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Tips for coaches and officials

Tips to involved culturally and linguistically diverse communities in sport

This tip sheet is designed for coaches conducting sport and recreation sessions with people from migrant, new arrival and refugee backgrounds.

People from migrant and refugee backgrounds are often enthusiastic about sport and recreation, and they enjoy the opportunity to participate in a supported and structured environment. The following information is designed to provide information to coaches, trainers and volunteers delivering sport and recreation programs for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

While this resource is specially directed towards people from migrant and refugee backgrounds the strategies that we have suggested apply to any group and are an integral part of general coaching practices.

Communicating cross culturally

Key points to consider when communicating with others whose English language skills are limited.


  • avoid jargon and slang
  • use an interpreter to assist in communicating your message
  • explain technical terms
  • keep language simple and use short sentences
  • remember that you are engaged in a dialogue rather than just needing to get your message across
  • make it visual if you can
  • check to see that the message has been understood - ask questions and be patient
  • listen attentively
  • recognise diverse communication styles and meanings
  • remember that many languages are structured differently to English and some English terms will not have a direct translation
  • use direct questions - for example,  'Have you finished signing that form?' rather than, 'You haven’t finished that form yet have you?'.


  • shout
  • mumble
  • show impatience
  • speak really slowly
  • replicate the participant’s accent.

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Did you know?

Australia's most successful Olympic event is the Men's 1500m Freestyle.

Quick numbers

233 thousand people have so far completed the ASC online coaching course.
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