Racism and a “purple circle” mentality are pushing Indigenous netballers to leave the sport, a sobering report for Shooting Stars and Netball WA has revealed.

The Black Diamonds report reviewed netball’s engagement and retention of Aboriginal people in the sport and put forward solutions for developing stronger relationships between governing bodies and First Nations communities amid these failures.

More than 100 participants and organisations were surveyed to gauge what factors are turning people away.

The report indicated serious systematic issues were holding back Indigenous netballers.

“(Netball) has a reputation for being sort of purple-circle and clique-y,” Shooting Stars research manager Rose Whitau said.

“It impacts Aboriginal people a lot because they’re not fitting that mould of what it is defined as a netballer.

“A lot of it is systematic and unconscious on the part of the people perpetrating it, recreating these systems that disempower Aboriginal people.”

The report compounds this finding, identifying racism as the largest barrier for First Nations girls.

Questionable umpiring and on-court experiences, exclusion from sides, segregation and a lack of support available stood out among damning results.

There were suggestions cultural awareness training was not taken seriously and being a First Nations person often came with expectations of being a spokesperson on culture.

Economic difficulties, a lack of Indigenous role models at the elite level and limited accessibility to online content and information acute to the sport were raised as additional barriers.

Shooting Stars said the sport needed to be upended to “de-centre and decolonise” the white Australian experience within netball.

The survey presents Netball WA and additional stakeholders with methods for correcting these concerns.

Celebrating culture, improving pathways for Indigenous players and boosting support were identified as key first steps to take.

“People really want the system itself to be challenged,” Ms Whitau said.

“Netball is the biggest female participation sport in the country so it really needs to lead by example in this space.

“It’s not going to just benefit Aboriginal people, it’s going to benefit a lot of people.”

It is hoped the recent call up of Noongar woman and Western Australian Donnell Wallam to the national squad could help point the game in the right direction.