4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Jul 2004  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/08/2004   
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Children's participation in organised sport

About 1.6 million children aged 5-14 years (62%) participated outside of school hours in sport that had been organised by a school, club or association in the 12 months to April 2003. Across all ages boys were more likely to participate than girls, and the total participation rate was 69% for boys and 54% for girls.

The most popular organised sport for children was swimming with a participation rate of 17%, followed by outdoor soccer (13%). The organised sports that attracted most boys were outdoor soccer (with a participation rate for boys of 22%), swimming (16%), and Australian Rules football (14%). For girls, the sports with the highest participation rates were netball (18%), swimming (17%), and tennis (8%). Dancing was an organised cultural (and physical) activity with a higher participation rate for girls (24%) than any organised sport.