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The Future is League

Could British clubs learn something from this?

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"What will surprise you is that one in five of them were born overseas and that one of the biggest growing demographics supporting the club are of Indian heritage. "

Short answer is of course they could, the long answer involves can they be bothered, will they be bothered or is there too much prejudice for them to even try?

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Also quite interesting:

Among Eels fans’ fathers, 35 per cent were born overseas. Amongst Eels fans’ mothers, 33 per cent were were born overseas. The top countries for the parents born overseas include India, UK, China and Lebanon.”

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"What will surprise you is that one in five of them were born overseas and that one of the biggest growing demographics supporting the club are of Indian heritage. "

Short answer is of course they could, the long answer involves can they be bothered, will they be bothered or is there too much prejudice for them to even try?

We would really hope so as the potential is enormous.

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At Canberra games I’ve seen entire Indian families turn up wearing Raiders gear.

I’ve also heard African friends feverishly discussing the match in their native language... it’s peppered with the players’ names.

It’s great that we can share a wonderful community experience with them.

More can be done though. Especially in Western Sydney.

Edited by Copa
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This is something I've been a bit loathe to bring up but it is pertinent, If RL wants to widen its ethnic footprint and appeal to the Aisan community how will it respond if they notice an editor and pundit wrote "The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury" If we are to grow as a sport we need to communicate how good our sport is to all communities and that will be quite difficult carrying baggage like this with us along the way.

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This is something I've been a bit loathe to bring up but it is pertinent, If RL wants to widen its ethnic footprint and appeal to the Aisan community how will it respond if they notice an editor and pundit wrote "The Islamic Republic of Dewsbury" If we are to grow as a sport we need to communicate how good our sport is to all communities and that will be quite difficult carrying baggage like this with us along the way.

We haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to tapping into the Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Eastern European communities as regards players and fans.

Edited by The Future is League
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It doesn’t have to translate into bums on seats at matches. Clubs could do more in their local communities and build bridges between different cultures and nationalities. Some of our clubs are based in vastly diverse towns and cities and just forming links within their towns and cities will be hugely beneficial for everyone and if that then translates into bums on seats, great. 

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56 minutes ago, The Future is League said:

We haven't even scratched the surface when it comes to tapping into the Asian, Afro-Caribbean and Eastern European communities as regards players and fans.

I don't think there's even been a glance at where we might make a scratch. The ease with which this could be done is in real contrast to the failure and lack so far.

Edited by Oxford
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6 hours ago, Oxford said:

"What will surprise you is that one in five of them were born overseas and that one of the biggest growing demographics supporting the club are of Indian heritage. "

Short answer is of course they could, the long answer involves can they be bothered, will they be bothered or is there too much prejudice for them to even try?

They could certainly learn from it, but could they apply it with immigrant communities which have resisted assimilation into the local culture due to a cultural and/or religious belief that the culture of their old country is superior to ours?

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4 hours ago, Big Picture said:

They could certainly learn from it, but could they apply it with immigrant communities which have resisted assimilation into the local culture due to a cultural and/or religious belief that the culture of their old country is superior to ours?

I don't think Paramatta are too concerned with appealing to British "ex-pats" in Spain.

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4 hours ago, Big Picture said:

They could certainly learn from it, but could they apply it with immigrant communities which have resisted assimilation into the local culture due to a cultural and/or religious belief that the culture of their old country is superior to ours?

What religious beliefs are you referring to?

At NRL games you can see Muslims (including women with Islamic veils), Hindus, Buddhists, mormons (Mormons provides quite a few players)  etc. 

If you create a welcoming environment where they feel part of the wider community people turn up. Some groups stick together and don’t look outside the group if they don’t feel welcomed. 

I guess those from religious communities that are anti sport and push isolationism (certain Christian sects etc) stay away but they also stay away from everything.

 

Edited by Copa
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1 hour ago, Copa said:

What religious beliefs are you referring to?

At NRL games you can see Muslims (including women with Islamic veils), Hindus, Buddhists, mormons (Mormons provides quite a few players)  etc. 

If you create a welcoming environment where they feel part of the wider community people turn up. Some groups stick together and don’t look outside the group if they don’t feel welcomed. 

I guess those from religious communities that are anti sport and push isolationism (certain Christian sects etc) stay away but they also stay away from everything.

 

I referred to the beliefs of the one immigrant group which has the lowest level of assimilation into Western culture, namely Muslims.

We never hear of any issues with adherents of other religions, but plenty of examples exist of Muslims who've grown up in Western countries but who hate the West and its "decadent" culture, even to the extent of organized groups such as Anjem Choudary's Sharia4UK.

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1 hour ago, Big Picture said:

I referred to the beliefs of the one immigrant group which has the lowest level of assimilation into Western culture, namely Muslims.

We never hear of any issues with adherents of other religions, but plenty of examples exist of Muslims who've grown up in Western countries but who hate the West and its "decadent" culture, even to the extent of organized groups such as Anjem Choudary's Sharia4UK.

Even some Muslim girls play rugby league, afl and soccer in Western Sydney. A few of them also wear special veils designed for sport.

Australia is right next door to Indonesia, the most populous Islamic nation on earth, which is located in SE Asia where there are more Muslims than in the Middle East.

Most Muslims I’ve met in Australia (of both ME and SE Asian descent) and in SE Asia are just regular people keen to embrace community life.

The ones you refer to are a minority here, the majority just get on with their lives.

Some online  photos from suburban Sydney..

8EF1D3D5-56BC-44A7-9EDC-407A7BF96730.jpeg

C4E3D5EF-99CA-4E1F-A08B-EAB4E6E7E819.png

Edited by Copa
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10 minutes ago, Copa said:

Even some Muslim girls play rugby league, afl and soccer in Western Sydney. A few of them also wear special veils designed for sport.

Australia is right next door to Indonesia, the most populous Islamic nation on earth, which is located in SE Asia where there are more Muslims than in the Middle East.

Most Muslims I’ve met in Australia (of both ME and SE Asian descent) and in SE Asia are just regular people keen to embrace community life.

The ones you refer to are a minority here, the majority just get on with their lives.

Some online  photos from suburban Sydney..

8EF1D3D5-56BC-44A7-9EDC-407A7BF96730.jpeg

C4E3D5EF-99CA-4E1F-A08B-EAB4E6E7E819.png

The ones whom I referenced are a minority here in Canada too as far as I can tell, but the OP's question was asked about the UK.

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If rugby league wants to grow it needs to reach all people, no matter the skin colour, religion or anything else. I don't know about attracting overseas fans yet as just attracting English ones seems to be struggle.

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As a British Asian fan of Rugby League originally from Batley I'd like to throw in some thoughts on this topic. It's great to see what the Eels are achieving.

Reading some of the comments on this thread I feel like I need to try to provide an alternative view; yes there are some Muslims who don't want to assimilate but the vast majority of them (in my experience) have the same concerns everyone else has and are just trying to live a decent life.

Asian people are underrepresented in the sport as fans, players and officials but this isn't because of some inherent dislike of the sport. The problem is that to many of them the sport just doesn't attract their attention. This isn't an issue that is unique to this community!

I think we have to ask ourselves how do people find the game? For many of my friends of British heritage it was because their families already enjoyed it but there were plenty more who weren't interested at all. Now if you're an immigrant or the child of immigrants, you're mostly likely to get into a new sport if someone you know introduces you to it but if the sport has a low-profile the chances of you knowing someone who is passionate enough to draw you in is vanishingly small.

In Sydney, the sport is number one and Paramatta have a shiny new stadium which attracts new fans and that pulls in people of different cultures. I'm sure if Bradford had a shiny new stadium and there were 25k going regularly the crowd would be more diverse just because the sport would have a higher profile.

The big question is how to attract more people to our sport and whether a different approaches are needed for people of different backgrounds. I wish I had answers to these questions but this article about the founding of the Brisbane Broncos describes a deliberate attempt to attract more women and break the class prejudice around league. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/22/how-the-brisbane-broncos-rose-out-of-the-political-mess-that-was-1980s-queensland

If clubs are serious about attracting more people to the game they could do with asking themselves how they make the matchday experience more inclusive and how they draw attention to themselves in their local communities.

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13 hours ago, Big Picture said:

I referred to the beliefs of the one immigrant group which has the lowest level of assimilation into Western culture, namely Muslims.

We never hear of any issues with adherents of other religions, but plenty of examples exist of Muslims who've grown up in Western countries but who hate the West and its "decadent" culture, even to the extent of organized groups such as Anjem Choudary's Sharia4UK.

You have a very short memory. Go back in time and the were "issues" with almost every minority religious group when it was politically convenient for the ruling class to demonise them.

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Paramatta Eels stats are very interesting but not necessarily surprising if you consider the country - in Australia as a whole, 28% of the current population was born overseas.

The Wolfpack are similar - one in three spectators was born outside of Canada. But that's actually less than the city of Toronto, where just under half the population was born outside Canada. Toronto FC also attracts a fan base that includes many first generation immigrants from Europe/South & Central America.

Clubs in England could attract a wider demographic by better marketing to younger people and women of all backgrounds. People will show up, and bring their kids, if they think they'll be safe and entertained, even if they have little knowledge of the sport itself. Clubs could also expand the food choices offered, although some Muslims may not enjoy the beer culture.

The Toronto Raptors' #1 superfan, Nav Bhatia, is a Sikh born in India.

 

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21 hours ago, RugbyLeagueMan said:

English'? With all the into breeding going in these isles for the past 3000 years might suggest that there are very few pure Anglos-Saxons left?
As for other demographics, what clubs are actively welcoming Indian, Polish, Jewish, Romanian communities into the game?

Have some respect for me and yourself not to construe my statement into something in which it was clearly not meant to be.

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On 24/08/2019 at 03:40, RugbyLeagueMan said:

'English'? With all the into breeding going in these isles for the past 3000 years might suggest that there are very few pure Anglos-Saxons left?
As for other demographics, what clubs are actively welcoming Indian, Polish, Jewish, Romanian communities into the game?

So what does that mean exactly? Is it just a generic swipe at the nasty English? Are you saying that unless you're a pure Anglo-Saxon you're not English, just British? Would you undermine the nationality of somebody from the likes of France, Spain or Argentina? What's your point? 

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17 minutes ago, RugbyLeagueMan said:

British defines the natives of the UK, check your passport as proof of this. I don't see citizen of England anywhere on it. The first settlers were the Brithony.

Ahh, I see, so you've got hang-ups about the English! Does your spreading the word that the English are of no relevance make you feel better about yourself? Would you also tell the Welsh & Scottish their identity means nothing?

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On 23/08/2019 at 15:02, Big Picture said:

They could certainly learn from it, but could they apply it with immigrant communities which have resisted assimilation into the local culture due to a cultural and/or religious belief that the culture of their old country is superior to ours?

This is one of the big red herrings of our time and also specious logic BP. The idea that cultures resist assimlation and that it's based on looking down on the native culture is pure nonsense. It is repudiated in almost every aspect of children growing up with British accents and outlooks from different migrant groupings. If there is a blockage anywhere it's only in the minds of those who think getting bums on seats is either impossible or can't be bothered which is what this thread is about.

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