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4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, Dec 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/12/2009   
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MIGRANTS AND SPORT


INTRODUCTION

The migration of people from other countries has contributed to Australia's cultural diversity. For the purposes of this article, migrants are categorised to whether they are born in main English-speaking countries, defined here as United Kingdom and Ireland, New Zealand, Canada, the United States of America and South Africa, or born in other countries where languages other than English are mainly spoken.

This article looks at children's participation in organised sport and leisure activities; adults' participation in sport and physical recreation; attendance at sporting events; persons involved in non-playing roles for organised sport; and sports volunteers from various ABS surveys. The article looks at the rates of participation, attendance and volunteering in a sport context for each of the migrant groups. It is important to note that being from a non-main English-speaking country does not imply a lack of proficiency in English. The term 'other countries' will be used throughout this article to refer to non-main English-speaking countries.


CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT

The survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities conducted in April 2009 identified a noticeable difference in the participation rate of children born in other countries compared with those born in Australia or in a main English-speaking country. Around two-thirds (64% and 62% respectively) of children born in Australia and main English-speaking countries participated in organised sport outside school hours, whereas the participation rate for children born in other countries was 40%.

Overall, the level of participation for children born in other countries was lower when compared with children born in Australia and main English-speaking countries. Children born in Australia and main English-speaking countries had similar levels of participation for all sports except for Australian Rules football.

The most popular organised sports for children aged 5 to 14 years born in other countries were swimming, with 17,600 participants (13%), and soccer (outdoor) with 16,600 participants (12%). The levels of participation in swimming and soccer (outdoor) were similar for children born in Australia and in main English-speaking countries (swimming, 19% and 20% respectively, and soccer (outdoor), both 13%).

The rate of participation in Australian Rules football was lower for children born in main English-speaking countries (7.1% or 8,400 children). In comparison, 9.2% or 225,900 Australian born children participated in Australian Rules football. Children born in main English-speaking countries had a higher rate of participation in netball (7.6% or 9,000 participants) compared with children born in other countries (1.6% or 2,300).

Children's participation in selected organised sports and leisure activities, By country of birth - 2009

NUMBER ('000)
PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries

Organised sport (excluding dancing)(a)
Swimming
461.5
23.9
17.6
18.7
20.0
12.5
Soccer (outdoor)
327.9
15.9
16.6
13.3
13.4
11.8
Australian Rules football
225.9
*8.4
np
9.2
*7.1
np
Netball
217.1
9.0
*2.3
8.8
7.6
*1.6
Tennis
197.7
*9.7
*7.4
8.0
*8.1
*5.3
Other organised sports
979.6
51.0
32.2
39.8
42.8
22.8
At least one organised sport(b)
1 586.9
74.3
56.5
64.4
62.4
40.1
Selected other activities(c)
Skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter
1 254.8
53.0
34.8
51.0
44.4
24.7
Bike riding
1 510.0
73.7
59.9
61.3
61.9
42.5
Watching TV, videos or DVDs
2 396.0
115.5
138.9
97.3
97.0
98.5
Playing electronic or computer games
2 048.6
98.4
117.1
83.2
82.6
83.1
Art and craft
1 198.3
61.8
55.5
48.7
51.9
39.4
Reading for pleasure
1 767.2
92.6
106.1
71.8
77.7
75.2
Homework or other study
2 022.7
101.7
118.7
82.1
85.4
84.2

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2009.
(b) May not add to sum of components as some children participated in more than one activity.
(c) Outside of school hours during the two school weeks prior to interview in April 2009.
Source: ABS data available on request, survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, 2009.



CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN LEISURE ACTIVITIES

The leisure activities with the most noticeable differences in participation rates were skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter; art and craft; and bike riding. Proportionally, twice as many Australian-born children (51%) participated in skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter than children born in other countries (25%). There were similar participation rates for watching TV, videos or DVDs across the different birthplace groups.


PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL RECREATION BY ADULTS

The results from the Multi-Purpose Household Survey 2005-06 showed persons born in other countries had a lower rate of participation (52%) in sport and physical recreation than persons born in main English-speaking countries (72%) or persons born in Australia (68%). Of persons who participated in sport and physical recreation, a lower proportion of those born in other countries were frequent participants (participated 105 or more times in the previous 12 months) (44%) compared with those born in main English-speaking countries (55%) and Australian born (48%). No distinct differences in proportions of participants were recorded for all other categories of frequency of participation in sports and physical recreation.

Participants, Sport and physical recreation - By frequency in the last 12 months - 2005-06
Graph: Participants, Sport and physical recreation—By frequency in the last 12 months—2005–06



Main sports and physical recreation activities

Walking was the most popular activity for all birthplace groups with a quarter of the total population (24%) participating in this activity. Those born in main English-speaking countries had the highest rate of participation in walking for exercise (31%), whereas 20% of those born in other countries and 25% of people born in Australia participated in this activity. Other main activities for those born in other countries included aerobics/fitness, swimming, soccer (outdoor), golf, tennis and basketball. However, other than for soccer (outdoor) and basketball, the participation rates in these sports for those born in other countries were lower than those recorded for people born in Australia or in a main English-speaking country.

Participants, Selected sports and physical recreation activities - By country of birth - 2005-06

NUMBER ('000)
PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries

Walking for exercise
2 870.3
537.9
550.1
24.9
31.4
20.0
Aerobics/fitness
1 493.0
245.7
277.3
12.9
14.3
10.1
Swimming
1 035.4
204.7
207.2
9.0
11.9
7.5
Golf
664.5
121.0
90.0
5.8
7.1
3.3
Tennis
613.5
78.2
77.2
5.3
4.6
2.8
Netball
389.0
31.1
*10.9
3.4
1.8
*0.6
Soccer (outdoor)
293.3
35.0
91.3
2.5
2.0
3.3
Australian Rules football
254.6
*10.1
**4.0
2.2
*0.6
**0.1
Basketball
248.9
*20.5
62.1
2.2
*1.2
2.3
Gymnastics
82.6
*7.0
*13.7
0.7
*0.4
*0.5
Rugby League
81.2
**5.2
**4.8
0.7
**0.3
**0.2
Rugby Union
51.5
*17.8
**9.6
0.4
*1.0
**0.3

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
** estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use
Source: ABS data available on request, Multi-Purpose Household Survey, 2005-06.



ATTENDANCE AT SPORTING EVENTS

Results from the Multi-Purpose Household Survey 2005-06 showed that 44% of the population aged 15 years and over attended a sporting event or venue in the 12 months prior to interview. Proportionally more Australian born people (50%) attended sporting events compared with those born in main English-speaking countries (42%) and other countries (21%).

These differences are also highlighted in the attendance rates for different sporting events. Overall, the most popular sport attended by all birthplace groups was Australian Rules football with a participation rate of 19% for persons born in Australia, 12% for persons born in main English-speaking countries and 5.8% for person born in other countries. Just 3.7% of those born in other countries attended horse racing and 2.6% attended a motor sports event. In comparison, of those born in Australia, 15% and 11%, respectively, had attended these types of events.

Soccer (outdoor) was the only sport that was attended by a greater proportion of people born in other countries than the two other groups, with 4.3% and 4.0% respectively of those born in main English-speaking countries and other countries attending a soccer (outdoor) match compared with 3.3% of those born in Australia.

Sports attendance, Selected activities - By country of birth - 2005-06

NUMBER ('000)
ATTENDANCE RATE (%)
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries

Australian Rules football
2 166.5
201.6
158.6
18.8
11.8
5.8
Horse racing
1 698.9
203.0
101.7
14.7
11.8
3.7
Motor sports
1 286.8
127.5
70.9
11.2
7.4
2.6
Rugby League
1 258.8
133.7
93.9
10.9
7.8
3.4
Cricket (outdoor)
601.1
63.9
65.7
5.2
3.7
2.4
Rugby Union
516.7
130.2
35.1
4.5
7.6
1.3
Soccer (outdoor)
376.2
74.6
110.0
3.3
4.3
4.0
Harness racing
370.0
45.4
28.8
3.2
2.6
1.0
Tennis
211.9
30.0
*25.9
1.8
1.8
*0.9
Basketball
177.2
*26.2
*33.7
1.5
*1.5
*1.2

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
Source: ABS data available on request, Multi-Purpose Household Survey, 2005-06.



PERSONS INVOLVED IN NON-PLAYING ROLES FOR ORGANISED SPORT

The survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities conducted in April 2007, found that an estimated 1.6 million people (9.9%) aged 15 years and over were involved in non-playing roles such as coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member; scorer, timekeeper and other support roles. The participation rate those in a non-playing role for persons born in other countries was 3.2%, compared with 12% of Australian born and 9.1% of those born in a main English-speaking country.

Non-playing involvement was higher in all roles for people born in Australia. Persons born in main English-speaking countries had higher non-playing involvement in all roles when compared with persons born in other countries. For example, the proportion of each group involved as a committee member or administrator was 5.1%, 3.5% and 1.2% respectively for persons born in Australia, main English-speaking countries and other countries.

Persons with non-playing involvement in organised sport and physical activity, By role and country of birth - 2007

NUMBER ('000)
PARTICIPATION RATE (%)
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries
Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries

Coach, instructor or teacher
548.6
68.3
41.7
4.7
4.0
1.4
Referee or umpire
316.0
37.0
28.2
2.7
2.2
1.0
Committee member or administrator
587.6
60.8
34.2
5.1
3.5
1.2
Scorer or timekeeper
526.1
51.7
37.0
4.5
3.0
1.2
Provider of medical support
146.8
20.2
*11.2
1.3
1.2
*0.4
Other
77.6
*9.6
*8.4
0.7
*0.6
*0.3
Total persons with non-playing involvement(a)
1 369.5
157.0
93.8
11.8
9.1
3.2

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
(a) Components may not add to totals as some persons may have had involvement in more than one role.
Source: ABS data available on request, survey of Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, 2007.



SPORT VOLUNTEERS

Much of the involvement in organised sport and physical activity in a non-playing role is as a volunteer. However, volunteers for sport provide a wide range of support in addition to these defined roles. These services include fundraising; preparing and serving food; providing transport; administrative support; and repairs and maintenance.

Results from the 2006 General Social Survey showed that 1.7 million adults (11%) volunteered for a sport and recreation organisation. The majority (1.4 million or 85%) of these were born in Australia, representing a volunteer rate of 13%. In comparison, 9.9% of adults born in a main English-speaking country and 3.9% of those born in other countries volunteered for sport and recreation.

While first generation migrants had lower rates of volunteering for sport and recreation than those born in Australia, they did have similar volunteering rates for other organisations (those that were not sport and recreation organisations). The rates of volunteering for other organisations by people born in Australia, English-speaking countries or other countries were 23%, 24% and 22% respectively.

Sport and physical recreation and other volunteers, By country of birth - 2006

Born in Australia
Born in main English-speaking countries
Born in other countries
Total

NUMBER ('000)

Volunteers for:
Sport and recreation organisations only
810.4
79.7
*77.5
967.7
Sport and recreation and other organisations
638.0
77.7
29.3
745.1
Total sport and recreation organisations
1 448.5
157.5
106.8
1 712.8
Other organisations only
2 532.0
385.2
596.6
3 513.7
Total volunteers
3 980.5
542.7
703.4
5 226.5

VOLUNTEER RATE (%)

Volunteers for:
Sport and recreation organisations only
7.4
5.0
*2.9
6.3
Sport and recreation and other organisations
5.8
4.9
1.1
4.9
Total sport and recreation organisations
13.2
9.9
3.9
11.2
Other organisations only
23.0
24.2
22.0
23.0
Total volunteers
36.2
34.1
25.9
34.1

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
Source: ABS data available on request, General Social Survey, 2006.



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