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4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Jan 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/02/2001   
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Virtually all (97%) children aged 5 to 14 years watched TV or videos during their free time, according to figures from the first comprehensive survey by the ABS of the cultural and leisure activities of Australian children. Of those who did watch TV or videos, 52% did so for 20 hours or more in a two-week period during the school term. In addition, 69% of children played electronic or computer games, 64% rode bikes, 44% spent some time on art and craft activities and 31% skateboarded or rollerbladed in the two-week period.

More than half (59%) of children (66% of boys and 52% of girls) participated in organised sport outside of school hours in the 12 months to April 2000. Outdoor soccer was the most popular organised sport for boys and netball was top for girls.

Almost one in three (29%) children were involved in at least one of the four organised cultural activities covered by the survey during their free time in the 12 months ending April 2000: 18% played a musical instrument, 10% danced, 5% sang and 5% were involved in drama activities outside of school hours.

More details on the leisure-time activities of children can be found in Children’s Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2000 (ABS Cat. no. 4901.0; $22.00) which was released on 18 January 2001.

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