts where the international athletes feel excluded from the locals. Further promoting hierarchies within teams is the competitive nature of sport itself. The opportunity to play in high level competitions, if at all, is given to those of better skill. This fosters a competitive environment within the team that can be effective for developing better players, but also creates animosity between athletes. For example, In cross country running, as few as 6 athletes get chosen for the biggest races.  Finally, athletes have direct interactions with the community and should promote a positive environment for sport. However, when certain stigmas are coupled with a lack of community outreach, varsity athletes are often excluded from the community and vice versa. Athletes often tie their identity to sport, but there can be negative connotations from the public labeling them as ‘jocks’ (Wells, 2012). At the university level athletes are often segregated from the general public due to varsity only spaces for working out, studying, and living (Wells, 2012). Even though UBC does not have varsity only living quarters, they do have a varsity only weights room and a varsity only tutor program (Thunderstudy). This kind of segregation from the public is not limited to the university level, as sport is a connecting pathway between athletes and their respective communities, of which UBC has very little. Community service is a great way to create student involvement opportunities, help students embrace diversity, and improve students’ leadership skills (Broido, 2004). The only program at UBC that is known to us is the “I’m Going to UBC” program that brings inner-city elementary school youth to UBC for a day of fun in an attempt to show future possibilities for the children (Go Thunderbirds, b.2014). Our American counterparts have an abundance of programs due to the mandatory student-athlete community service enforced the NCAA on Division I schools (Chalk, 2008). The NCAA (2013) records an average football game attendance of 28 427 while Go Thunderbirds (a.2014) records UBC’s homecoming game--the highest attendance of the year to date—at 4 245. Could there be a tie between varsity-community relationships and attendance at sporting events? Our interpretation is that varsity-community interactions are not just about getting preventing exclusion and getting varsity athletes immersed in the community, but also about creating ties from the community back to athletes. This connection between the community and athletes also helps prepare athletes for what comes after the collegiate careers.    7 Recommendations: Goals After analyzing the three main issues we had discovered through an intercultural lens we looked forward to making recommendations. We created goals for improvement in each issue we addressed previously. We adapted UBC Intercultural Understanding’s strategic plan into a varsity setting (The UBC Plan, 2014). This plan incorporated both goals and actions into how to make the campus and its students more inclusive.  Using this strategic plan as a framework, we related our above-mentioned issues to these goals and actions.  Our first goal is to solve issues related to coaching and managing. This will involve expanding opportunities for athletes to safely express opinions on the issues of cultural diversity at all levels of university. By allowing a safe and open environment to safely express opinions it will assist in athlete trust.  The next goal was to solve issues between varsity athletes. In order to do this intercultural understanding as a core leadership competency in athletes must be established. As well advanced forms of measuring intercultural fluency should be developed. Although it may be difficult, athletes need to see the importance of interculturalism and inclusiveness and how it benefits their team. Awareness must be present before any actions can be undertaken.  Our final goal is to solve issues between varsity athletes and the surrounding communities. This involves enhancing interconnectedness between varsity bodies and non-varsity bodies. It is important to note that through discussions with our contact persons it was agreed that future actions and recommendations should be practical and comprehensive.  Further, our proposed actions will relate to current activities that UBC Varsity already has in place and will not seek to drastically alter the organization.    Recommendations: Actions  With our goals for recommendations in mind we began the task of creating actions for each goal. It was stressed throughout the entirety of the project that the recommendations made should be practical. With that in mind we came up with actions for two of the three issues discussed that could be potentially implemented into UBC Athletics as soon as the next school year. The third action will be talked about further in the ‘Next Steps’ section; to be taken on at a later stage in the project. It was brought to our attention that at the beginning of each school year there is a coach’s seminar that goes over code of conduct and what is expected of each team as a representative of UBC. Since this seminar already happens every year we figured this would be a great opportunity to add intercultural education to a pre-existing structure. By bringing in a professional we would hope to change the way that coaches, new and old, view day to day encounters with their athletes. By creating awareness around intercultural and inclusivity issues we hope to foster a more open and safe environment, where the athletes feel their coaches understand them and are open to new ideas.  However, where it begins with coaching it ends with the athletes. That is why we also want to add an intercultural education module into the learning of   8 each varsity athlete. As varsity athletes ourselves we have attended the annual athlete orientation every September since we began our studies at UBC and although they highlight key points every year (recently it has been hazing), the structure and content stays mostly the same. The athlete orientation is a perfect setting to create awareness as it requires all athletes present. By adding a short module into the orientation instead of hosting a separate meeting we could minimize athlete inconvenience. Furthermore, we would like to create a Likert-Scale Questionnaire to evaluate the level of inclusion experienced by the athletes at the individual level (Appendix A, 1.2). A Likert-Scale is a ranking scale to determine the individual's opinion of the proposed question, where each answer has a point associated with it and the individuals percentage-score of total is representative of how inclusive their experience in athletics is (Masters, 2005). We would propose to administer the questionnaire at the end of each school year (April) to determine issues from year to year. From this we could approach trends in responses on an annual feedback and continually improve the program and atmosphere surrounding UBC Athletics.  Next Step To begin, the concepts and ideas presented in this paper should be brought to the attention of UBC Athletics Department. Many of the recommendations, goals, and actions proposed fall in line with guidelines and goals they already have in place and could be easily implemented in the near future. Furthermore, it is important to stress that an integral part to making this plan successful is revising the education component: keeping it up to date with new material. The field of research is brand new and developing so we should mold our ideas to new concepts as they are presented. Interculturalism and inclusion education in varsity athletics appears to be a new concept, especially regarding Canadian Athletics. Moving forward there will be opportunity to expand the research done here and propose newer and more influential ideas. However, to start we would like to discuss the recommendations made regarding athlete-community relationships. Furthermore, we would like to point out some areas of research that would important to this topic. Many avenues of research were discussed during the initial stages of this project but only the ones presented above were within the scope of our assignment. We believe that increasing the cohesiveness of the relationship between UBC varsity athletes and our supporting community we would be able to create a better atmosphere at UBC for current and future varsity athletes.  Our proposed solution to this problem is an increased varsity outreach program subdivided into two parts. The first section would be student body outreach; taking part in school wide events and promoting varsity athletics as something that brings the school together through pride and tradition. The second section would be community outreach; increasing community involvement through volunteer programs the create a better image of UBC’s varsity athletes within the community.  Following our recommendations we believe there are many avenues of study related to varsity athlete interculturalism that could further our work. One   9 specific example we discussed during the planning of our project was intercultural training or education designed specifically for athletes traveling internationally to competitions. We directed some of our discussion in this direction but since UBC varsity athletes rarely travel outside North America we were unable to gather much insight. It is not unreasonable to assume that cultures around the world vary and that some athletes travelling to those countries may have never experienced their respective cultures in the past. An education program designed to educate and inform athletes about the parts of the world that they will be traveling to could prove beneficial to enhancing the athlete experience as a whole.  Conclusion In conclusion we feel that as an introductory project we were able to gain essential insight into the intercultural and inclusive nature of varsity sports at UBC. Given more time and a larger sample size we would be able to extract a more clear vision and provide better recommendations. Given the nature of this project, the recommendations would accurately address the intercultural issues apparent in varsity sport. Moreover, they have been made feasible specific to UBC’s program. Our hope is that given this information UBC Varsity Athletics can evolve to create a more inclusive and whole experience for their athletes.                        References  2013 NATIONAL COLLEGE FOOTBALL ATTENDANCE. (2013, January 1). Retrieved December 21, 2014.   10  Access & Diversity. (2014). About Access and Diversity. Retrieved from http://  students.ubc.ca/about/access  Adair, D., Taylor, T., & Darcy, S. (2010). Managing ethnocultural and ‘racial’ diversity   in sport: obstacles and opportunities. Sport Management Review, 37, 307-312  Broido, E.M. (2004). Understanding diversity in millennial students. New Directions for Student Services, 2004(106) 73-85.  Chalk, P. T. (2008). Motives and values associated with participation in intercollegiate student-athlete community service: Implications for athletics department leadership (Order No. 3336572). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Full Text. (304684528). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/304684528?accountid=14656  Cowin, L., Burleigh, D., Price, D., Lay, M., & Pattenden, W. (2012). Potential outcomes   anticipated from a new vision – starting points. Athletics and Recreation.   Retrieved from http://vpstudents.ubc.ca/files/2012/07/Think-Tank-Notes-  Varsity-and-High-Performance-Sports.pdf  Dashper, K., & Fletcher, T. (2013). Introduction: diversity, equity and inclusion in sport   and leisure. Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, & Politics, 1227-1232.  Dyck, N. (2011). In Pursuit of the "Full Ride": American Athletic Scholarships and Mobility, Sportand Childhood in Canada. Anthropologica, 53 (1), 53-66.  Forde, S.D., Lee, D. S., Mills, C., & Frisby, W. (2014). Moving towards social inclusion:   manager and staff perspectives on an award winning community sport and   recreation program for immigrants. Sport Management Review.   a. Go Thunderbirds. (2014). Mission/Vision. Retrieved from http://  www.gothunderbirds.ca/sports/2009/10/ 19/dept-vision.aspx  b. Go Thunderbirds (2014). I’m Going to UBC. Retrieved from http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/sports/2014/6/4/GEN_0604145506.aspx Halas, J.M. (2011). Aboriginal youth and their experiences in physical education: “This   is what you’ve taught me”. PHENex Journal, 3(2), 1-23.  Masters, E. (2005). THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUMBER OF RESPONSE CATEGORIES AND RELIABILITY OF LIKERT-TYPE QUESTIONNAIRES. Journal of Educational Measurement, 11(1), 49-53.    11 SEEDS. (2014). SEEDS Program. Retrieved from http://sustain.ubc.ca/courses-  teaching/  seeds  The UBC Plan (2014). Intercultural Understanding. Retrieved from http://strategicplan.ubc.ca/the-plan/intercultural-understanding/                                       Appendix A  1.1   12     1.2       Appendix B   Questions   13 1 Did you feel you were able to contribute in a meaningful way to the team culture?  2 Did you feel you had to assimilate to the team culture?  3 In what ways was diversity or inclusiveness celebrated on the team?  4 In what ways can inclusiveness be fostered in teams?  5 Do you feel like varsity athletics promotes intercultural values, diversity and inclusivity?  6 As athletes do you feel prepared for cultures that you travel in?                           Appendix C [Question Numbers linked to questions in Appendix B.]   14  1.1  Origin: American Sport: Track & Field   1.2 Origin: American Sport: Track & Field Questions Answers 1 I felt I was able to contribute to team culture in a meaningful way. I was able to organize events for the team as well as help team members feel included and valued.  2 I don't think I had to assimilate to team culture. When I joined the team it was only four of us so we set the culture ourselves. As it has grown we've added some new bits, but it feels comfortable and natural (if that makes sense). It was Questions Answers 1 Definitely. I feel like I brought a lot of my own experiences to the team.  2 A little bit. It is always difficult to join a new team, but also exciting.   3 None that I can think of  4 Team building exercises, team hangouts, etc.  5 Not really. Certainly some sports more than others, but varsity athletics is a really North American idea that isn't valued as much around the world.  6 As an American, I am definitely prepared to travel to the US for our meets.    15 probably more that the culture had to adapt to me (I know that sounds stuck up but it's partly true).  3 Diversity is celebrated on the team by everyone being comfortable to share about themselves and their backgrounds and everyone on the team listens and accepts them. We don't judge based on where people are from. Inclusiveness is celebrated by our team having impromptu hangouts with each other, or parts of our team.  4 Inclusiveness can be fostered by talking to everyone on the team, and by creating a safe space for people to share their thoughts. Also by having team events where people can hang out in a non-competitive setting.  5 I think that varsity athletics promotes intercultural values, diversity and inclusivity for the most part. Most teams have members of diverse backgrounds. Because you have to train and spend so much time with these people you get to know them as a person and learn about their values culture and beliefs.  6 I feel prepared, but that might be because I usually only complete in a similar culture to mine.  1.3 Origin: American Sport: Baseball Questions Answers 1 As an American I would not say there is not much of a difference between Canadian culture and American.   2 On the field, it feels like I was playing back home, everyone breathes baseball and there is always talk of it.  The only things that are different are certain social   16 aspects that only a Canadian would know (about certain areas of the country and stereotypes, things that Canadians did growing up ie hockey). I had no problems with integration into culture because athletics/baseball is a common language, and you learn and adapt to the team.    3 * 4 * 5 I believe it does because you will get athletes from potentially all parts of the globe on a team.  This can be beneficial because meeting different people may change your outlook on different cultures, which you may have not fully understood before.  Athletics allows individuals to engage in sport and long lasting friendships.  6 It really depends on where you are going.  For most places that I have been to and traveled, it seems very easy because in the end everyone has the same mindset of baseball. I think that as long as the passion for the sport is kept among different cultures, it is easy to travel and adapt.    1.4 Origin: Filipino Sport: Baseball Questions Answers 1 Being apart of a team that was predominantly Canadian, I was surprised when I came to the realization that cultural or intra-sport athletic diversity had an extremely low tolerance threshold on my team. Perhaps my experience is one unique to the sporting world due to the nature of the game of baseball. Guidelines of the “unwritten rulebook,” of baseball were followed religiously, and as someone who grew up in a country with limited exposure to this facet of the game, I was   17 ridiculed by my teammates until I conformed to these rules. Coming from a country which has very limited historical international success in baseball, any unique input that I tried to give to the team was quickly dismissed as being “unconventional,” or incorrect.  2 I definitely felt like there was no other option than to adhere to the preset team culture of my team. As someone who welcomed the experience of playing baseball in Canada with an open mind and willingness to change, I would still catch fellow teammates mocking my Filipino baseball tendencies throughout my process to get rid of them. This situation was not unique to me though as fellow local teammates who were unhappy with the team dynamic were also shunned due to their differing beliefs to the majority of the team. In this aspect, I don’t think that my alienation from the rest of the team had anything to do with my different culture, but my opposing view to the team culture as well.  3 As the previous two responses suggest, diversity was in not celebrated on the team. Teammates who tried to use unconventional methods to train were mocked not only by fellow peers, but members of the coaching staff as well. Inclusiveness was another trait which did not exist on the team. From day 1, there were cliques established between the veterans and the new members of the team, and as the season progressed, teammates who refused to go along with the rest of the team were outcast.  4 This is a difficult question to answer. I don’t think that there is a do-all, end-all solution to this question. For male athletes at any level, there is a large ego aspect to being on a sports team, which will   18 naturally get in the way of perfect inclusion. Veterans naturally exhibit their dominance over the rookies, since it was done to them when they were younger. In the sport of baseball, the lack of inclusiveness is increased due to the naturally created separation between pitchers and hitters. Within the baseball community, it is common to hear jokes from hitters deeming the pitchers as useless since the nature of their position provides them with a lot of free time. To combine all the intricacies of every team dynamic to create a single solution which fosters inclusiveness is tough, but if I had to offer a suggestion, it would be that the current generation of veterans need to extend themselves to help the rookies feel included.  5 Although my experience played out in the manner that it did, I still believe that varsity athletics does promote intercultural values, diversity, and inclusivity. I will admit that my experience was probably a unique case, which was only exacerbated by the naturally divisive tendencies of the sport I played, but I have come across other instances where diversity has been promoted. I find that these tend to be in the sports with a large global sphere of influence. Sports like rugby, basketball, and volleyball, which all have a widespread international competition base have been more accepting to international talent.  6 I’m not sure if simply being an athlete prepared me for different cultures, but I will admit that they can provide a good medium for people to have access to different nationalities. I think that a lot of the preparation came from my exposure to dealing with international kids growing up, but programs such as Little League promote interculture interaction through   19 events like the World Series which has 2 main pools, one for the Americas, and one for International teams. As a baseball player who grew up through the Little League system, I had the opportunity to meet players from the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Japan, the Netherlands, and many more countries. That being said, I do believe that the initiative has to stem from the individual, and cannot be generalized to involvement in sports as a whole.     


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