As the development agency for the sports in the United Kingdom, BaseballSoftballUK has an important role to play in monitoring the demographics of those involved, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all and proactively influencing involvement from minority groups.
To this end, BSUK carries out a demographic survey of its playing membership every year. However, the 2016 survey had an expanded number of questions, and the responses produced a more comprehensive picture of the state of equality and diversity in our sports, and about what kinds of issues can make it difficult for people to play or can motivate them to take up the game and remain as players.
The study had input from 759 respondents and, on the whole, the responses paint a very favourable picture of the everyday experience of playing baseball/softball in this country across all participants. However, the results of the survey will also be used to ensure that BSUK, in collaboration with the baseball and softball governing bodies, can continue to remove any barriers to participation for both current and potential players.
Here is a link to the 2016 Equality and Diversity Annual Monitoring Report.
BSUK Joint CEO and Head of Development John Boyd, who was instrumental in compiling the survey results, said: "Baseball and softball are highly inclusive and welcoming sports to people of every creed, culture, orientation and background. Together, they present playing opportunities for men and women equally and are often enjoyed by young adults who generally continue to play into their 40s, thanks to the strong social element the sports contain.
"The findings that we have published in the Survey Report will be highly formative to the future work of BaseballSoftballUK and our volunteers involved in the development of the sport.”
On reviewing the report, BBF Secretary Lisa Janson commented: “Reports such as these will be instrumental in forming our development strategy for baseball for the future. Listening to baseball participants both within the BBF and from our wider participant base provides vital feedback for us.
"The report helps us understand some of the barriers people experience to playing the sport as well as areas of opportunity to increase our participation. We believe this can be done through addressing the fundamental needs of the sport -- that is, creating more facilities, increasing the visibility and profile of the sport and providing training for more volunteers. It also helps us focus on the importance of working ever more closely with our partners in BSUK and the BSF.”