Cultural Barriers

What about healthy invigorating sport?

But is everyone getting excited about sport? Not according to the organisation Sport England which encourages nationwide participation of sporting activities. Its figures show that Muslim women are significantly less likely to take up exercise compared to other groups.

Wait, you said sport first, then you made it exercise. Different thing. But never mind that’s not the part that caught my attention.

In addition, there are cultural barriers involved in the take up of sport as a professional career option for many Muslims, both male and female…Shahid Saleh, a young British Muslim who has five sisters, explains how he does not like the idea of them playing games. “I wouldn’t want them to play sports,” he said. “You’re not allowed to uncover yourself like wearing tracksuit bottoms and all that, and play football or badminton, you have to cover yourself.”

Oh, mind your own business, Shahid. Get your mind out of the gutter and leave your sisters alone; they’re not your property. But that’s not the part that caught my attention either.

Cultural barriers remain in taking up a career in sport. Twelve-year-old Zahir Ahmed says that his parents encourage him to study hard rather than to waste time playing.

That’s the part. Wait – studying hard is a ‘cultural barrier’ to taking up a career in sport? For one thing, careers in sport aren’t just lying around littering the streets ready to be ‘taken up,’ they’re extremely rare, especially at the big money level. But for a more basic thing, studying could be construed as something other than a cultural barrier to sport. It could, actually, be regarded as a good in itself as well as an instrumental good; it could be regarded as both a source of enrichment, expansion, understanding, critical thinking, skill, excitement, and as a tool necessary for a very wide range of jobs, such as for instance being a BBC reporter. So frankly it seems a little twisted to look at it as merely a ‘cultural barrier’ to sport. Some cultural barriers have a lot to be said for them.

11 Responses to “Cultural Barriers”