/ Climbing... A white Manís Game?
I know I am not the first person to notice this, and Iím sure most people can count the number of exceptions to this notion on one hand.
I am a 3rd year Sociology student currently conducting a research project to try and examine the reasons for such low levels of participation of ethnic minority groups in climbing.
What do people think? Why do you think that participation levels are so low?
At the same time I would really like to talk to anyone who climbs and considers themselves to be from an ethnic minority background; if you are interested in either a quick conversation or email exchange I would like to hear from you.
Cheers, Liam Postlethwaite
Then you should conduct the cost factor of time equipment and travel. Its an expensive sport.
I think its probably because they prefer doing something else. I don't think that there are any blocks to stop them climbing if they chose to. Quite rightly, IMO, there is no special drive to actively encourage any particular ethnic group to take up climbing.
> Then you should conduct the cost factor of time equipment and travel. Its an expensive sport.
Are all non-whites financially poor?
White men climb because they can't jump.
I do find this strange. Perhaps even more so in America where there is a very healthy ratio of women to men climbers (almost seems 1 to 1), but virtually no blacks, and very few Asians. The few Asian climbers I have seen have been outstanding, because they have a very suitable build (high strength to weight ratio) and gymnastic ability.
you mean like Leeds and Bradford, in Yorkshire!!!
You're wrong, sorry.
Go walk around the west way or other London walls and look at the diversity of black,Asian,white or disabled climbers. I'm pretty sure London isn't the only place to have a good diversity of people from 'minorities'
I see your from Preston/ Sheffield. I think as en exercise in being vaguely scientific you should sample from places other than the north to get a bit more of a national overview- contrary to popular belief there are people away from the peak who climb.
Genuinely interested in your results, make sure you post them here as I'm sure Ukc would be interested.
> You're wrong, sorry.
> Go walk around the west way or other London walls and look at the diversity of black,Asian,white or disabled climbers. I'm pretty sure London isn't the only place to have a good diversity of people from 'minorities'
(according to wikipedia) There population of black African and black Caribbean is a combined 1.8%. I know a few black people who climb...so about one or two in a hundred? I'd say probably more. Seems about even proportions.
Also I'd say your threat title is silly. When climbing is actually an Asian man's game. I say this because, according to your logic, when I was climbing in Japan pretty much all the climbers were Asian.
> Are all non-whites financially poor?
The discussion is not about all non-whites, it is about those that do not climb, ethnic minorities and more recently established communities are on average poorer than longer established populations.
I'd say you are right re ethnic minority climbers but not on women. There are lots of women climbers at all levels but a coloured face is very much a rarity on the crags I visit in Yorks, Lakes, Wales and the Peak as well as in mainland Europe.
It is perhaps particularly surprising in the Peak given that the cities on the southern edge of the park (East and West Mids) seem to have sizeable Asian populations.
As for encouraging people from ethnic minorities there was, perhaps still is, a programme called, I think, Mosaic that national parks were involved with to persuade them to visit. I think it was part of Labour's 'inclusivity' initiative so it may have fallen by the wayside now.
No, I try not to leave my little middle England world. :)
Just throwing ideas out. I don't tend to study climbing census data
Your classifications of non-white seem excesibly broad, 'Asian' encompasses Afghanistan to Japan! I see & hear of a lot of Far Eastern climbers in the press / media / books and there's several who frequent the walls I go to (probably at the same % level as in the general populace).
As for Indian / Middle Eastern, I am seeing more & more of them at the Glasgow walls, though few on a regular basis.
> I think its probably because they prefer doing something else. I don't think that there are any blocks to stop them climbing if they chose to. Quite rightly, IMO, there is no special drive to actively encourage any particular ethnic group to take up climbing.
There's your answer, right there.
I've heard the same sort of thing about all sorts of sports - expecially skiing and snowboarding. It's a pointless waste of time, as put above - you can lead a horse to water, etc, etc.
What about activities you'd consider "A non-white man's game" - what are you going to do about those?
Loads of ethnic diversity at The Depot in Nottingham. Not so much at the wall in Lincoln. Even less so in the great outdoors.
Bearing in mind that around 90% of the UK population is white, I'm not sure non-white groups are under-represented.
If there is under-representation within any group, perhaps historical or cultural factors play a part?
We have a long tradition of climbing and mountaineering so have a rich history to draw upon and provide inspiration. This isn't really the case outise of Europe, or areas colonised by Europeans.
> I am a 3rd year Sociology student currently conducting a research project to try and examine the reasons for such low levels of participation of ethnic minority groups in climbing.
You seem to have established a "fact" by casual option then want to do research to prove it? Doesn't sound like objective research to me. No wander there's so much mumbo jumbo put out by sociologists
Ethnic groups (2011 85.5% White, 7.7% Asian, 3.4% Black, 2.2% Mixed race, 1.0% Other
Ethnicity (2011 census) 57.9% White (53.1% White British)
25.4% South Asian
4.4% Mixed Race
Ethnic groups 2001
88.09% Scottish (white)
7.37% Other British (white)
2.49% Other white
2.01% others (Non White)
95.1% White British
2.2% White Other
1.1% South Asian
0.7% Mixed Race
Simply put England is still a 85.5% and just because you seen more Diversity in the City doesn't mean you will find that diversity reflected in the country side. so take into account social expectations and you will be lucky to find 1 non white for every 100 white climbers.
Thats the fact on race.
As for women that has been discussed before and it is quite acceptably on the rise. The more women the better.
I'm sure if you went to China clibing would be very much a china mans sport.
It's not just climbing -- there appear to be very few black or asian (racing) cyclists in the UK.
Both sports share a lot in common and should be attractive to people of all backgrounds, as neither have a history of being the preserve of the wealthy classes, and the Club scene in both is traditionally egalitarian. It doesn't matter what background you are from as long as you are prepared to get involved and want to share your enjoyment of the sport with others.
If so that should change over the coming decades..
For many University is a time of becoming involved in climbing, traditionally University was for the elite, which was generally composed white middle or upper class males.
This has shifted considerably, especially for the sex ratio's, and is shifting for minorities.
There will be other factors but I think education will have influenced past take up.
I perhaps should have specified that I meant in the context of the British climbing scene.
And obviously Iím not trying to generalise about the whole of the UK but just attempting gain a small sample; preferably from a few different areas.
> You're wrong, sorry.
No, sorry, you're wrong. Well probably according to my experience which is of 10 years of climbing on crags all round the UK (that doesn't include London indoor walls of course).
The OPs general impressions about the under-representation of ethnic minorities chimes completely with my experience. In every school I went to and in every job I've been in there seemed to be a much high proportion of ethnic minorities than at all the crags I've been to (bear in mind I used to climb several times a week at Stanage Popular, so I have a fairly large "sample size" from the UK's most mainstream crag, plus countless trips to all the major trad climbing venues in England and a few sport places).
Reasons: I'd say very much a cultural/social thing. You tend to do what your mates are into, what "people like you" do, and what your parents do/did. Personally, my interest in climbing springs from a love of the mountains and my Dad used to take me walking and scrambling in the Lakes and Wales. It's unusual to see non-white families up on the fells, perhaps that's because if you grew up overseas, you might go back there to visit beautiful landscapes with personal ties, rather than takes your kids up to the Lakes (which is full of middle-class brits and could possibly feel alienating).
I think it's an interesting question, and I've often wondered about all the social and cultural factors at play.
> No, sorry, you're wrong. Well probably according to my experience which is of 10 years of climbing on crags all round the UK (that doesn't include London indoor walls of course).
> In every school I went to and in every job I've been in there seemed to be a much high proportion of ethnic minorities than at all the crags I've been to (bear in mind I used to climb several times a week at Stanage Popular, so I have a fairly large "sample size" from the UK's most mainstream crag, plus countless trips to all the major trad climbing venues in England and a few sport places).
Do your schools and workplaces represent an equally "large sample size" as does Stanage Popular, or were they skewed above the national average for ethnic minorities?
My partner and in-laws are South Asian so I have a fairly good insight into this. Essentially, South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc) were very agrarian societies until very recently. Folk who've made it to the cities (albeit probably several generations back) and then made another jump to the UK don't have any desire to "get back to nature". Getting sweaty and knackered in the outdoors is just not the done thing. That's for farmers. Remember we are talking about societies which have not had a Romantic Period in the same way that Europe has, so the idea of communing with nature or finding oneself or all those Romantic notions we have in climbing aren't there. If you wanted to do those things, you'd go to the temple or meditate, right?
Also the limited options for entertainment and employment in South Asia are directly reflected in Asian life here in the UK. That's why you'll find a lot of doctors, lawyers and engineers who spend their free time going to restaurants!
Add to that the immigrant desire to make loads of money (the purpose of coming here originally), the fact a lot live in the south east, and that outdoor sports are often easier to get into if you already know a participant, and I think you have a lot of reasons already. On a personal level, my Asian rellies think climbing is a bit nuts, tho I've taken some to Font and they love it!
I think with time the factors I've listed above will become less relevant, and we'll see more ethnic minority climbers.
For sure. I'm from East Yorkshire originally, when I go back in the summer I see a lot of Asian families out at the seaside, which you didn't see fifteen or twenty years ago.
And does that possibly tell us something about white people??? :-)
i think you'll find that there's a similar demographic for participation in many/most outdoor pursuits
Some work was done here:
and a search along the lines of 'ethnic minority particpation in outdoor recreation' will bring up lots more.
> Do your schools and workplaces represent an equally "large sample size" as does Stanage Popular, or were they skewed above the national average for ethnic minorities?
It's hard to know isn't it, since none of it is data, just vague impressions. But I definitely feel that at an observational level, of all the areas of my life, climbing seems to be the one where I encounter the smallest proportion of non-white people.
not another one of these threads!!
Although I consider myself white as I really don't give a **** technically I'm mixed race white/black, yes I can afford lots of climbing gear and trips, probably more so than some of you white men.
Nothing to do with negativity or 'victim hood'. Merely observation.
Oh come come. It's not about finding "victims", just looking at why certain parts of society do what they do. That's what sociology is all about!
"Go walk around the west way or other London walls and look at the diversity of black,Asian,white or disabled climbers".
I totally agree that certain parts of the UK will be different than others, and I'm sure that due to its very demographic that climbing walls in London are much more diverse than British climbing on the whole. However, just as focusing on the North will limit the findings, a few walls in London are not representative of the whole of the country.
Also, despite the fact that the Peak District is the third most popular and possibly the most central national park in England (being a short drive from Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and of course, Sheffield) from what I have seen, it demonstrates my point just as much as any other climbing area. Furthermore, would it not be the first place the majority of London-based climbers would visit? So surely you would expect it to be more diverse?
Was there not this same observation/investigation/study about swimming a while back ? (or have I mis remembered that ?)
If so i'm guessing that there may be data out there already collected that 'might be' transferable to Climbing .
Is there an activity that is considered a black man's game?
Have you looked at the numbers for "mountaineering" in the sport england active people survey. Looking at the numbers for the survey completed in October last year (it is yearly, so there are numbers available for the previous 6 years I believe), the percentage of those saying they partcipated in mountaineering activities who were non-white was 8% particpating at least once a month, 2.8% participating at least once a week. This was from 11.8% and 7.9% the previous survey. Obviously this is a change and you would want to search for consistency but they have 6 years of such data. Check the numbers. I'm not sure I got them correct.
This suggests your original assertion may be wrong although I would think actually it is somehow based in truth and the question is actually more complex. Mountaineering in the sport england survey includes a lot of different activities (inluding bouldering and I believe all indoor climbing).
Seems like yet another pointless race discussion on UKC , although seems to happen quite a lot , maybe you should study that !
Are there any discussion on any topic on UKC that have a point??
Done to death. Repeatedly.
I climb mainly in the peak, and you're right. I don't see many non white people. Come to that, I don't see many non white people out for walks or using the countryside for recreation in general.
Recreation in the countryside is a relatively modern occurence in Britain, it only really kicked off in the 19th and 20th century. Before then it was either prevented by landowners resticting access or just not desirable (poorer transport, poorer clothing, less free time than today). Maybe you should look at cultural views on rural recreation amongst our non-white populations.
What if we actually take over completely? ;-) Mwah ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!
In my opinion it boils down to 2 factors:
1. The ethnic diversity of where you live. I live in a very diverse area and at my local climbing gym you have Asians (pakistani, indian and chinese) and a couple of black guys as well as the white dudes.
I have to admit though, it is mostly white dudes.
2. The type of people who already climb. I was introduced to climbing by my dad, and him by his dad. It's kinda passed down the generations. If there aren't black, indian, pakistani or any other races already climbing then it is less likely to become a popular pastime. Not many people just decide, "hey im gonna start climbing today" and go and do it, usually someone you know already does it and you take it up from there.
Well done, I was thinking the same but lacked your energy!
There must be something in the air as loads of the regular done to death subjects have come up lately.
The west-way records the ethnicity of their members, so a quick e-mail should give you some reliable statistics for that wall.
You are not allowed to notice this. It makes you a racist.
I always considered climbing to be relatively inexpensive. OK the gear is pricey but once you have the kit where's the expense. Cost of petrol to get to the crag and that's it really.
IMO, most folks get a start in climbing because they know someone who does it. For Blacks and Asians in the UK I imagine there is very little cultural heritage with regards to this rather niche activity.
I think that low participation in these groups is a consequence of a lack of climbing history/tradition in their communities. I'm sure there are many other sports where this is true, winter sports in particular.
That said, I've always felt that Asians in the UK are still under represented in the very mainstream sport of football. I have no idea why this might be the case. Surely there are loads of talented Asian footballers in the UK but I don't see them proportionally represented in the upper leagues. Is racism the cause? I hope not! Dunno the answer to this one.
Oh dear oh dear.
Let me see what stroppygob has to say:
- midlife crisis was easily solved by buying a Suzuki 650 sports, and also going for a month's holiday to New Zealand with a highly sexed woman
- I've often thought it must be great to be gay. You can do all the blokes stuff with your mates, climbing, going to the rugby, farting contests, getting pissed and going for a curry, and afterwards you can f*ck them.
- True, but you'd choose your mates to suit your preferences, (ie. other bummers.)
...earn $80,000 pa...spend as we see fit. We have a house in Cornwall, which is rented out to a local couple, as a major investment, and my wife will be coming into two properties in Aus in the future.
I think maybe your are protesting too much, got something you want to share (apart from your rampant and offensive macho bullshit)?
Can you tell me what is "macho" about anything I have posted?
> 2.having a strong or exaggerated sense of power or the right to dominate.
I'm of Pakistani origin and I climb. As do some others that I climb with.
Somebody above mentioned 'Mosaic', which was started up by the Campaign for National Parks in order to address the issue of under-representation of BME people in the National Parks. The projects are still alive and well, though not in their origianal form. There is a document called 'Outdoors for All' produced by Natural England (when it was Countryside Agency) which addresses this issue and includes people with disabilites.
It's actually a very interesting research project (with ref to the OP) and I believe it has been done by Ethnos ( I should have the contact details of the professor who undertook the study).
-Some have never been to the countryside, when they go, they love it and make repeat journeys
-some go and hate it and never want to go again
-some are not interested at all, it doesn't float their boat and they'd rather do something else
- some are glad that they moved from the rural village lifestyle to a developed city and are glad to see the back of the countryside
-some go to the countryside and have a reminisence of their own previous village lifestyle or their country of origin and enjoy the experience.
Thats just a few.
It's good to climb!
> -Some have never been to the countryside, when they go, they love it and make repeat journeys
> -some go and hate it and never want to go again
> -some are not interested at all, it doesn't float their boat and they'd rather do something else
> - some are glad that they moved from the rural village lifestyle to a developed city and are glad to see the back of the countryside
> -some go to the countryside and have a reminisence of their own previous village lifestyle or their country of origin and enjoy the experience.
Pretty much the same as the rest of us then, nice to know. Thanks for sharing.
> Are there any discussion on any topic on UKC that have a point??
Yes, ones where people ask for help and get it, or ask for experiences and others share them.
You can't ask things like that, or our time might suddenly feel wasted. (;-))
> Is there an activity that is considered a black man's game?
Yet even in many of those sports the dominant positions remain white..
American football has the rooney rule..
Yet there aren't many black quarter backs, black managers still.. even in rugby maori stand offs have generally been rare.. there is still an entrenched view that the white guy is the brains, black guy braun..
Soccer.. say 20-30% black players.. how many managers? 1 2 in the football league?
> Pretty much the same as the rest of us then, nice to know. Thanks for sharing.
I don't think you've quite grasped what he wrote.
> http://www.all4kidsuk.com/category/tutors-childrens?query=maths ?
> I don't think you've quite grasped what he wrote.
Why, he gave a list of reasons which were given by people of non-white background for not being interested in the great outdoors, those are also the reasons I would imagine that white British people may give.
> Is there an activity that is considered a black man's game?
100mtr sprint is a black mans game. As far as I know, no white man has actually broken the 10 second mark. And if there has been then its only one or two people.
If you are going to research this subject you need to look abroad as well. South Africa is a BLACK country with a white minority, yet the Mountain Club of South Africa has very few black members. I think this is historically because climbing was seen as a middle class white sport there. There is now a growing black middle class in the country but this has not resulted in a significant increase in black climbers.
The same applies to rugby in South Africa which, with one or two stunning exceptions, still fails to attract many black players, yet soccer (football) is the game of the black working classes, just as in the UK it is historically a white working class game.
So maybe it's more about class than skin colour? UK climbing started as the sport of accademics and wealthy middle classes, yet over the last century that has shifted more and more towards the so called working classses.
I'd certainly agree with you that 'class' - or at least the socio-economic factors associated with 'class' - is a key factor in participation in climbing. And that goes for white folk as well as those from other ethnic groups. I readily admit I'm not up to date with this, but 20 years ago when I was involved in a lot of outdoor recreation surveys, hillwalkers, climbers and long-distance walkers were still disproportionately (1) male, (2) aged 18-35, and (3) ABC1 - and actually mostly AB. Of course there's been a big shift 'towards the so called working classes' from Victorian and Edwardian times, but it still has a long way to go to achieve equality of participation across 'classes'.
For instance I'm intrigued that some posters here seem blithely to assume that car ownership (or access to a car for extended leisure, which isn't the same thing) is practically universal, so no barrier to everybody going climbing. In Scotland, for example, in 2010 about a third of households didn't have access to a car - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Transport-Travel/TrendHouseholdCar
- and given that car ownership is understandably higher in rural areas, that leaves a lot of city folk with restricted ability to get out to the countryside. And the tables on that site suggest that a lot of those folk wouldn't have a few hundred quid spare for gear either ... So hard economics is probably still a major factor, as well as social and cultural perspectives.
I didn't own a car for the first 10 years of my climbing life - but it really wasn't a problem as so many other climbers did. I just shared lifts and paid for a share of the costs. AND I lived in the South East, miles from any climbing! :-)
Clubs are a great way to share things like lifts, organise cheap accommodation and to get to know other climbers...
Elsewhere on the site
On the run up to Christmas we have some great savings on all your favourite brands, so its the perfect time to do the... Read more
I am Matthew Phillips, I'm nearly 14 and I was born without my right arm below the elbow. I started climbing at taster... Read more
2014 has been a bumper year for climbing publications. Here's a few of the ones that we have either read, or ones that we... Read more
WINTERFEST 2014 at Outside in Hathersage 6th and 7th December 2014 Outside's ever popular Winterfest event is back... Read more
Hot Aches Productions premiered their latest film Redemption: The James Pearson Story at Kendal Mountain Festival on... Read more