UK Caving

ORGANISATIONS => BCA => Topic started by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 07:01:52 am

Title: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 07:01:52 am
Sorry to post on my personal account but will do so until the auto post works.

The report is available here: https://british-caving.org.uk/demographics-report/

I'd be very interested in hearing people's takes on it.
Rostam
BCA P&I
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 08:24:44 am
Some good insight with limited data available there Rostam. Hopefully with annual production of reports (started by Badlad - thank you!) we can start drawing some conclusions about how the caving population is changing.

I would like to see a few things included so that similar comparisons can be made:
- sexuality
- disability
- race

I will be suggesting that these are requested at renewal going forwards (with drop down boxes including ‘prefer not to say’, which will hopefully increase the response rate).

I’d also like to see age become a required field for both CIM and DIM, and again will be suggesting this is amended.

If anyone has any issues with these metrics being requested, feel free to message me so that I can ensure your viewpoint is reflected in any debate at council. I do however think it’s very important that the BCA takes a look at all these things to see where we can ‘do better’ to ensure that our sport is open to as many as possible.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 09:21:16 am
Thanks for the update Rostam.

Josh. Disability could obviously be an impairment to caving (depending of course on the disability), so understanding this might be useful to the BCA, but why does the BCA need to know about sexuality or race? I can't understand how these have any bearing whatsoever on caving.

What would the BCA do with this data?

I really don't think the BCA should be asking for private information that it does not need. This would be an unnecessary intrusion of privacy and I would strongly oppose the BCA asking for such data.

Also, what would the implications be for GDPR? I was under the impression that you can only collect necessary information and only hold it for as long as it is required.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Judi Durber on February 22, 2021, 09:35:52 am
Quote
I would like to see a few things included so that similar comparisons can be made:
- sexuality
- disability
- race

Wondering why those words had been used I started looking them up ... & found

- sexuality:  a person's identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are typically attracted; sexual orientation.
&
There are 46 Terms  :o That Describe Sexual Attraction, Behavior, and Orientation.

So looking for definitions I found these for starters:   :shrug:

Monosexual. A broad sexual orientation category that includes people who experience romantic or sexual attraction to people of one sex or gender. ...
Non-libidoist asexual. ...
Omnisexual. ...
Pansexual. ...
Panromantic. ...
Polysexual. ...
Pomosexual. ...
Passing.

I think this is going to take a while  ....    :coffee:   :lol:   :coffee:   :lol:   :coffee:


Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 09:38:17 am
Hi Rostam.  Excellent report.  Keep up the good work on this.  It must be helpful across the spectrum of BCA to have a good understanding of your membership demographic.

I notice you didn't mention the 2018 or 2019 age demographic reports I compiled as follow ups to the 2017 report.  They will have been attached to BCA minutes somewhere.  I also hold copy if you would like to attach them as an appendix.  The data was supplied slightly different to 2017 which allowed analysis of the difference between DIM and CIM.  Let me know if you want a copy.

I also compiled a report on a CHECC questionnaire which was designed by Hellie and Jane.  The average age of respondent was 23 and gives a useful insight for BCA P&!.  One of the answers I found quite interesting was to the question 'where do you get your information from for caving'.  Not a single respondent mentioned Descent magazine yet BCA were spending £3000 per year on advertising in Descent.  All this sort of info is useful to target different messages to different groups.

Thankfully things are changing.  Perhaps BCA need to find a better place to reference these sort of reports or they just disappear into the ether.

Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 09:39:15 am
If it was shown that the BCA lacked diversity in either of those areas (I wouldn’t be surprised), then I think it’s important that the BCA looks into why, and thinks about how they can ensure that there are no impairments to getting into the sport for any particular groups.

Personally I can see how it could be viewed that there is a historical ‘lad’ culture which may prevent those of a different sexuality feeling comfortable in certain segments of the caving community, and therefore this may prevent retention.

The specific wording I suggested would ensure that if someone didn’t want to complete this information they could use the ‘prefer not to say’ option.

Many large companies request this information as part of their commitment to being an inclusive organisation, and I don’t think the BCA should be any different.

Making the fields optional (including the prefer not to say) means that any information given is voluntary and therefore the individual can make the call as to whether to give it or not and therefore the ‘necessary’ part of GDPR is irrelevant. In terms of holding it as long as required, this is the same with any other details collected with membership. Worth bearing in mind that any information used in these reports is anonymised.

Points taken on board though :)

Sorry for derailing your thread Rostam!
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 09:40:34 am
Quote
I would like to see a few things included so that similar comparisons can be made:
- sexuality
- disability
- race

Wondering why those words had been used I started looking them up ... & found

- sexuality:  a person's identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are typically attracted; sexual orientation.
&
There are 46 Terms  :o That Describe Sexual Attraction, Behavior, and Orientation.

So looking for definitions I found these for starters:   :shrug:

Monosexual. A broad sexual orientation category that includes people who experience romantic or sexual attraction to people of one sex or gender. ...
Non-libidoist asexual. ...
Omnisexual. ...
Pansexual. ...
Panromantic. ...
Polysexual. ...
Pomosexual. ...
Passing.

I think this is going to take a while  ....    :coffee:   :lol:   :coffee:   :lol:   :coffee:

And unsurprisingly it took about 3 comments to find a comment that possibly demonstrates why those of the LGBTQ+ community might find it difficult to feel they ‘fit in’...
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 09:58:31 am
If it was shown that the BCA lacked diversity in either of those areas (I wouldn’t be surprised), then I think it’s important that the BCA looks into why, and thinks about how they can ensure that there are no impairments to getting into the sport for any particular groups.

If you really want to go down that road, should you not consider all protected characteristics under the equality act:
 - age
 - disability
 - gender reassignment
 - marriage and civil partnership
 - pregnancy and maternity
 - race
 - religion or belief
 - sex
 - sexual orientation

I would not be surprised if getting your kit off in front of your mates was more of a problem for people with certain religious beliefs than for people of any particular sexual orientation.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:05:01 am
If it was shown that the BCA lacked diversity in either of those areas (I wouldn’t be surprised), then I think it’s important that the BCA looks into why, and thinks about how they can ensure that there are no impairments to getting into the sport for any particular groups.

If you really want to go down that road, should you not consider all protected characteristics under the equality act:
 - age
 - disability
 - gender reassignment
 - marriage and civil partnership
 - pregnancy and maternity
 - race
 - religion or belief
 - sex
 - sexual orientation

I would not be surprised if getting your kit off in front of your mates was more of a problem for people with certain religious beliefs than for people of any particular sexual orientation.

Perfect idea, appreciate your support :)
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Judi Durber on February 22, 2021, 10:06:18 am
Quote
And unsurprisingly it took about 3 comments to find a comment that possibly demonstrates why those of the LGBTQ+ community might find it difficult to feel they ‘fit in’...

Sorry, not my intention.   :kiss2:

 I finding it increasingly amazing at how impossible it seems to keep up with current terminology.  Sometimes, until something is pointed out to you, one does not know it is offensive. I was laughing more at my ignorance.

Do we really have to fit into a category ... ?  :shrug:  :-\


Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 10:17:49 am
For interest the CHECC questionnaire referred to above showed 56% male, 31% female and the rest did not identify/answer.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: ChrisJC on February 22, 2021, 10:24:22 am
I think I would rewind a little bit, and ask if the BCA actually need to collect this information. Specifically, what problem would it solve?

In my view, the BCA (and in fact, all cavers) should be striving for equality of opportunity. Gathering this sort of data seems more geared towards equality of outcome, which I think is pointless, certainly to the resolution of being concerned about the sexuality of participants. Personally I couldn't give a monkeys who does what with whom in their personal lives. It has no bearing on their caving. And striving to ensure that all sexual preferences are well represented, to the point of targeting certain groups to increase their participation levels seems like a waste of effort.

So rather than gathering too much data, I would be more concerned with ensuring that caving is both perceived to be welcoming, and turns out to be in practice. To achieve that no doubt needs research, but not via too many detailed questions.

Chris.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fishes on February 22, 2021, 10:38:35 am
Perhaps the most suitable box to add if BCA want more information about its members  is " none of your ******* business"

* select expletive of your choice
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 10:40:23 am
If it was shown that the BCA lacked diversity in either of those areas (I wouldn’t be surprised), then I think it’s important that the BCA looks into why, and thinks about how they can ensure that there are no impairments to getting into the sport for any particular groups.

If you really want to go down that road, should you not consider all protected characteristics under the equality act:
 - age
 - disability
 - gender reassignment
 - marriage and civil partnership
 - pregnancy and maternity
 - race
 - religion or belief
 - sex
 - sexual orientation

I would not be surprised if getting your kit off in front of your mates was more of a problem for people with certain religious beliefs than for people of any particular sexual orientation.

Perfect idea, appreciate your support :)

To be clear, I do not support collecting all this data. I don't think the BCA needs this data, I don't know how they plan to use it and what they hope to achieve by doing so, therefore I don't think the BCA should be trying to collect it.

I was simply pointing out that if you did want to do this, surely it should be representative of all protected characteristics, not just a trendy few.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:47:20 am
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.

Gathering further information allows the BCA to judge whether over time there is improvements being made in diversity of membership.

I’ve mentioned this on previous threads about demographics, but there’s few useful conclusions that can be drawn from a single years membership data (even with the additional information I think we should request), the idea is that you can use it to see if the work you’re doing is making a tangible difference to the outcome. It is why these demographics report should be done each year and the more frequently they’re done (and the better information you obtain) the more useful conclusions can be drawn as they’re based on trends not on a snapshot.

I wouldn’t necessarily think that if a sexual preference was under represented that it would direct the BCA to immediately looking to ‘target’ increasing that groups opportunity, but it may highlight that the culture isn’t welcoming leading to retention of these groups is low. Ensuring higher retention of any and all people, and ensuring that they don’t feel unwelcome couldnt and shouldn’t ever be considered a waste of time
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:49:20 am
Perhaps the most suitable box to add if BCA want more information about its members  is " none of your ******* business"

* select expletive of your choice

Hence the inclusion of ‘prefer not to say’, if you’d bothered to read what had been written you’d have seen that, but then you wouldn’t have had a chance to look edgy, well done  :wall:
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: aricooperdavis on February 22, 2021, 10:55:17 am
Do we really have to fit into a category ... ?  :shrug:  :-\

This is a fair point - as well as a "I'd rather not say" option we could have a "none of the above" option too.

I don't know whether this should be collected at sign up as it seems like a lot of additional administration for individuals and club secretaries - perhaps it should be a well published member census instead?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:55:47 am

To be clear, I do not support collecting all this data. I don't think the BCA needs this data, I don't know how they plan to use it and what they hope to achieve by doing so, therefore I don't think the BCA should be trying to collect it.

I was simply pointing out that if you did want to do this, surely it should be representative of all protected characteristics, not just a trendy few.

I guessed as much, I was being facetious, but you actually raised a valid point. I think as you can see from this thread that some people are very concerned that they’d have to complete a box that says prefer not to say and therefore requesting a larger range of info will be a harder sell.

To clarify as if it wasn’t clear already, this is not something the BCA has decided to do whatsoever, this is something I, as youth and development officer, would like to see and plan on taking to council, and so those who I can already tell are losing their minds at the BCA requesting this, bear in mind it hasn’t happened yet and there’s no guarantee it will. I opened it to the floor so that people could share their views on it, in the interest of transparency and interaction.

There’s some good points coming out of it, and if the information was to be requested (again it would be optional) there would be clear guidelines provided as to why it’s being requested and what would be done with the information if provided.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Ed on February 22, 2021, 10:57:05 am
All this info is likely to be required if BCA applies for  any government grants.

One of the first things that will stand out to anyone looking is the demographic. They will then ask what proactive steps are BCA doing to address this.

Was an interesting segment of ski Sunday yesterday about the demographic of snow sports - in a similar situation to caving regarding diversity etc...
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fishes on February 22, 2021, 10:58:30 am
Its not about being "edgy" whatever that means.

BCA has no good reason to ask these questions so why ask them. Its not like they are something you would drop into a casual conversation with a stranger.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 11:01:34 am
Its not about being "edgy" whatever that means.

BCA has no good reason to ask these questions so why ask them. Its not like they are something you would drop into a casual conversation with a stranger.

Again, this thread has demonstrated several reasons why the BCA may want this information and what positive things they can do with it.

All this info is likely to be required if BCA applies for  any government grants.

One of the first things that will stand out to anyone looking is the demographic. They will then ask what proactive steps are BCA doing to address this.

Was an interesting segment of ski Sunday yesterday about the demographic of snow sports - in a similar situation to caving regarding diversity etc...

Ooh that sounds interesting will try and find it and take a gander, cheers for the heads up
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fishes on February 22, 2021, 11:12:32 am

Again, this thread has demonstrated several reasons why the BCA may want this information and what positive things they can do with it.


All it is demonstrating to me is why I no longer want to be part the BCA. These questions have nothing to do with caving and don't help the members concerned. If anything they create unnecessary anxiety for some and risk outing others that may be flying under the radar. The later would be especially relevant in a  club setting.

I don't care if the BCA gets government funding. I don't expect others to support my pastime.

Please stick to caving, rather than trying to get involved in other issues.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 11:21:54 am
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.

...it may highlight that the culture isn’t welcoming...

Reading between the lines (dangerous I know), I get the impression that you feel certain characteristics are under-represented and you think this is because cavers aren't welcoming enough. Please correct me if I've mis-represented your views.

Given that you appear to have made up your mind already, it seems likely that you would (subconsciously?) look to verify this opinion in the data. I feel like you are coming a this with an agenda rather than with an open mind.

Let me give you an alternative explanation, and that is culture. My wife is from a minority ethic group. Within her culture, outdoor recreation really isn't poplar. She enjoys the outdoors much more than the rest of her family, as I have introduced her to the outdoor world, but her family (and most friends of the same ethnicity) have absolutely no interest in the outdoors. The opportunities are there, but culturally, there is no interest.
Before we had kids, my wife always attended any caving club socials that I went to, be it evening or weekend away. She has never felt anything other than welcome, but still has sod all interest in caving. Her words on one of the rare occasions I got her into a cave "why do you do this for fun".

I know this is only one example, but I think this is likely to have a far bigger impact than anything else. As ChrisJC has suggested, equality of opportunity does not always return equality of outcome/ representation.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Cantclimbtom on February 22, 2021, 11:22:20 am
I just hope that gathering these stats (maybe required to demonstrate diligence and help application for certain grants?) won't actually turn out to be counterproductive.

For example in 2019 there was, thankfully briefly, some noise that funding for national parks was "racist" because users were disproportionately represented by white people. Far more sensible would have been asking how to promote outdoors to under represented communities and increase inclusion, but no common sense isn't so common it seems.

Let's hope that this information can't be used for similar silly games.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Ian Ball on February 22, 2021, 11:33:21 am
Its not about being "edgy" whatever that means.

BCA has no good reason to ask these questions so why ask them. Its not like they are something you would drop into a casual conversation with a stranger.

Again, this thread has demonstrated several reasons why the BCA may want this information and what positive things they can do with it.

All this info is likely to be required if BCA applies for  any government grants.

One of the first things that will stand out to anyone looking is the demographic. They will then ask what proactive steps are BCA doing to address this.

Was an interesting segment of ski Sunday yesterday about the demographic of snow sports - in a similar situation to caving regarding diversity etc...

Ooh that sounds interesting will try and find it and take a gander, cheers for the heads up


https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/56132030
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 11:34:25 am
Back tot the original topic:

Sorry to post on my personal account but will do so until the auto post works.

The report is available here: https://british-caving.org.uk/demographics-report/

I'd be very interested in hearing people's takes on it.
Rostam
BCA P&I

I notice that there are a number of members under 10 years old (and at least 1 under 4). I could add to this number by signing up my kids and I did think about this, as it's free, but what's the point?

I don't mean this in a dismissive way, but as a genuine question. What is the benefit for a 3 year old being a BCA member? or a 6 year old for that matter.

I'm sure they would be very happy to have a green card with their name on it, but other than that, what are the benefits? Could it be a club benefit (like using a members dormitory), or is there something else I've missed?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fjell on February 22, 2021, 11:36:00 am
The one, almost unique, thing about caving is that women could participate on an equal footing with men at the highest level once SRT became ubiquitous. Compared to when we started in the ‘80’s there has been a big increase in participation.

It’s really the ideal sport for those who see not having to shower for several weeks as an upside.

Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: ChrisJC on February 22, 2021, 11:44:51 am
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.


This is a really really important subject. I approve of your use of the word 'representative' as it is more accurate I think.

Nevertheless, (spoken as an engineer), unless you have an agreed 'result' that you are striving to take, taking 'measurements' is pointless. You don't know whether they are good or bad.

I suspect that trying to agree what is a 'good' result is essentially impossible. Is 30% LGBT+ good or bad? What would you do about it anyway?

I am much more in favour of assessing perceptions and the reality rather than numbers. And I think you could do that by surveying people.

There could be handy side effects to having the data, but I am not sure that should be a reason to do it. And certainly this thread has demonstrated some animosity towards the gathering of it.

Even 'prefer not to say' / 'none of the above' answers carry connotations!

Chris.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 11:47:04 am
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.

...it may highlight that the culture isn’t welcoming...

Reading between the lines (dangerous I know), I get the impression that you feel certain characteristics are under-represented and you think this is because cavers aren't welcoming enough. Please correct me if I've mis-represented your views.

Given that you appear to have made up your mind already, it seems likely that you would (subconsciously?) look to verify this opinion in the data. I feel like you are coming a this with an agenda rather than with an open mind.

I do have that opinion, you're correct, however at the moment it is just an opinion, and so it can't be proven either way (more than happy to be proven wrong, it happens often enough), and so statistics (and statistics over time) are the answer.

I've sat in caving huts with caving huts and heard derogatory language regarding sexual preference. If I were a person from the LGBTQ+ community I wouldn't have found it welcoming. This is obviously a one-off experience.

My agenda is only get more information that we can try and draw useful conclusions from. The analysis of the demographics would remain with P&I, I assume.

I can't understand why anyone would be afraid of having more information to draw from to see what the organisation is and isn't doing well.

For example in 2019 there was, thankfully briefly, some noise that funding for national parks was "racist" because users were disproportionately represented by white people. Far more sensible would have been asking how to promote outdoors to under represented communities and increase inclusion, but no common sense isn't so common it seems.


Agreed entirely, there's some great work being done in the outdoors by a group called black girls hike, who actually went caving with Steph Dwyer and Yorkshire Dales Adventure Guides, and this is the kind of positive story I like to see as an outcome from looking at stats.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 11:54:13 am
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.


This is a really really important subject. I approve of your use of the word 'representative' as it is more accurate I think.

Nevertheless, (spoken as an engineer), unless you have an agreed 'result' that you are striving to take, taking 'measurements' is pointless. You don't know whether they are good or bad.

I suspect that trying to agree what is a 'good' result is essentially impossible. Is 30% LGBT+ good or bad? What would you do about it anyway?

I am much more in favour of assessing perceptions and the reality rather than numbers. And I think you could do that by surveying people.

There could be handy side effects to having the data, but I am not sure that should be a reason to do it. And certainly this thread has demonstrated some animosity towards the gathering of it.

Even 'prefer not to say' / 'none of the above' answers carry connotations!

Chris.

I think you're potentially falling into the trap of looking at a snapshot and trying to draw conclusions from that (is 30% good or bad). What I want to see is movement over a period of time to be more representative of the UK population.

What to do about it is a good question and has been touched on here but not in great depth:
consider whether the issue is retention or attraction.

If retention, why? Is there something driving away members of that group (see my anecdotal evidence of derogatory language in caving huts)

If attraction, why? Generally those living in more rural areas are white, and therefore (theorising here) it isn't unreasonably to suggest that those in rural areas are more likely to get drawn into outdoors activities like caving, is it possible to generate an outreach program to other racial groups.

It's clearly a delicate subject for some, and hence why I was keen to open this out to the uk caving population, to get a straw poll of some of the more vocal members as to how enraged they would get.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: andrewmc on February 22, 2021, 12:12:55 pm
Why are people afraid of the data?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fjell on February 22, 2021, 12:28:15 pm
Why are people afraid of the data?

You are not going to get the data. I will be putting myself down as Jedi as usual.

Who is daft enough to submit actually personal information to the BCA data set? Especially after several years of reading about IT (mis)management wars.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 12:30:08 pm
Whilst membership is collected through the clubs you can't guarantee the security of the data, so it shouldn't be asked for that way. Your only current option is a survey, but that probably won't tell you much unless you get a good number of responses (which is unlikely with such a small number of members).

There are a lot of current concerns about banks, supermarkets & social networks collecting personal data & what uses they can put it to.

Pete - the main reason for including children is presumably so they are covered by insurance.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 12:40:43 pm
This is what I get for posting on UKC I guess.

A few important points to address:
-All this data was anonymised on transfer to P&I and the data destroyed after use to abide by GDPR.
-it's useful to know demographic data because it can help us cater to the needs of our members. We need to know what's going on and see if what we're doing has an impact or not. That's why we need trend data.
-I included the helpful reports I could find, happy to have the other reports, would be nice to put them in one place. We are changing the way reports get stored as it is a problem but I disagree with the idea we haven't learned from them.

 I didn't include the Checc questionnaire as 1) it was superseded by the far larger vision questionnaire and 2) not deemed relevant to what is supposed to be an objective assessment of the membership database. Also my reports are too long as it is!

I'd say the biggest thing for signing your children up Pete is if they want to go caving in a club setting it's helpful (the free under 18s thing was done as there was a structural barrier stopping kids going caving a couple of times a year) and perhaps more importantly normalises children in at least part of the caving world. I'd also say that 3 isn't too young to cave but I might be biased in that regard.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Ed on February 22, 2021, 12:56:37 pm
Equality of opportunity will hopefully lead to equality of outcome.

If the outcome isn’t equal (or representative to use a better word)  then either the opportunity isn’t equal or there is something else at play.

...it may highlight that the culture isn’t welcoming...

Reading between the lines (dangerous I know), I get the impression that you feel certain characteristics are under-represented and you think this is because cavers aren't welcoming enough. Please correct me if I've mis-represented your views.

Given that you appear to have made up your mind already, it seems likely that you would (subconsciously?) look to verify this opinion in the data. I feel like you are coming a this with an agenda rather than with an open mind.

Let me give you an alternative explanation, and that is culture. My wife is from a minority ethic group. Within her culture, outdoor recreation really isn't poplar. She enjoys the outdoors much more than the rest of her family, as I have introduced her to the outdoor world, but her family (and most friends of the same ethnicity) have absolutely no interest in the outdoors. The opportunities are there, but culturally, there is no interest.
Before we had kids, my wife always attended any caving club socials that I went to, be it evening or weekend away. She has never felt anything other than welcome, but still has sod all interest in caving. Her words on one of the rare occasions I got her into a cave "why do you do this for fun".

I know this is only one example, but I think this is likely to have a far bigger impact than anything else. As ChrisJC has suggested, equality of opportunity does not always return equality of outcome/ representation.

Its not just about are caving clubs welcoming - I guess most are

Its about what are the barriers that are stopping people taking up the activity.

Take your wife or one of her relatives for example -- she is lucky that she has someone to introduce her to caving. Now imagine she / they hadn't meet you but wanted to take up caving.

Then you hit the barriers --- socioeconomic and historic rather than out and out racism / bigotry :

Where do I do it?
What are the "rules"
Are there clubs I can join ---- but they are all based in X and I live in Y. Can I join?
How do I get there?
What clothing do I need?

That is the big issue --- how to guide "minorities" to caving.

Take race for example -- money might not be the limiting factor. There are plenty of black and SE Asian folk with enough disposable income. But with out the historic/ cultural indicators and/or personal contact who do you go about doing it.

Yes its a bit easier if you live in an area with a lot of outdoor sport - Yorkshire, mendips/ Bristol but imagine if you live in a sink estate in the middle of London or Glasgow with no frame of reference....

Give you another example - a colleague of mine from a Caribbean background via the midlands living in Bradford now. She and a group of friends (wow --- race and gender LOL)  have really got in to walking. Who does she ask for advice and ideas of places to go? Family / family friends?

 No -because they have no reference to walking in rural Britain she ask me as I've a background in outdoors stuff.   Its not a conscious decision to ask me as I'm white and live in a rural area. No, its because I know  stuff  -its a subconscious choice as I'm the person in the know. 

At the present time there isn't that pool of knowledge / experience within the BAME communities that people can turn to --- its about getting that enabling information , help whatever you call it out there.

Oh --- and she hates the term BAME..... Quite rightly to - as its a meaningless lump us all together term
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 01:02:28 pm
The BMC participation statistics can easily be found, although they are quite dated (2003), they include the statement (which does align with BCA membership data): "Analysis of the social status of participants shows a tendency for participants to either be young adults in higher education or middle aged, empty nesters who occasionally walk, hike or climb."

In 2019 British Canoeing had almost 3000 people complete their membership satisfaction survey, the majority were also in the 40 to 70 age bracket (with no equivalent peak for university age, although interestingly the majority who responded had also only been members for a couple of years). 73% are male & they do have sexuality, ethnicity & disability responses, but the end of the report does question whether these are necessary (certainly the prefer not to answer box got more ticks than most of the other options, so tends to question whether they are representative).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Fishes on February 22, 2021, 01:40:50 pm
Why are people afraid of the data?

I don't think people are necessarily afraid of the data.

Some are afraid of what others might do with the data. Others don't like their individuality being used so that organisations can wave their equality flag, or make judgements based on over simplistic data that groups together individuals into somewhat meaningless minority groups.

Very often this type of data and what it is used for can focus on the differences, rather than what we all have in common. I see that creating problems, rather than removing them.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 01:43:44 pm
Rostam - you've got a lot of feedback already on your OP.  Isn't that what you asked for?

I think a few people have got carried away with data collection that just isn't happening and was only a suggestion.  The original idea was to look at the age demographic of the membership.  In the event this is only collected as Year of Birth and is voluntary.  The reason given in my earlier reports was,

"Back in 2016 I encouraged BCA to collect age data from the membership.  There was anecdotal evidence in the caving regions that numbers of active cavers were declining, but this was at odds with total BCA membership numbers which remained buoyant.  Collecting age data over a period of time would allow analysis to take place to determine any trends in members’ age and whether action needed to be taken.  I suggested that the membership had an aging population and that this could cause future problems if not enough younger cavers were attracted to the sport to take their place. A separate discussion might be made on whether the BCA membership reflects those participating in our sport.
In the end BCA decided to collect year of birth (YOB) data but only on a voluntary basis.  With the help of the BCA administrator and a retired statistician I produced a report for council in 2017.  This follow up report includes data from both 2018 and 2019."

2018 & 19 report attached if anyone would like to see what this is all about.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 01:54:17 pm
The age demographic is also skewed slightly older in that if you want to remain a non-active member of a club you still have to join the BCA (this does not apply to BMC or BC(U) data). Have the numbers been compared for just green card holders, rather than all?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 02:05:43 pm
The conclusion and recommendations from my three years (2017-2019) reporting on the BCA age democratic.  I hope it wasn't time wasted.

Conclusion:

The age demographic of the BCA membership has remained much the same over the three years.  This shows an old membership but not necessarily an aging membership.  Data collection could be improved by making age mandatory on application.  Analysing the age data over a longer period will be able to identify any worrying or significant trends.  However, there are hints of trends, such as a decrease in the percentage of members in their 40s and 50s and an increase in those under 20 and over 70, which may be of interest.  It is not yet possible to conclude whether there is enough input at the younger end of the age demographic to offset those who depart from the upper end, nor is it possible to conclude, one way or the other, that membership input is healthy across the age spectrum.

Recommendations:

BCA should continue to collect annual membership data and analyse the results.  Consider making age data collection compulsory rather than voluntary.  Criteria should be set on the process of how and when data is supplied to the statistician.  I would be pleased to step aside from my role and place the statistician directly in contact with the administrator.  The longer term analysis of trends should inform council how to direct future efforts and budgeting towards the promotion of caving and recruitment into the sport going forward.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: pwhole on February 22, 2021, 02:38:55 pm

Take race for example -- money might not be the limiting factor. There are plenty of black and SE Asian folk with enough disposable income. But with out the historic/ cultural indicators and/or personal contact who do you go about doing it.

Yes its a bit easier if you live in an area with a lot of outdoor sport - Yorkshire, mendips/ Bristol but imagine if you live in a sink estate in the middle of London or Glasgow with no frame of reference....

Give you another example - a colleague of mine from a Caribbean background via the midlands living in Bradford now. She and a group of friends (wow --- race and gender LOL)  have really got in to walking. Who does she ask for advice and ideas of places to go? Family / family friends?

 No -because they have no reference to walking in rural Britain she ask me as I've a background in outdoors stuff.   Its not a conscious decision to ask me as I'm white and live in a rural area. No, its because I know  stuff  -its a subconscious choice as I'm the person in the know. 


I was talking to a black friend of mine about caving a few years ago, as he'd seen some of my photos - which he thought were great, but he said he couldn't see why I'd subject myself to so much 'misery', as he put it, to get them. I told him I thought it was exciting and interesting, but he just thought I was mental - it was a very good-humoured conversation though. But he said  'It's a classic white guy ting' (affecting his best Jamaican patois - though he's from Burngreave in Sheffield). And then he said "You'll never a see a black guy underground". To which I replied "Well, not until you laugh, anyway". He did laugh.

Anyway, a month later I was at the TSG, and what did I see but a black guy getting ready to go caving, on a Uni trip. This was too exciting for words, so I mentioned my previous conversation (now research!) to him, and he said it was probably true - he didn't know any other black people who went caving. So I had to ring my mate up and tell him his theory was at least a bit untrue - he was astonished, and sounded slightly disappointed. But a lot of this is clearly cultural differences, rather than practical obstacles.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 02:46:52 pm
The decrease in percentage of 40 & 50 year olds is only significant if it also coincided with a drop in actual numbers of those age groups. National studies show that the average age of the population increased from 36 in 1975 to 40 in 2019 (median was 34 back then, so approx 1 year increase every 10). If you consider that 20% of the population are under 18 (for arguments sake, average age 10) & thus not likely to be represented in BCA membership, then the average age of population that are represented will be nearer 50 years - which is closer to what most organisations find.

The 2018/19 report says 18% are over 65, this is surprisingly close to the 20% they make up of total population, although it isn't an accurate percentage, as U18s are under represented in caving.

& whatever you want to do nowadays, it has never been easier to find information about it.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 02:56:28 pm
There was anecdotal evidence in the caving regions that numbers of active cavers were declining, but this was at odds with total BCA membership numbers which remained buoyant.  Collecting age data over a period of time would allow analysis to take place to determine any trends in members’ age and whether action needed to be taken.

This is the important bit. There was (anecdotal) evidence of a potential problem (declining numbers of cavers) and a proposal put forward to allow that problem to be assessed (monitoring age demographics), in case action were required (yet to be determined?).

Is there a problem that the new proposal (to collect more data) is trying to resolve? Is there any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that such a problem exists? If there were a problem, is collecting this data going to help assess the extent of that problem or what is causing it?

Exit surveys would be more effective and are fairly standard practice. If I don't renew my insurance, the next week, I get an email asking me to complete a short survey as to why I didn't renew. While I suspect response rates might be low, I also suspect that anyone who left with a grievance, would be only too happy to respond and vent their frustrations.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 03:09:09 pm
There was anecdotal evidence in the caving regions that numbers of active cavers were declining, but this was at odds with total BCA membership numbers which remained buoyant.  Collecting age data over a period of time would allow analysis to take place to determine any trends in members’ age and whether action needed to be taken.

This is the important bit. There was (anecdotal) evidence of a potential problem (declining numbers of cavers) and a proposal put forward to allow that problem to be assessed (monitoring age demographics), in case action were required (yet to be determined?).

Is there a problem that the new proposal (to collect more data) is trying to resolve? Is there any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that such a problem exists? If there were a problem, is collecting this data going to help assess the extent of that problem or what is causing it?

Exit surveys would be more effective and are fairly standard practice. If I don't renew my insurance, the next week, I get an email asking me to complete a short survey as to why I didn't renew. While I suspect response rates might be low, I also suspect that anyone who left with a grievance, would be only too happy to respond and vent their frustrations.

anecdotal evidence: Caving's diversity is poor and doesn't represent the wider UK population (I can name maybe 5 people of colour I know who cave regularly)
proposal: collect more data to monitor diversity demographics
action to be taken: dependent on results

I like the idea of exit surveys, but I don't think they would be even remotely as effective as you think they would be, as I think there would be an extremely low take-up on doing them, and even then all that gets you is more anecdotal evidence (which can highlight individual issues - which is awesome) but won't show an overall trend.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 03:12:22 pm
I was talking to a black friend of mine about caving a few years ago, as he'd seen some of my photos - which he thought were great, but he said he couldn't see why I'd subject myself to so much 'misery', as he put it, to get them. I told him I thought it was exciting and interesting, but he just thought I was mental - it was a very good-humoured conversation though. But he said  'It's a classic white guy ting' (affecting his best Jamaican patois - though he's from Burngreave in Sheffield). And then he said "You'll never a see a black guy underground". To which I replied "Well, not until you laugh, anyway". He did laugh.

Anyway, a month later I was at the TSG, and what did I see but a black guy getting ready to go caving, on a Uni trip. This was too exciting for words, so I mentioned my previous conversation (now research!) to him, and he said it was probably true - he didn't know any other black people who went caving. So I had to ring my mate up and tell him his theory was at least a bit untrue - he was astonished, and sounded slightly disappointed. But a lot of this is clearly cultural differences, rather than practical obstacles.

I definitely think it is cultural more than anything else.

University clubs are really good for breaking these cultural divides though, as they can (or could before covid) openly recruit from a huge pool of people, keen to try something new at freshers fair. I appreciate that this self-selects for middle class people who are more likely to go to university, but universities tend to be culturally diverse.

While at university, I caved with people of all skin colours (not that you could tell after a trip to Hall of the Mountain King), though it is true that the majority were white European.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: andrewmc on February 22, 2021, 03:13:37 pm
As already stated, this is not happening, this is not a proposal, this is not a recommendation from the demographics report, this is just an idea mentioned briefly in this thread. So relax :halo:

This is the important bit. There was (anecdotal) evidence of a potential problem (declining numbers of cavers) and a proposal put forward to allow that problem to be assessed (monitoring age demographics), in case action were required (yet to be determined?).

Is there a problem that the new proposal (to collect more data) is trying to resolve?

For the sake of argument, lets go with a lack of ethnic diversity in caving as the 'potential problem' (or more specifically, barriers to ethnic minorities joining caving).

Quote
Is there any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that such a problem exists?

Yes. Here's my anecdote: almost all cavers are white. The exception is that student clubs are, in my experience, much more diverse than non-student clubs. Therefore, if my anecdote is right, student clubs are likely providing easier access to caving for ethnic minorities than non-student clubs, which begs the question: what are student clubs doing 'right' or non-student clubs doing 'wrong' or what other factors explain this?
Problem is, that's just an anecdote... (and let's remember that the plural of anecdote is not data and therefore whatever anecdotes other people will inevitably chip in with, it doesn't invalidate my anecdote)

Quote
If there were a problem, is collecting this data going to help assess the extent of that problem

Yes.

Quote
or what is causing it?

No.

Quote
Exit surveys would be more effective and are fairly standard practice. If I don't renew my insurance, the next week, I get an email asking me to complete a short survey as to why I didn't renew. While I suspect response rates might be low, I also suspect that anyone who left with a grievance, would be only too happy to respond and vent their frustrations.

We have enough trouble at the moment trying to contact the members we _still_ have, let alone the ones we haven't, but that's another issue altogether...

Virtually every University or job will be carrying out some sort of ethnicity data collection, plus data collection is entirely optional - it's hardly the beginnings of a police state. Nor is GDPR a problem.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: andrewmc on February 22, 2021, 03:14:38 pm
Snap...
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 03:16:12 pm

University clubs are really good for breaking these cultural divides though, as they can (or could before covid) openly recruit from a huge pool of people, keen to try something new at freshers fair. I appreciate that this self-selects for middle class people who are more likely to go to university, but universities tend to be culturally diverse.


I agree, and I think something really interesting would be to use any data obtained (if it's obtained etc etc before people start freaking out again), to see how retention rates differ for people of colour post university.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: andrewmc on February 22, 2021, 03:16:31 pm
I definitely think it is cultural more than anything else.

Well yes - what else could it be?

But that's no excuse - we should show all people how great caving is, not just people like ourselves (in whatever cultural sense that is be it skin colour or taste in music).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 03:18:09 pm
Collecting that data isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know, as the "don't want to tell you" data will be more significant than any of the others.

The majority of members don't choose whether to join or leave the BCA, they make the decision on the basis of their club, & most of those who only join for a year find they don't get enough caving done to justify the cost (for a variety of reasons).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 03:25:38 pm
Collecting that data isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know, as the "don't want to tell you" data will be more significant than any of the others.


interesting theory, but we won't know until we try. Using UKCaving forums as a straw poll as to how many will respond, then yes we wouldn't get many taking up the option, but i theorise that the vocal few on this forum don't fully represent the BCA membership..
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: pwhole on February 22, 2021, 03:37:46 pm
I agree that university environments are probably the best 'melting pot', for want of a better term, in terms of integrating many different cultures and ethnicities, and yes, they will be predominately middle class, for want of another better term, though that's changing. I was definitely of a poorer background than most at Uni, but it didn't stop me getting on. But many working-class or 'street' cultures are just as ethnically-mixed, especially in London, but recruiting them to go caving would be a far greater challenge - possibly for the reasons I mentioned above - that it's perceived as a 'white' activity - which is unfair, obviously, but it's there. We're all varying shades of brown underground, after all ;)
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Ed on February 22, 2021, 03:46:44 pm
In reply to Andrewmc & University clubs re: diversity.

Uni clubs present an easy way in to caving as they are there, in your face at freshers fair etc..... They represent that font of knowledge that many in the real world don't have.

That is exactly why BCA need to look in to it.

In reality it may well be that group x - - let's say people from SE Asian background from inner city areas or posh upper class folk (you know the sort that did Mountaineering and the Alpine Club was full of historically  :lol:) actually aren't interested in caving...... But you need to have the access to the info (both for them and BCA) to be able to say its a personal choice and not due to lack of opportunity.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 03:48:58 pm
Collecting that data isn't going to tell you anything you don't already know, as the "don't want to tell you" data will be more significant than any of the others.

Why? Wouldn't the proportion be similar survey to survey and so a long term trend would still be useful? Aren't they a minority too? I'm confused.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 03:59:01 pm
Rostam - you've got a lot of feedback already on your OP.  Isn't that what you asked for?

A lot of discussion about things not in the report. What would be more useful would be a critique of it: what have you taken away from it? What would be a more helpful way to present the data? Are there issues with the format etc?

The problem is is that I already know your feedback (this report is promoted by one of your conclusions), and Josh's unsurprisingly  ;D

It'd be also good to hear from people who go 'oh that's not been my experience' when they look at the data to see if there are subtle regional/community variations and where might need more support.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 04:22:38 pm
Rostam - you've got a lot of feedback already on your OP.  Isn't that what you asked for?

A lot of discussion about things not in the report.


oops, sorry! :spank:
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 04:25:52 pm
Yes Josh - you bad  ;) ;)  ..and you a BCA official too.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 04:28:58 pm
Yes Josh - you bad  ;) ;)  ..and you a BCA official too.

people knew what they were voting for, a quick look through my antagonistic history on here would have let them know!

On a more serious note, perhaps any discussions on my very controversial proposal could be moved into a separate thread to allow Rostam to get the attention his report deserves
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 04:46:23 pm
Might be easier to start a new topic asking for feedback.

On why comparing the data is relatively pointless - it's such a small number that you can't tell if results are significant or even if they are representative. The other corollary is that the number of cavers is so small that you already have a fairly good handle on the percentages, as you know a significant proportion personally.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: 2xw on February 22, 2021, 05:05:14 pm
The "it's their culture" reasoning AKA "there's nothing wrong with me there's something wrong with them" is an interesting one. I wonder if it's proponents in this thread have any evidence to back it up besides the anecdotal and, further, whether they think it's a good excuse for inaction?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 05:14:13 pm
Many people think there must be something wrong with us for wanting to go caving...

There's nothing to stop people trying to encourage more participation, except the argument that increased numbers will result in more damage to the caves (& the fact that current huts can't accommodate vast increases in numbers - however, hardly any are operating at capacity).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: ChrisJC on February 22, 2021, 05:15:04 pm
I'm going to hypothesise that the data will show that there aren't many black people who go caving (what is that threshold?). I will also hypothesise that this is deemed worthy of remedial action.

I am curious to know two things:
1. How do you find out the true reason(s) why that is?
2. What do you do about it? (do you base your actions on 1. above, or do you assume you know the reasons and act on those?)

Could it ever be accepted that there is a deficit, but there is a perfectly equal opportunity to go caving for everybody, regardless of skin colour? Or do we preclude that option?

Chris.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 05:24:20 pm
Main factor is they don't see others like them doing the activity - there have been many studies for other sports, so we don't need to reinvent the wheel. Surely the whole point of clubs is to be with like minded people, so the hardest part is getting the right person involved to snowball that.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nobrotson on February 22, 2021, 05:46:30 pm
The "it's their culture" reasoning AKA "there's nothing wrong with me there's something wrong with them" is an interesting one. I wonder if it's proponents in this thread have any evidence to back it up besides the anecdotal and, further, whether they think it's a good excuse for inaction?

Agree that the 'it's their culture' argument is illusory. The presence of thriving caving communities in a whole wealth of places outside the global north (Indonesia and middle eastern states such as Lebanon, Iraq and Iran come to mind as immediate examples I know of) demonstrate this.

Culture is constantly evolving. As David Graeber said, 'the world is something that we make; we could just as easily make it differently'.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 06:05:28 pm
Culture is constantly evolving.

Yes, but evolution is a slow process, that occurs naturally over time, when given the right conditions.

Our job is to provide the right conditions.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nobrotson on February 22, 2021, 06:10:49 pm

Yes, but evolution is a slow process, that occurs naturally over time, when given the right conditions.

Our job is to provide the right conditions.

I know it's 'our job to provide the right conditions', that's exactly what the David Graeber quote means. And cultural change often doesn't occur naturally but is forced by external actions (climate change and colonialism are obvious ones).

When you argue that 'cultural differences' are the reason for demographic differences in caving as compared to the population as a whole, you seem to be manufacturing an excuse for a lack of change. What I was trying to say was unless the 'cultural differences' excuse is challenged caving will not change at all. Which is exactly what appears to be happening from Rostams report, since cavers are an ageing demographic with few newcomers.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 06:12:05 pm
Might be easier to start a new topic asking for feedback.

On why comparing the data is relatively pointless - it's such a small number that you can't tell if results are significant or even if they are representative. The other corollary is that the number of cavers is so small that you already have a fairly good handle on the percentages, as you know a significant proportion personally.

It's a significant sample of an insignificant population seems to be what you're saying. It's a significant population to me and anything we can do to anticipate the challenges the community might face would be a good thing?

The 'I know a good proportion of all cavers' is a reason why many organisations in caving are remarkably out of touch.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 06:41:20 pm
But you can do that by other means than collecting almost meaningless data. The sample is so small that one person deciding to fill it in one year & not the next will affect results.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: cavetroll on February 22, 2021, 06:53:31 pm
Cracking news everyone, the old white men have sorted it all out. "I see no problem" & "why bother collecting data?". Great job, we can all go home.

Christmas wishlist perhaps?
https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-an-antiracist/ibram-x-kendi/9781847925992
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 07:53:37 pm
But you can do that by other means than collecting almost meaningless data. The sample is so small that one person deciding to fill it in one year & not the next will affect results.

Would love to hear your thoughts on these alternate methods which will collect larger “more meaningful” sets of data?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 07:57:25 pm
Cracking news everyone, the old white men have sorted it all out. "I see no problem" & "why bother collecting data?". Great job, we can all go home.

Christmas wishlist perhaps?
https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-an-antiracist/ibram-x-kendi/9781847925992

I suppose you don't see the irony of making a racist (and agist/ sexist) comment to support anti-racism?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 08:10:54 pm

Would love to hear your thoughts on these alternate methods which will collect larger “more meaningful” sets of data?
A survey would collect more useful data, not that that's saying much.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Cap'n Chris on February 22, 2021, 08:13:36 pm
Sorry to post on my personal account but will do so until the auto post works.

The report is available here: https://british-caving.org.uk/demographics-report/

I'd be very interested in hearing people's takes on it.
Rostam
BCA P&I

My inexpert cursory glancing led me to presume:

In about 20 years time there will be about one-third the number of cavers there are now and...
Most elder cavers are WAAAY more fit and healthy than the general populace in that age range.

Neither of which is a surprise.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 08:16:16 pm

Would love to hear your thoughts on these alternate methods which will collect larger “more meaningful” sets of data?
A survey would collect more useful data, not that that's saying much.

Err would a survey collect more data? This would be like a survey but every member is automatically prompted at renewal to complete it, likely resulting in higher completion rates..
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: 2xw on February 22, 2021, 08:18:01 pm
This might be useful for the people in this thread:
https://www.khanacademy.org/math/statistics-probability/designing-studies#sampling-methods-stats

You may also want to consider the book "Exploratory Data Analysis" by Tukey as a counterpoint to the old "we must have a hypothesis before we collect/examine data" that is taught at A level/undergrad.

The sort of data collection that Josh is proposing might be very useful, and you might not know how useful until you collect it. It might be useless: only one way to find out. Whatever happens it will be privacy compliant anyways, there's no secret conspiracy. If you're thoroughly opposed, don't provide it.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 08:21:16 pm
But you already know it will be a tiny number & will have no statistical significance...
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 08:22:58 pm
Based on what, 4 people on ukcaving not wanting to give it?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: FionaH on February 22, 2021, 08:28:23 pm
Cracking news everyone, the old white men have sorted it all out. "I see no problem" & "why bother collecting data?". Great job, we can all go home.

Christmas wishlist perhaps?
https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-an-antiracist/ibram-x-kendi/9781847925992

I suppose you don't see the irony of making a racist (and agist/ sexist) comment to support anti-racism?

Are you being systemically oppressed by cavetroll's comment, Pete?

I doubt it.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 08:44:05 pm
Based on what, 4 people on ukcaving not wanting to give it?
On my knowledge of statistics & the British Canoeing results from a membership more than 5 times that of BCA. The unknown errors will be much larger than the samples.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 08:47:04 pm
Cracking news everyone, the old white men have sorted it all out. "I see no problem" & "why bother collecting data?". Great job, we can all go home.

Christmas wishlist perhaps?
https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-an-antiracist/ibram-x-kendi/9781847925992

I suppose you don't see the irony of making a racist (and agist/ sexist) comment to support anti-racism?

Are you being systemically oppressed by cavetroll's comment, Pete?

I doubt it.

No, clearly I am not. Neither would it be systemically oppressive if you replaced the word "white" for the word "black" in the comment however I'm sure that nobody would argue that it was racist if you did.

Making a derogatory comment based on someone's skin colour is racist. This hardly benefits a discussion about inclusivity.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 09:25:29 pm
Based on what, 4 people on ukcaving not wanting to give it?
On my knowledge of statistics & the British Canoeing results from a membership more than 5 times that of BCA. The unknown errors will be much larger than the samples.

Wasn't aware of the British Canoeing survey, but from a quick google (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) it looks to be a survey run separately to the membership renewals, something you were advocating as being a more effective way of obtaining data about 3 comments ago.

Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 09:44:34 pm
Yep, there is a lot more info in the document than just those demographics - but way more people have still said they don't want to answer those particular questions, which makes the results inconclusive (& the format makes it far harder to identify an individual than including it in membership request)
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: nearlywhite on February 22, 2021, 09:54:58 pm
Yep, there is a lot more info in the document than just those demographics - but way more people have still said they don't want to answer those particular questions, which makes the results inconclusive (& the format makes it far harder to identify an individual than including it in membership request)

I'm confused here - 51.1% answered both identifiers, which is more than 13.4% that gave no data at all?

EDIT: Ah I think you're on about the other report never mind.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: FionaH on February 22, 2021, 10:00:15 pm
Cracking news everyone, the old white men have sorted it all out. "I see no problem" & "why bother collecting data?". Great job, we can all go home.

Christmas wishlist perhaps?
https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-an-antiracist/ibram-x-kendi/9781847925992

I suppose you don't see the irony of making a racist (and agist/ sexist) comment to support anti-racism?

Are you being systemically oppressed by cavetroll's comment, Pete?

I doubt it.

No, clearly I am not. Neither would it be systemically oppressive if you replaced the word "white" for the word "black" in the comment however I'm sure that nobody would argue that it was racist if you did.

Making a derogatory comment based on someone's skin colour is racist. This hardly benefits a discussion about inclusivity.

Reverse racism doesn't exist. Racism against white people does not exist. Racial prejudice does, yes. Racism does not. Racism operates on both the individual and the institutional (systemic) level.

As to your point about it not benefiting a discussion about inclusivity: okay.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 10:01:52 pm
Almost all of whom were...

(His whole point was it was inappropriate)
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: 2xw on February 22, 2021, 10:12:22 pm

On my knowledge of statistics

Would you oblige me by using it to demonstrate what you mean? (to avoid the accusation of an argument from authority)

I'm not entirely sure how the survey you've quoted from canoeing is comparable to the single/few variables that Josh suggested.

Can you elaborate on which statistical methodology you would use to analyse a BCA dataset of approx ~2500 samples, and why you think the errors would be much higher than the samples? What is it you mean by error in this instance? How would you quantify error in this case?

What's the minimum sample size you deem to be effective, and why, and why does this preclude what is essentially effort-free data collection?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 10:21:27 pm
The survey asks those precise questions & the number of replies being anything other than white are far less than those not wishing to say - doesn't matter what criteria you want to apply (& they have a dataset of almost 3000 respondents, which is comparable to BCA membership). You can't accurately quantify the error as you don't have any further info.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:26:53 pm
The survey asks those precise questions & the number of replies being anything other than white are far less than those not wishing to say - doesn't matter what criteria you want to apply (& they have a dataset of almost 3000 respondents, which is comparable to BCA membership). You can't accurately quantify the error as you don't have any further info.

at the very least it's clarified that there's only 10% of unknowns, whereas at the moment we're at 100% of unknowns because we haven't asked the questions?

it's very easy to find out how many people will say 'prefer not to say' and that's to ask the question. some information is better than absolute guesswork, and the actions taken will be adjusted based on the confidence in the outcome i.e. the % of prefer not to says.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: 2xw on February 22, 2021, 10:30:43 pm
And your hypothesis (conjecture, speculation) is that this will be the same with the BCA data but you are simultaneously unwilling to see that hypothesis tested? A sort of Schrödinger's opinion: "I'm definitely right and we shouldn't bother checking".


And I assume general work arounds for this, and methods for quantifying that uncertainty, you are opposed to as well?
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 10:40:47 pm
I think cavers being ornery buggers won't make things easier for you. I don't have any problem with you trying to collect it (apart from there being no way to do it at moment).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 10:49:50 pm
I don't have any problem with you trying to collect it (apart from there being no way to do it at moment).

Then I’m not entirely sure what you were hoping to achieve by undermining the results before the bca has even decided to request the information let alone received it or analysed it..
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 22, 2021, 11:05:07 pm
Because I don't believe it will tell you anything new, due to the dataset being too small
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 22, 2021, 11:13:47 pm
Because I don't believe it will tell you anything new, due to the dataset being too small

Yes but what were you hoping to achieve?  :shrug:
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 22, 2021, 11:29:20 pm
Because I don't believe it will tell you anything new, due to the dataset being too small

Yes but what were you hoping to achieve?  :shrug:

We seem to be going in circles here  :lol:

In summary then:
There may be a proposal to the BCA to collect more data about membership, specifically "protected characteristics".
The BCA council may approve collection of this data on a voluntary basis.
Some people might be upset by this and some might even leave the BCA (probably not many).
Some people won't provide the data (probably quite a lot)
Some people will be happy to provide the data (probably quite a few)
The data may show something, or it may not.
The BCA may decide to try to do something about it, or it may not.
This may have a positive impact on British caving, it may have a negative impact on British caving, or it may have no impact at all.

On all the above, time will tell  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Badlad on February 22, 2021, 11:32:16 pm
Global Moderator Comment   Thanks for the summary Pete. This thread seems to have gone off on a tangent. The subject of the OP is an age demographic report. Some forum users find the direction of travel has become quite unpleasant. I'm going to lock this thread for a short period. When it comes back up please think carefully how you post. Thank you
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 24, 2021, 11:14:44 am
The only reason discussion went on so long was because I was responding to requests from others for clarification, but I didn't want to attempt the maths on my mobile, late at night, so looking at the British Canoeing data for race:
25% of questionaires didn't include any reply (they had 2241 responses from 2990 returns)
90% said white (of British or other nationalities)
7.5% preferred not to say
2.5% other races (combined, as individually none was more than 0.75%)

So, you could say the number was 2.7% (2.5/92.5) or somewhere between 2.5 & 10%, but these only reference 75% of those involved, so all you can definitely say is the number is somewhere between 1.9% & 32.5% of members.

For arguments sake, next year 25% more people say they are other races, so 70 total, but 10% more have answered the question, so 3289 - does that mean you've had a 25% increase or (70/3289, a reduction to 2.1%) a decrease of 16%? There's no way of knowing.

I would be very surprised if we didn't get similar results. The survey doesn't say how many didn't respond to other metrics, but sexuality was 81% hetero, 14% won't say, 5% other (biggest being 2%), so still 3 times as many obscure results & why these sorts of questions often don't provide you with realistic or even relatively comparable data.

https://britishcanoeing.org.uk/uploads/documents/Membership-Satisfaction-Survey-Report-2019-VF.pdf
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 24, 2021, 12:49:13 pm
Quote
For arguments sake, next year 25% more people say they are other races, so 70 total, but 10% more have answered the question, so 3289 - does that mean you've had a 25% increase or (70/3289, a reduction to 2.1%) a decrease of 16%? There's no way of knowing.

2 years of data does not give you a trend, either one could be an outlier from the trend. My point is the more data you have over more years, the more you can start to make judgements on it. I think possibly with about 4/5 years of age splits, the BCA are approaching a point at which it can start to analyse a possible trend if there is an ageing population.

I would also hope that once the membership see that there isn't some big conspiracy over the way that the BCA would use the data (if my possible proposal goes ahead), that you'd see more and more people comfortable with giving a small portion of information about themselves, and the 'prefer not to say' would decrease over time, giving further accuracy to individual years results.

That's not to say that there is nothing that can be gained from 1 year of data, there are some conclusions that can be drawn, just that they would need to be heavily caveated.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mrodoc on February 24, 2021, 12:59:59 pm
The demographics report coincides with what I see out in the field ie far more female cavers (my club committee is about the 75/25 ratio) who on the whole are younger than the male cavers and on the male side an increasingly older population of active cavers.   
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: ChrisJC on February 24, 2021, 02:35:05 pm
My point is the more data you have over more years, the more you can start to make judgements on it. I think possibly with about 4/5 years of age splits, the BCA are approaching a point at which it can start to analyse a possible trend...

That does seem reasonable. I guess as you get more and more data, maybe the errors get smaller? Even if the stat is that there is a consistent proportion of people who prefer to avoid answering the question!

One other factor to consider though is this:
If you had run a sexuality survey in the 60's say, you would find almost no gay people. In the 2020's, you would find a much higher proportion. That is not because the actual numbers have changed, but society has changed and it is now uncontroversial to be gay. So care is require to be sure that the stats are an honest representation of the underlying truth.

Reverse racism doesn't exist. Racism against white people does not exist. Racial prejudice does, yes. Racism does not. Racism operates on both the individual and the institutional (systemic) level.

I will take that as a joke that isn't funny.

Chris.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 24, 2021, 02:45:54 pm
Certainly cavers are staying active into later life nowadays - I wonder how much this is affected by improvements in kit, which has been shown to have a positive effect on the retention of e.g. female canoeists / kayakers in their sport?

There is also the possibility that higher percentages of men continue to pursue caving outside the club environment, whereas women are more likely to join a club (this has been noted in other outdoor activities).

(To clarify - mrodoc's committee ratio is male to female & is pretty much the same as overall ratio in that club)

& if there is a consistent proportion of people avoiding the question then it doesn't affect the comparison, the problem is it won't be consistent for quite some time, as people will do it to make a point & then not worry some time subsequently.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Speleofish on February 24, 2021, 03:01:30 pm
Not sure why FionaH asserts that reverse racism doesn't exist - there are numerous definitions in several online dictionaries that are consistent and make sense. However, as a concept, its frequently used to support some fairly indefensible positions.

To say racism against white people doesn't exist seems even less tenable. Many expats in parts of Asia and Africa would contradict her. Probably elsewhere too...

Doesn't make it any more palatable.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 24, 2021, 03:13:25 pm
Not sure why FionaH asserts that reverse racism doesn't exist - there are numerous definitions in several online dictionaries that are consistent and make sense. However, as a concept, its frequently used to support some fairly indefensible positions.

To say racism against white people doesn't exist seems even less tenable. Many expats in parts of Asia and Africa would contradict her. Probably elsewhere too...

Doesn't make it any more palatable.

I think it's safe to say this part of the conversation was the part that was becoming unpleasant and got the thread locked in the first place. If we could try and keep on topic please.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 24, 2021, 03:28:42 pm
I have put my comments about Rostam's report into previous discussion (along with his later request):
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26961.50
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 24, 2021, 03:43:26 pm
I have put my comments about Rostam's report into previous discussion (along with his later request):
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=26961.50

just want to pick you up on the following bit

Quote
if you consider that under 18s make up 20% of the UK population & are effectively excluded from joining clubs without their parents

This isn't the case. There is nothing stopping clubs allowing young people to join the club without their parents. The BCA website under safeguarding has some guidelines that may help clubs with this.

If parents do not join the club then there are some additional things the club should do, including vetting the adults who would be responsible for the young people, either on club premises or on caving trips.

If any clubs would like further advice on this please feel free to email myself at youth@british-caving.org.uk or Chris Boardman our safeguarding officer at safeguarding@british-caving.org.uk. There is a lot of fear over how difficult it is to allow young people into clubs, usually because of hearsay or stories in the papers about things going wrong, but there are some really simple steps that can be taken to protect not only the young people but the adult volunteers.

I'm hoping over the next few months to have a project put together that will support and encourage young people to be joining clubs, whilst reiterating to clubs how important it is that they encourage young people to join. It's not just a cliche they really are the future.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeteHall on February 24, 2021, 03:57:46 pm
if you consider that under 18s make up 20% of the UK population & are effectively excluded from joining clubs without their parents

This isn't the case. There is nothing stopping clubs allowing young people to join the club without their parents.

I've added a little emphasis above, as I suspect that this is more of a practical consideration than one of club rules, though of course I may be mistaken.

For most U18's knowledge of caves/ caving and transport to get to clubs is likely to be severely limited without a parent who caves.

The exception (as far as knowledge of caves/ caving goes) would be the many young people who experience caving with an instructor through school or holiday activities, but how easy it is to move from a 1st positive experience with an instructor, to finding a club and convincing your parents to drive you out to your local caving region and drop you off for a day's caving, I don't know...

I know of at least one person who has taken up caving in order to accompany theirs kids who were keen; fortunately in this case, the parent enjoys it too.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: Speleofish on February 24, 2021, 04:00:58 pm
In reply to JoshW, it wasn't supposed to be either unpleasant or provocative, more an attempt to give balance. However, I take the point (and will stick to it...)
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 24, 2021, 04:38:51 pm
if you consider that under 18s make up 20% of the UK population & are effectively excluded from joining clubs without their parents

This isn't the case. There is nothing stopping clubs allowing young people to join the club without their parents.

I've added a little emphasis above, as I suspect that this is more of a practical consideration than one of club rules, though of course I may be mistaken.

For most U18's knowledge of caves/ caving and transport to get to clubs is likely to be severely limited without a parent who caves.

The exception (as far as knowledge of caves/ caving goes) would be the many young people who experience caving with an instructor through school or holiday activities, but how easy it is to move from a 1st positive experience with an instructor, to finding a club and convincing your parents to drive you out to your local caving region and drop you off for a day's caving, I don't know...

I know of at least one person who has taken up caving in order to accompany theirs kids who were keen; fortunately in this case, the parent enjoys it too.

Totally valid point, and I did actually read it that way, just wanted to (to a small extent) dispel the myth that youngsters can’t join caving clubs.

I’m hoping to be able to come up with plans that will overcome some of the issues you mention, though if you have any ideas my inbox is always open  :beer2:
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 24, 2021, 06:22:26 pm
So I calculate that about 2% of membership are under 20, compared to over 20% of general population, so average age of cavers does align with rest of population.

18% of cavers are over 65, so if you remove the U18s from general population, then they will make up c.25% which is still an impressively close match compared to other outdoor sports, but how many of them are active?
Title: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: PeasusCrisp on February 25, 2021, 12:16:43 pm
As far as demographics and diversity goes there is a lot that could be done.  Positive and active publicity would certainly help. Most people I speak to have heard of caving very few have tried it, and apart from those that I have met that actually enjoy the activity there is very little interest.

It took a chance visit to Cheddar and looking for something exciting to do with my daughter that piqued my interest. After a couple of years when she was old enough we went and did the Adventure caving experience there and it got us hooked, a few other hurdles passed and a couple of roadblocks but now we are getting into it properly. She is pretty much the standard urbanised and Youtube/TikTok addicted teen but she loves caving comes with me when we get the chance to go and wants to do more and challenging stuff.

My point is even in the modern age where kids spend more time exploring the world through their screens some still actually want to explore it in reality but their access to it is limited. Apart from Scouts and some PGL trips in primary school there seems literally nothing that introduces kids to anything outdoors unless they have a parent/guardian that can drag them along.

As far as demographic goes unless you live in an area where caving is popular and on your doorstep/have the means of travel, actually know anything about the activity or have someone you know that does then it will not change much.

Publicity is key. I grew up in Sedgley in the West Midlands do not live there now but until two years ago I didn't even know that a club existed let alone had it's headquarters a stones throw from where I lived! I am pretty sure that it is the same for most urban non caving areas where clubs have some sort of link.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 25, 2021, 02:43:03 pm
Apart from Scouts and some PGL trips in primary school there seems literally nothing that introduces kids to anything outdoors unless they have a parent/guardian that can drag them along.

I'm hoping that plans I've got will change that this year, but it will require support from regional councils, clubs in all of the regions and most importantly willing volunteers at those clubs.

Further news will come once I've actually started to actuate these plans.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 25, 2021, 05:03:32 pm
There are several instructors who work regularly with schools local to caving areas getting kids underground.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 25, 2021, 05:47:58 pm
There are several instructors who work regularly with schools local to caving areas getting kids underground.

Which is awesome, but what's stopping these youngsters from joining a caving club if they're enjoying it? Eventually requiring instructors will become a financial barrier (it may already be for some), and I'd love to get to the point where clubs have the culture (and set up) where young people can join, and attend their trips.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mrodoc on February 25, 2021, 06:10:53 pm
Certainly cavers are staying active into later life nowadays - I wonder how much this is affected by improvements in kit, which has been shown to have a positive effect on the retention of e.g. female canoeists / kayakers in their sport?

There is also the possibility that higher percentages of men continue to pursue caving outside the club environment, whereas women are more likely to join a club (this has been noted in other outdoor activities).

(To clarify - mrodoc's committee ratio is male to female & is pretty much the same as overall ratio in that club)

& if there is a consistent proportion of people avoiding the question then it doesn't affect the comparison, the problem is it won't be consistent for quite some time, as people will do it to make a point & then not worry some time subsequently.
Mike, I think, is probably right about kit. I have frequently said a number of developments have come along at right time for me regarding kit, not least decent lighting. Contact lenses aren't caving kit but they have also made a huge difference to my personal comfort. Lighter carrying cases and smaller cameras have also helped. Decent clothing is also a factor of course.
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: mikem on February 25, 2021, 06:16:33 pm
Which is awesome, but what's stopping these youngsters from joining a caving club if they're enjoying it? Eventually requiring instructors will become a financial barrier (it may already be for some), and I'd love to get to the point where clubs have the culture (and set up) where young people can join, and attend their trips.
Generally that they still need someone to take responsibility for them (it can also be difficult to get them all together outside school time, as they often have a lot of other stuff going on).
Title: Re: BCA 2020 Demographics Report
Post by: JoshW on February 25, 2021, 07:03:39 pm
Which is awesome, but what's stopping these youngsters from joining a caving club if they're enjoying it? Eventually requiring instructors will become a financial barrier (it may already be for some), and I'd love to get to the point where clubs have the culture (and set up) where young people can join, and attend their trips.
Generally that they still need someone to take responsibility for them (it can also be difficult to get them all together outside school time, as they often have a lot of other stuff going on).

You'd hope that there would be enough people who would be keen to volunteer a day of a weekend to lead a slightly easier trip every few months or so, to enable young people to feel part of the club.

As an explorer scout leader, more than aware of the problem of 'other stuff', they always seem to be having more fun than me with house parties etc to be going to, whilst I sit on my own watching netflix..
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