Sport and the wide range of other activities that people undertake in their leisure time are important features of the Australian lifestyle.
The sport and recreation sector involves more than just the people who attend or participate in activities. It includes organisations providing sports services, manufacturers and distributors of sports equipment, professional sports people, and other people who are involved in paid employment or voluntary work. Government and business also play an important role through the provision of facilities and support through grants and sponsorship.
This publication presents information covering not only sports and physical recreation, but also related other leisure activities such as gambling and those provided by hospitality clubs and amusement parks and centres. It presents an overview of the sector with information about how many people play sports; the most popular sports played; the numbers of people attending sporting events; how much people spend on sport and recreation; the economic activity of businesses, clubs and associations involved in providing sport and recreation goods and services; the people who work in sport and recreation occupations or industries; and the levels of support provided by volunteers, sponsorship and government funding.
The decisions about which data to include in this publication were guided by the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC). This contains classifications for culture and leisure industries, products and occupations and has helped guide the separation of data concerning Sports and physical recreation from that relating to Other leisure.
ABS data relating to industry, products and occupation are compiled using ABS standard classifications. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is used in ABS collections relating to industry, and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Product Classification (ANZSPC) is the basis for classifications used in the collection of product-related data. Some sports industry data has recently been output in accordance with the ACLC and, when presenting information about products, the ACLC has been used as a guide to decide which are sports and physical recreation and which are other leisure. Inclusions of data in, and exclusions of data from, tables in this publication have been explained in the body of the text where appropriate.
The Australian Standard Classification of Occupations is used for collection of ABS occupation data. This classification is completely aligned with the ACLC and thus occupation data is presented in accordance with the ACLC occupation classification.
ABS data relating to participation in sport and physical activity, time spent on sport and outdoor activities, and sport attendance are obtained from a variety of data collections. Each collection may define sports and physical recreation activities in different ways because there is no standard classification for these activities. Nevertheless, the principles underlying the ACLC have provided a guide for the development of some of the collections, and for the data included in this publication. Where there are inconsistencies or differences between the data collections, these have been highlighted in the text.