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4156.0 - Sport and Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia , 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/03/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 3.1 Participation - Introduction >> Chapter 3.3 Participation - Selected Sports and Physical Recreation Activities



PARTICIPATION




SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES

A major aim of ABS surveys about sports and physical recreation participation is to find out about the wide range of physical recreation activities that people undertake. This section presents summary information for the top ten sports and physical recreation activities participated in by adults and children. More detailed information about the many other sports and physical recreation activities in which people participate can be found in the survey-specific publications.


Adults aged 18 years and over

During the 12 months prior to interview in 2002, Walking for exercise attracted the largest number of both male and female participants. However, a much larger percentage of females participated in Walking for exercise than did males (32.9% compared with 17.5%). A larger proportion of females than males participated in Walking for all age groups except persons aged 65 years and over, where 26.9% of males participated compared with 23.7% of females.


Aerobics/fitness, Swimming, Cycling, Tennis and Running were amongst the top ten activities participated in by both males and females. There were, however, some marked differences in participation rates for some of these activities. More females participated in Aerobics/fitness (13.0% compared with 8.8%) and Swimming (11.8% compared with 9.9%). On the other hand, more males played Tennis (7.6% compared with 6.1%), went Cycling (7.3% compared with 4.2%) and participated in Running (6.1% compared with 3.0%).


Many more females participated in Netball (5.3% of females), Yoga (3.6%), and Dancing (2.8%) than males. Bushwalking was an activity that was amongst the top ten for females, with 3.3% participating. However, a similar proportion of males (3.1%) also participated in bushwalking even though this was not amongst their top ten activities. Conversely, many more males participated in Golf (12.4% of males), Fishing (6.1%), Cricket (4.7%) and Soccer (4.4%) than females.

3.5 ADULT PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES(a) - 2002

Number
Participation rate
'000
%

MALES

Walking for exercise
1 225.2
17.5
Golf
890.3
12.4
Swimming
708.4
9.9
Aerobics/fitness
632.3
8.8
Tennis
544.5
7.6
Cycling
524.0
7.3
Running
440.9
6.1
Fishing
437.5
6.1
Cricket (outdoor)
340.8
4.7
Soccer (outdoor)
318.9
4.4

FEMALES

Walking for exercise
2 407.9
32.9
Aerobics/fitness
953.2
13.0
Swimming
867.4
11.8
Tennis
443.4
6.1
Netball
389.4
5.3
Cycling
305.6
4.2
Yoga
266.2
3.6
Bush walking
240.1
3.3
Running
221.9
3.0
Dancing
206.4
2.8

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over who participated in physical activities for recreation, exercise or sport as players during the 12 months prior to interview.
Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002 (cat. no. 4177.0).


Children aged 5-14 years

During the 12 months ending April 2000, 265,000 or 19.6% of boys aged between 5 and 14 years participated in outdoor soccer outside of school hours. Other organised sports in which many boys participated were Swimming (177,000 or 13.1%), Australian Rules football (170,300 or 12.6%) and outdoor cricket (133,600 or 9.9%).


The organised sport participated in by the largest number of girls was Netball with 234 900 or 18.2%, followed by Swimming with 203,100 or 15.8%.


Although a higher proportion of boys than girls participated in organised sport (66.1% compared with 52.3%), the girls participation rate for some organised sports was significantly higher than that for boys. Examples include Gymnastics (4.3% of girls compared with 0.9% of boys) and Swimming (15.8% of girls compared with 13.1% of boys).


While these data show that more boys participated in organised sports outside school hours, this does not necessarily indicate that boys are more physically active than girls. Other physical recreation activities, which are not classified as organised sports, should also be considered. For example, the 2000 Survey of Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities found that organised dancing, a cultural activity rather than a sport activity, attracted participation by a much higher proportion of girls (19.5%) than boys (1.7%).


Children also participate in non-organised physical recreation activities such as bike riding, skateboarding, backyard ball games, running games and playing at a playground or recreation park. The children's participation survey asked about selected physical recreation activities and found that 63.8% of children aged 5-14 years (71.1% of boys and 56.2% of girls) rode a bike outside of school hours in the previous two weeks, while skateboarding or rollerblading was undertaken by 30.9% of children in the previous two weeks (35.6% of boys and 26.1% of girls).

3.6 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED ORGANISED SPORTS(a) - 2000

Number
Participation rate
'000
%

MALES

Soccer (outdoor)
265.0
19.6
Swimming
177.0
13.1
Australian Rules football
170.3
12.6
Cricket (outdoor)
133.6
9.9
Tennis
124.8
9.2
Basketball
119.6
8.8
Rugby League
92.5
6.8
Martial arts
72.7
5.4
Athletics and track and field
52.2
3.9
Rugby Union
36.1
2.7

FEMALES

Netball
234.9
18.2
Swimming
203.1
15.8
Tennis
99.1
7.7
Basketball
80.7
6.3
Gymnastics
55.1
4.3
Athletics and track and field
51.9
4.0
Soccer (outdoor)
37.3
2.9
Hockey
32.5
2.5
Martial arts
31.9
2.5
Horse riding and equestrian activities
25.4
2.0

(a) Relates to children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised sport (to a maximum of three per child) outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2000 (cat. no. 4901.0).


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