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4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, June 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/06/2010   
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INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES


INTRODUCTION

This article presents information on Indigenous people's participation in sport and physical recreation collected in the 2008 ABS National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS).

The NATSISS was conducted throughout Australia, including remote areas, from August 2008 to April 2009 and collected information on a range of demographic, social, environmental and economic indicators including health, education, housing, income, cultural activities, transport and social support networks. Information was also collected relating to Indigenous children's and adults' participation in sport and physical activities and other social and community activities. This information is important in terms of understanding both the physical health benefits that participation in sport and physical recreation provides as well as its contribution to an individual's sense of well-being. Being a member of a sporting club or association provides opportunities for involvement in both community and social activities which can help to build valuable social networks and support systems.

Throughout this article, the term 'Indigenous' refers to all people identified as being of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, or both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. Information presented on Aboriginal people also includes data on people identified as having both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin. Similarly, information on Torres Strait Islanders also includes people identified as having both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin.

Further information can be found in the ABS publication National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey, 2008, Australia (cat. no. 4714.0).


CHARACTERISTICS OF PARTICIPANTS

Age and sex

In 2008 nearly one third (30% or 99,000) of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over had participated in some type of sport and physical activity in the 12 months prior to interview. Indigenous men had higher participation (38% or 59,000) in sport and physical activities than Indigenous women (23% or 40,000). The participation rate of Indigenous people taking part in sport and physical recreation decreased with age for both men and women. Indigenous men aged between 15 -24 years had a participation rate of 53%, which decreased to 18% for men aged 45 years and over. Of all Indigenous women aged 15-24 years, 36% took part in sport and physical activities, while this participation rate decreased to 11% for women aged 45 years and over.

Took part in sport and physical activities, By age and sex
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By age and sex



Labour force status

Indigenous people who were employed part-time had the highest rate of participation in sport and physical activity with over one third (39% or 26,000 people) taking part. Indigenous people who were; working full-time had a participation rate of 37% (38,000 people). Less than one third of Indigenous people who were unemployed took part in sport and physical activity (30% or 10,000 people). Indigenous people who were not in the labour force had a participation rate of 20% (25,000 people).

Took part in sport and physical activities, By Labour Force Status
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By Labour Force Status



Educational attainment

Of all Indigenous people whose highest educational attainment was Postgraduate degree, Graduate degree / Graduate certificate, Bachelor degree, 39% (5,800 people) participated in sport and physical activity. For Indigenous people whose highest educational attainment was Senior secondary, a participation rate of 39% (27,000 people) was reported. Indigenous people whose highest educational attainment was Advanced Diploma / Diploma, Certificate n.f.d, Certificate I, II, III or IV had a participation rate of 33%. The lowest participation rate was reported by Indigenous people whose highest educational attainment was junior secondary education (25% or 41,000 people).

Took part in sport and physical activities, By highest educational attainment
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By highest educational attainment



Family type

Of all Indigenous people aged 15 years and over who lived in a couple family with dependent children, 38% (43,000 people) participated in sport and physical activities. A similar participation rate was reported for Indigenous people who lived in a group household (38% or 1,900 people). Similar participation rates for Indigenous people were reported in the following household types; 29% (16,000 people) for one parent family with dependent children; 28% (14,000 people) for other one family households and 26% (12,000 people) for multiple family households.

About 22% (7,000 people) of Indigenous people who lived in a couple only household participated in sports and physical activities while the participation rate was 20% (5,200 people) for Indigenous people living alone.

Took part in sport and physical activities, Family composition of household
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, Family composition of household



State or Territory of Usual Residence

The Australian Capital Territory had the highest participation rate of Indigenous people who took part in sport and physical activities (46%) followed by Victoria and Tasmania with 34% respectively. All other states and territories had similar levels of participation. In terms of absolute numbers of Indigenous people participating in sport and physical activities in each state or territory, the survey showed New South Wales (29,000 people) and Queensland (26,000 people) had the most participants.

Took part in sport and physical activities, By state or territory of usual residence
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By state or territory of usual residence



CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

Almost half (47%) of Indigenous children aged 4-14 years in 2008 had played organised sport in the last 12 months. There was a noticeable difference between Indigenous boys and girls, with over half (51% or 37,000 people) of all boys aged 4-14 years and less than half of all girls (43% or 29,000 people) aged 4-14 years participating in organised sport.

At 34% or 11,000 children, Indigenous boys aged 4-8 years had the lowest participation rate. Nearly two-thirds of Indigenous boys aged 9-11 years (63% or 11,000 people) participated in organised sport. Of boys aged 12-14 years, 69% (14,000 people) participated in organised sport. In a similar manner, Indigenous girls aged 4-8 years also had a much lower participation rate in organised sport (30% or 9,300 people) than girls aged 9-11 years (57% or 10,000 people) and 12-14 years (51% or 9,300 people).

Whether child has played any organised sport in the last 12 months
Graph: Whether child has played any organised sport in the last 12 months



Types of organised sport played by Indigenous children

For Indigenous boys aged 4-14 years, the three most popular sports were Australian rules football (17% or 12,000 people), rugby league (16% or 12,000 people) and soccer (outdoor - 10.5% or 7,500 people). For Indigenous girls aged 4-14 years, the most popular sport was netball with 13% (8,500 people) having participated. This was followed by swimming (7.0% or 4,800 people), basketball (6.7% or 4,600 people), soccer-outdoor (6.4% and 4,300 people) and athletics / track and field (4.5% or 3,100 people). The organised sports that had similar rates of participation for both boys and girls were swimming (6.3% and 7.0%), basketball (6.3% and 6.7%) and athletics (4.0% and 4.5%).

Types of organised sports child has played in the last 12 months
Graph: Types of organised sports child has played in the last 12 months



ADULT PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND SENSE OF WELL-BEING

Involvement in sport and taking part in other forms of physical activity is often also a social activity that provides participants with an opportunity to make and/or maintain friendships, develop extended networks and keep in touch with family and friends.


Types of sporting, social or community activities participated in last 12 months

In addition to participation as a player, association with a sport or physical recreation club or group brings opportunities for participation in other kinds of social and community activities. The 2008 NATSISS collected data on other types of sporting, social or community activities participated in the last 12 months. Nearly half of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over attended a sporting event as a spectator (45% or 149,000 people). More men (50% or 78,000) attended a sporting event as a spectator than women (42% or 71,000 people).

At 11% (36,000 people), a smaller percentage of Indigenous people participated as a coach, instructor or teacher. A higher percentage were men (14% or 21,000 people) compared with women (8.4% or 14,000 people). Of all Indigenous people participating in sporting, social and community activities, 8.5% (28,000 people) participated as a committee member or administrator. There were similar levels of participation for men (8.8% and 14,000 people) and women (8.2% and 14,000 people). Only 6.3% (20,000 people) of Indigenous people participated as a referee, umpire or official. A higher percentage were men (8.0% or 12,000 people) compared with women (4.7% or 8,000 people).

Types of sporting social or community activities participated in last 12 months, by sex
Graph: Types of sporting social or community activities participated in last 12 months, by sex



Level of trust

Respondents were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with a number of statements including 'that most people can be trusted'. Of all Indigenous people who strongly agree or agree that people can be trusted, one-third (33% or 39,000 people) took part in sport and physical activity. Of Indigenous people who indicated they neither agree nor disagree, the participation rate was 31%. Over one-quarter (27% or 33,000 people) of Indigenous people who disagree or strongly disagree that people can be trusted participated in sport and physical activity.

Took part in sport and physical activities, By level of trust generally
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By level of trust generally



Proportion of Indigenous friends

Participation in sport and physical activity may lead to increased opportunities to develop the friendships and contacts which create a diverse social network.

Respondents were asked what proportion of their friends were Indigenous. Over one-third (36% or 30,000 people) of Indigenous people who reported having few Indigenous friends participated in sport and physical activities. A similar participation rate (36% or 18,000 people) was reported by people who reported that about half of their friends were Indigenous. Of all people who reported that most of their friends were Indigenous, 28% (18,000 people) took part in sport and physical activity. The participation rate was 23% (14,000 people) for Indigenous people who reported that all of their friends were Indigenous.

Took part in sport and physical activities, By proportion of Indigenous friends
Graph: Took part in sport and physical activities, By proportion of Indigenous friends



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