Eight of the UK’s leading walking, climbing and outdoor leisure organisations have joined forces for a groundbreaking research project which aims to examine the demographics of people who go walking and climbing.
The project is called ‘Your Movement Matters’ and is all about understanding who is and who is not participating in the different styles of walking and climbing.
Every type of movement counts, from walking in local parks or climbing at an indoor wall to camping, hiking and rock climbing adventures in the mountains.
The aim is to build a clear picture of what participation currently looks like to support the development and implementation of evidence-based diversity and inclusion strategies within each organisation.
“We know that we have a challenge with equity and diversity in the outdoors,” said John Cousins, Chief Executive Officer of Mountain Training UK & Ireland.
“We have some headline statistics about those who participate less and they are particularly people from an ethnic minority background, women and those with a disability or long-term health condition. When it comes to taking action to change those headline statistics, there’s not enough detail to help us understand what’s making a difference or which groups of people are participating in which activity.
“This research project will allow us to close the data gaps, establish clear baselines for participation in each style of activity and develop the resources available to support driving lasting change.”
The research is being carried out by Leeds Beckett University and data is being collected through a survey. The survey is an opportunity to find out more about the age, gender, ethnic background, sexuality, disability status and faith of those who walk, climb and camp. It will also target those who are not currently participating to better understand what barriers prevent them from taking part.
Kath Hipwell, Chief Executive of the Association of British Climbing Walls said: “No one is defined by a single characteristic, so the ability to view this data in its entirety will allow us to build a better picture of the individuals who do and don’t participate, in our case, in indoor climbing, and why. This will enable our member climbing walls to better understand the needs of different groups and make relevant adjustments to their offer to make sure everyone is made to feel welcome in climbing and enabled to participate.”
Survey respondents can choose to be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 voucher for Ellis Brigham. Take the 'Your Movement Matters' survey.
The supporting organisations are:
Association of British Climbing Walls is promoting the professionalism, health and growth of indoor climbing.
BMC (British Mountaineering Council) is the representative body for walkers and climbers in England and Wales.
Camping and Caravanning Club is the world's oldest and largest club for all forms of camping.
National Indoor Climbing Award Schemes (NICAS) are UK-wide climbing and bouldering schemes designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on artificial climbing structures.
Mountain Training is the network of UK and Ireland awarding bodies for skills courses and leadership qualifications in walking, climbing and mountaineering.
Outdoor Industries Association is the trade body for manufacturers, retailers and other organisations that provide products and services for the outdoor leisure pursuits market in the UK.
Plas y Brenin is a national outdoor centre which develops the people that develop the outdoor sector, from instructors to centre managers to expedition leaders to governing body officers to policy-makers.
The Ramblers is the only charity dedicated to looking after paths and green spaces, leading walks, opening up new places to explore and encouraging everyone to get outside and discover how walking boosts health and happiness.
For further information about the research project please contact Nicola Jasieniecka, Media and IT Development Officer at Mountain Training, at email@example.com.