UBC Undergraduate Research

UNA Community Centers : Promoting Interculturalism through Physical Activity Gavric, Marko; Johnstone, Dannen; Kandola, Mahabhir; Lee, Emily; Lin, Jackie; Liu, Jackson


The University Neighbourhood Association (UNA) is a non-for-profit organization that serves approximately 10,000 residents within the community of the University of British Columbia (UBC). UBC neighborhoods are representative of the diversity in Vancouver, and consists of significant immigrant populations from various backgrounds including Chinese, Korean, Persian and European. Although many programs have acknowledged the need for multiculturalism and diversity within physically activity, there is still a need to continually draw attention to the issues involved through research with different cultural groups (Frisby, 2011). In recent years, UNA has had growing difficulty reaching certain population groups within the community and as a result, invited us to evaluate their program. The purpose of this study was conducted to promote intercultural physical activity among residents and increase participation of certain population groups at the UNA community centres. Four separate meetings were held throughout the term with UNA community partners to discuss goals and objectives, project design, and ensure the project remained on schedule. The UNA sent out a survey we created, consisting of Likert scale questions, through their weekly newsletter and a total of 68 residents responded to the survey. Following the survey, a focus group session was conducted and 7 residents attended. The result of our focus group discussion showed that the top three barriers to participation at UNA were; (1) the inability to progress a skill due to a lack of different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) of classes available; (2) the inflexibility of the registration system and; (3) difficulty understanding the context and content of the class due to language barriers. Our recommendations were given based on the barriers identified: (1) to provide different levels of class progression (beginner, intermediate, advanced) so participants have the choice to further improve their skills, be challenged and learn; (2) to provide more flexibility and ease of registration by allowing all programs to be available for registration online; (3) to implement a system to provide translation for the non-English speaking community through the use of volunteers (UBC residents born/raised here) and a buddy system. Our most significant barrier was the size and population of our focus group. Due to availability, our focus group consisted of 7 adult females, with 6 of them being full-time mothers. Future recommendations include conducting focus groups that have male participants as well as this will result in a better representation of the population in the community. 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.”

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