Managing Diversity to Provide Culturally Safe Sport Programming: A Case Study of the Canadian Red Cross’s Swim Program

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Kyle A. Rich Western University

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Audrey R. Giles University of Ottawa

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This article examines the piloting of a cultural safety training module in the Canadian Red Cross’s (CRC’s) Water Safety Instructor Development Program. Thematic analysis of interviews with program participants and facilitators revealed two main themes: Inclusion is important and valued by instructors, and accommodation for cultural and ethnic diversity is difficult to achieve in aquatics settings. Doherty and Chelladurai’s (1999) framework was used to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the pilot module. In conclusion, the authors propose that cultural safety training for the instructors alone will not lead to the provision of culturally safe sport; rather, there needs to be a change in the overall organizational culture in which the CRC’s programs are offered if they are to succeed. These findings make three contributions to the literature. First, the authors bridge the existing bodies of literature on critical Whiteness theory and sport management literature that addresses the management of diversity. Second, the authors explore the novel application of cultural safety training for instructors of a sport program. Finally, the authors offer recommendations to enable the development of an organizational culture that is facilitative and supportive with respect to inclusion (i.e., is welcoming) and accommodation (i.e., is flexible and adaptable) of cultural and ethnic diversity in aquatics programming.

Kyle A. Rich is with the School of Kinesiology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada. Audrey R. Giles is with the School of Human Kinetics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Kyle Rich at krich6@uwo.ca.
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