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Muslim women and dragon boat racing
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Paper presented at the III International Conference of Physical Education and Sports Science (III ICPESS 2010) on “Youth in Physical Education and Sport”, Singapore, 25 - 28 May 2010
In multi-racial Singapore, sports are often characterised by the promotion of inclusive participation. All racial groups are encouraged to participate, none are excluded. Moving beyond the functional value of sport - a perspective which views team activities as facilitating social cohesion- potential pitfalls along the path to harmonious engagement in sport can be identified. Individuals and groups may find an activity attractive. yet deeper cultural beliefs and values may keep people apart. In women's activities no one is excluded. but in some activities there remains a dominance of one group over the others. There exists a low level of involvement by Muslim women in dragon boat racing. As the first record of dragon boating identifies the sport as being dominated by Chinese men, this finding is not surprising. There are indications that the numbers of
Muslim women participating will increase. but currently, even among the younger generation there are barriers. With the aid of informal interviews with tertiary level participants. this paper attempts to put into perspective possible factors (relating to culture. motivation and team identity) that might deter some
Muslim women from participating in dragon boat racing as a sport.
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