How Does a Facilitator’s Perspective of Cultural Intelligence Influence Chinese Sport and Recreation Participation?
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In 2013, one in four individuals in Auckland were of Asian ethnicity. By 2038, it is predicted one in three people will be of Asian ethnicity (Statistics New Zealand, 2015). With this growing cultural diversity, changes in societal values will occur, challenging individuals and organisations around the world (Ang, Dyne, Koh, Ng, Templer & Tay et al., 2007). For sport and recreation facilitators, the challenge is to meet the diverse sport and recreation needs of people, and to understand the impact of culture and ethnicity in sports participation (Thomas & Dyall, 1999). In the sport and recreation sector, cultural intelligence can help a facilitators’ cross-cultural knowledge and skills with these challenges (Earley & Ang, 2003). Current statistics suggest that sporting organisations and their facilitators are not meeting the needs of the Asian community, with Asian adults having a lower participation rate than the national average (New Zealand Parliament, 2017). To date, sport organisations in New Zealand have relied on historical research on diversity in sport and overseas research to develop their cultural knowledge and capabilities (Thomas & Dyall, 1999). With this gap in literature and practice, the research question focused on in this Master’s project is: “How does a facilitators perspective of cultural intelligence influence Chinese sport and recreation participation?” This qualitative post-positivist research project was underpinned by institutional theory (Meyer & Rowan, 1977) with a case study approach. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with five Auckland Council Sport and Recreation Managers and four Chinese participants. The findings were analysed thematically through NVivo, where experiences and perceptions from the sport facilitators and Chinese participants allow for comparisons between case studies to be made. The objective of this case study approach was to explore the influence of the Auckland Council Sport and Recreation Managers cultural intelligence and how it may impact the Chinese community participating in sport and recreation. Findings revealed that the Auckland Council Sport and Recreation Managers have a low-moderate level of cultural intelligence. Results also demonstrated that the cultural intelligence level of the Sport and Recreation Managers does influence the Chinese community participating in sport and recreation. For the Chinese participants, key barriers influencing their participation at the centres includes communication challenges and a lack of quality service experiences. It is recommended that Sport and Recreation Managers adopt and apply culturally intelligent institutional practices, values, behaviours, recreational programmes and initiatives to help improve sport and recreation participation amongst the Chinese community in Auckland.