Using Figueroa’s framework as a guide, evaluate and predict current and future participation levels for Beach Volleyball for Maryborough in the next 10-15 years. Evaluate what role the various personal, sociocultural and motivational factors have on your personal participation in Beach Volleyball. Make recommendations as to how the participation levels could increase by addressing issues of Access and Equity as well as the globalisation and commodification, media influence and marketing of beach volleyball.
Beach Volleyball, an intense, quick paced game first invented by William G. Morgan in 1895 , is a widely loved sport with a large demographic. I predict that the future participation levels for Beach Volleyball in Maryborough in the next 10-15 years will be low. This can be explained using Peter Figueroa’s framework, a well-known sociologist. In this essay I will evaluate how my personal participation levels in Beach Volleyball have been affected at an Individual, Structural and Institutional level. I will address how participation levels could be increased around Maryborough via increasing access to those who are disadvantaged.
My personal participation levels in Beach Volleyball can be explained by using the Individual level Figueroa’s framework. The individual level of Figueroa’s framework deals with our own attitudes, values and beliefs. Especially those that are stereotypical or prejudiced. My own personal participation level in Beach Volleyball has been very low because I have not been brought up with it like I have with cricket or soccer. Had I been brought up with volleyball or had my parents or siblings played than I am sure I would’ve gravitated towards it. I also came from a school and culture in the town where beach volleyball or volleyball for that matter was gender stereotyped as a female’s sport.
The institutional level of Figueroa’s framework examines organizational structures and how these might impact access and equity of sport and exercise . On an Institutional level of Figueroa’s framework my level of participation in Beach Volleyball has been disadvantaged due to the fact that there are no beaches in Maryborough. It is not only the lack of beaches because if there were artificial beach volleyball courts there would be an opportunity for students to take up the sport. But there are none in Maryborough and due to this I and various other students and teenagers have not been able to gain access to the sport, because there are no beach volleyball courts there are not any teams within Maryborough. There are however a few Volleyball teams, and a few courts to play on. Though few, these teams are accessible for many students albeit only if you go to a certain school. If all schools in Maryborough incorporated volleyball teams as one of their ‘school teams’ then this would encourage a larger culture for the sport in Maryborough, which can be reinforced via the Cultural level of Figueroa’s Framework .
The Cultural level of Figueroa’s framework is all about collective assumptions, beliefs and values about issues such as gender, race and social status . On a cultural level, my participation in Beach Volleyball has been influenced by the gender stereotype that Beach Volleyball and Volleyball are girl’s sports. This is because in all the schools and towns I have lived in Volleyball has been predominantly a girl’s sport; this stereotype pushed the need for other sports for guys. Sports such as rugby, soccer, cricket and AFL were all stereotyped as guy sports. If you didn’t play those sports then your social status was affected and if you were in a certain social group as in the ‘popular’ kids then you were expected to play a ‘guy’ sport. Had this not been the case and had the issue of gender not existed than I think there would’ve been a lot more interest and participation at a younger age then leading into the teen years. Gender stereotypes such as Volleyball being a woman’s sport and Football being a men’s sport have a large influence on participation levels.
Access and equity plays a large roll in the popularity and participation levels of Beach Volleyball. I believe that if the Beach Volleyball was televised and if there was more funding involved with the sport and the local clubs then the popularity and the participation levels would increase dramatically. Since Beach Volleyball isn’t televised, aside from the Olympics, there isn’t much interest in it because for a lot of people they don’t see it as an actual sport because they don’t see it on Television.
This shows just how much influence the media has, if the sport was televised and people became invested in players and teams then the hype would start to draw in more and more kids to play the sport. Globalizing the televising of Beach Volleyball would further increase interest and participation in the sport. Taking the media influence into advantage and setting up Facebook or Twitter sites for different Countries teams and also having merchandise available for fans to purchase at games and online, are just two strategies that are sure to increase interest in Beach Volleyball. Supporting this, if there was more funding put into to local clubs and facilities then the kids would have an opportunity to start playing the sport. However, since there are no available facilities for them to even try the sport to see if they like it, participation levels and interest in the sport are declining. If facilities were to be built, then the popularity for this sport in Maryborough would increase drastically.
In conclusion, I believe the popularity of Beach Volleyball will remain fairly low in Maryborough in the next 10-15 years because there are no facilities available to play on and no clubs to play for. Also the gender stereotype about Beach Volleyball is that it is a girl’s sport and is not a sport men play which influences young men who might otherwise have had an interest in the sport. However the participation levels can be increased for Beach Volleyball by building facilities that are readily available for use, establishing clubs that kids can play for and televising of Beach Volleyball games and publicizing the sport via mediums such as Facebook and Twitter.
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