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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2007   
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Contents >> Culture and Recreation >> Sports and physical recreation

SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION

INDUSTRY

Australia is recognised internationally as a nation that is very much involved in sport. It is widely accepted that there are many benefits associated with participation in sport and physical activity including enjoyment, social interaction, health, personal achievement, national pride and community involvement. In many ways sport unites and personifies the nation. Interestingly, Australians were competing internationally as 'Australia' even before Australia was federated as a nation.

Surveys of businesses (and government organisations) providing sports and physical recreation services were conducted by the ABS in respect of 2004-05. At the end of June 2005 there were 9,256 organisations involved in the provision of sports and physical recreation services (table 12.23). This number consisted of 8,191 employing organisations, and 1,064 with no employees. Together, the employing and non-employing organisations had a total income of $8,820.5m and expenses of $8,416.5m. Employing organisations accounted for 97.0% and 97.5% of these amounts respectively. Total employment at the end of June was 111,519 assisted by 181,832 volunteers during the month of June. Of these volunteers, 18,126 (10.0%) assisted non-employing organisations.

While 42.2% of the private-sector organisations were 'not for profit', these were mainly concentrated in sports administration, where all 1,147 organisations operated on a not-for-profit basis; and in sports clubs, where 1,824 (68.9%) were not for profit. The highest proportions of organisations operating for profit occurred in the categories of health and fitness centres and gymnasia (94.3%), and other sports services (93.4%).


12.23 SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION SERVICES - 2004-05

Units
Horse
and
dog
racing
Health
and
fitness
centres
and
gymnasia
Other
sports
and
physical
recreation
venues
Sports
and
physical
recreation
administration
Sports
and physical
recreation
clubs,
teams and
professionals
Other
sports
services(a)
Govt.
organis-
ations(b)
Total

Businesses/organisations
at 30 June
For profitno.
759
^777
872
. .
825
1,774
. .
5,007
Not for profitno.
359
47
145
1,147
1,824
^127
. .
3,649
Governmentno.
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
600
600
Totalno.
1,119
^824
1,016
1,147
2,649
1,900
600
9,256
Total employment at
30 June
Malesno.
9,826
5,509
9,309
6,084
12,890
6,333
n.a.
(c)49,951
Femalesno.
6,719
11,362
10,005
4,535
9,326
8,571
n.a.
(c)50,518
Personsno.
16,544
16,871
19,314
10,619
22,216
14,904
11,051
111,519
Total volunteers during
the month of June
no.
3,457
^343
^2,031
^65,131
54,342
56,527
. .
181,832
Total income(d)$m
1,556.3
679.4
1,109.8
1,531.0
1,884.1
582.0
1,477.9
8,820.5
Total expenses$m
1,515.5
649.4
1,020.3
1,461.7
1,815.1
496.6
1,457.8
8,416.5
Operating profit/surplus
before tax(d)(e)
$m
^41.3
^30.3
90.1
^70.9
70.6
^85.7
. .
388.8

(a) Includes sports services such as education and coaching.
(b) For Government organisations, only income and expenditure related to sports and physical recreation services were included, and only employees who spent the majority of their time on sports and physical recreation related activities were included.
(c) Excludes Government organisations.
(d) Includes capital funding.
(e) This item is derived as total income minus total expenses, plus closing inventories minus opening inventories.
Source: Sports and Physical Recreation Services, Australia, 2004-05 (8686.0).


At least 57% of the employees in sports administration, sports clubs, and horse and dog racing were male. Health and fitness centres and gymnasia had the highest level of female employment, both in absolute terms (11,362) and as a percentage of people employed (67.3%).

Organisations in the categories of sports administration, sports clubs and other sports services were the most likely to make use of volunteer labour. Together, they accounted for 96.8% of the 181,832 volunteers assisting organisations providing sports and physical recreation services. For these three categories, volunteers outnumbered employees by over three and a half to one overall. However, for the remaining three categories, employees outnumbered volunteers by nine to one overall.

The main sources of income for each category of sports and physical recreation service were:

horse and dog racing - net industry and TAB distributions (44.3% of total income) and training fees (13.6%)
health and fitness centres and gymnasia - membership and competition fees (78.8%) and casual playing fees (6.8%)
other sports and physical recreation venues - casual playing fees (19.5%) and membership and competition fees (16.7%)
sports administration - television and other broadcasting rights (16.7%) and sponsorship, fundraising and donations (16.2%)
sports clubs - sponsorship, fundraising and donations (22.4%) and membership and competition fees (19.1%)
other sports services - coaching, training and instructing (55.9%) and casual playing fees (15.6%).

EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER INVOLVEMENT

The 2001 Census of Population and Housing provides information on the number and characteristics of people aged 15 years and over whose main job in the week prior to the Census was in a sports and physical recreation occupation. People who had unpaid involvement in sports and physical recreation activities and people who worked in sports and physical recreation as a ‘second job’ were not recorded as being in sports and physical recreation occupations, unless their main job (in terms of hours worked) was also a sports and physical recreation occupation.

The 2001 Census found that in August 2001, 83,008 people (1.0% of all employed persons) had their main (paid) job in a sports and physical recreation occupation. This is a 21.6% increase from 1996 when 68,274 people (0.9%) had their main job in a sports and physical recreation occupation, and compares with an 8.7% increase for all occupations.

Of those employed in a sports and physical recreation occupation in August 2001, fitness instructors (12,364 persons) and greenkeepers (11,928 persons) were prominent (table 12.24). There were more males (50,113 or 60.4%) than females (32,895 or 39.6%) employed in sports and physical recreation occupations. By comparison, of all employed persons, 54.8% were male.


12.24 PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION OCCUPATIONS(a) - 2001

Occupation
Males
Females
Persons

Fitness instructor(b)
3,685
8,679
12,364
Greenkeeper(c)
11,637
291
11,928
Veterinarian
2,975
2,032
5,007
Veterinary nurse
121
4,737
4,858
Recreation officer
1,035
2,807
3,842
Stud hand or stable hand
1,626
1,867
3,493
Boat builder and repairer(d)
3,153
60
3,213
Ticket collector or usher
1,576
1,624
3,200
Animal trainer(e)
2,251
875
3,126
Other sports coach(f)
1,991
887
2,878

(a) The ten sports and physical recreation occupations in which the highest numbers of persons employed had their main jobs.
(b) Comprises Fitness instructors and related workers n.f.d. and Fitness instructor.
(c) Comprises Greenkeepers n.f.d., Greenkeeper and Apprentice greenkeeper.
(d) Comprises Boat builder and repairer, and Apprentice boat builder and repairer.
(e) Comprises Animal trainers n.f.d., Horse trainer and Animal trainers n.e.c.
(f) Coaches for all sports other than gymnastics, tennis, swimming and horseriding.
Source: Employment in Sport and Recreation, Australia, 2001 (4148.0).


The ABS conducted a household survey in April 2004 to measure people's involvement in organised sports and physical activities over the previous twelve months. In the year ended April 2004, 4.3 million people (27.2% of all people aged 15 years and over) were involved in sport and physical activity organised by a club, association or other organisation. This involvement included not only players and participants, but also people involved in non-playing roles that support, arrange and/or run organised sport and physical activity. There were 1.5 million people (9.6% of all people aged 15 years and over) who were involved as coaches, referees, administrators, scorers or in other non-playing roles.

Of the 4.3 million people involved in organised sport and physical activity, 895,800 (21.0% of those involved) were both a player and involved in at least one non-playing role. Of the 1.5 million people with non-playing involvement, 32.8% participated in more than one non-playing role. In all, these 1.5 million people had 2.2 million involvements in non-playing roles in the twelve months prior to interview.

Of the 3.7 million players, 87,700 (2.4%) received some payment (in dollars and/or goods and services) for their involvement and, of the 2.2 million non-playing involvements, 267,100 (11.9%) attracted some payment (table 12.25). These data, and the figures in table 12.23, indicate how heavily reliant sports organisations are on the support of unpaid helpers.


12.25 PERSONS INVOLVED IN ORGANISED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES(a)

Type of involvement
Some paid involvement(b)
Unpaid involvement only
Total involvements
Involvement rate(c)




2001
2004
2001
2004
2001
2004
2001
2004
’000
’000
'000
’000
’000
’000
%
%

Playing
88.1
87.7
3,428.3
3,580.5
3,516.4
3,668.2
23.5
23.4
Non-playing roles
Coach, instructor or teacher
105.8
122.1
452.6
472.3
558.4
594.5
3.7
3.8
Referee or umpire
69.5
78.6
270.5
256.8
340.0
335.4
2.3
2.1
Committee member or administrator
24.3
21.6
570.7
552.8
595.0
574.4
4.0
3.7
Scorer or timekeeper
*14.6
16.7
439.1
496.3
453.7
513.0
3.0
3.3
Medical support
*11.9
14.1
78.2
90.4
90.1
104.5
0.6
0.7
Other involvement
*7.3
14.0
79.8
113.9
87.1
127.9
0.6
0.8
Total non-playing involvements(d)
233.5
267.1
1,890.9
1,982.6
2,124.3
2,249.6
. .
. .
Total involvements(d)
321.6
354.8
5,319.2
5,563.0
5,640.8
5,917.8
. .
. .
Total persons with involvement(d)
264.0
297.9
3,795.2
3,971.9
4,059.1
4,269.8
27.1
27.2

(a) Relates to persons aged 15 years and over who were involved in sport or physical activity organised by a club, association or other organisation in the twelve months prior to interview in April 2004.
(b) Includes those who were paid for all or some of their involvement. Payment includes payment in dollars and/or goods and services.
(c) Refers to the number of persons involved in organised sport and physical activity, expressed as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 years and over.
(d) The total number of involvements is greater than the corresponding total number of persons because each person can have more than one involvement.
Source: Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, April 2001 and April 2004 (6285.0).


A household survey, conducted by the ABS during March-July 2002, collected information on the types of organisations, clubs and associations to which people provided unpaid help in the form of time, services or skills. The survey found that just over one-third (5.0 million) of Australians aged 18 years and over undertook some form of voluntary work in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002. Sport, recreation and hobby organisations had the largest number of volunteers at 1.8 million, giving a volunteer rate of 12.1%. Although the overall volunteer rate for females (35.1%) was higher than for males (33.7%), the reverse was true for sport, recreation and hobby organisations with the male volunteer rate being 15.1% and the female 9.2%. The peak age group for volunteering for sport, recreation and hobby organisations was 40-44 year olds with a volunteer rate of 18.9%. The volunteer rate for these organisations was higher in the balance of the states (15.6%) than it was in the capital cities (10.2%). Higher rates of volunteering for these organisations were also associated with being employed (15.4%), being in a couple family with dependent children (17.8%), attending sporting events (19.3%) and participating in organised sport (25.6%).

GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE SUPPORT

Governments of all levels play an important role in the development of sport and physical recreation in Australia at both the elite and grassroots levels. The functions of some government (and non-government) national administrative bodies are described below.

The Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council (SRMC) provides a forum for cooperation and coordination between the Australian Government and state and territory governments on matters relating to the development of sport and recreation. The governments of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are also represented on SRMC. Its membership comprises government ministers with prime responsibility for sport and recreation. The Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS) comprises representatives of the relevant ministers' departments and the Australian Sports Commission, and provides advice and administrative support to SRMC. A subcommittee of SCORS is the SCORS Research Group which provides a coordinated and collaborative approach to the collection and analysis of national sport and recreation data. More information about its operations and statistical output can be found on the web site.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is the Australian Government agency responsible for the funding and development of sport at the national level. The ASC supports a wide range of programs designed to develop sporting excellence and increase participation in sports by all Australians. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a major program within the ASC and is responsible for developing elite sport on a national basis with a particular focus on success at the international level. More information about the ASC and AIS can be obtained from their web sites.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) was established in March 2006 and reports to the Minister for Art and Sport. Its mission is to protect Australia's sporting integrity through the elimination of doping. ASADA is an integrated anti-doping organisation with testing, education and advocacy roles. It replaces the Australian Sports Drug Agency, and incorporates the functions of the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee. More information about ASADA can be obtained from its web site.

Individual sports in Australia are managed and coordinated by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), each managing the participation in, and development of, a specific sport. Many NSOs receive funding from the ASC. More information about most NSOs can be obtained from the Australian Sports Directory on the ASC web site.

The total expenditure by all three levels of government on sport and recreation activities in 2000-01 was $2,124.2m. Of this, Australian (Commonwealth) Government expenditure was $198.9m (9.4% of the total), while state and territory governments spent $875.2m (41.2%) and local governments spent $1,050.1m (49.4%) (table 12.26). The recurrent expenditure component ($1,585.5m) of total government expenditure on sport and recreation activities was much larger than the capital expenditure component ($538.6m).


12.26 GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR SPORT AND RECREATION - 2000-01

Category
Level of government

Commonwealth
State and territory
Local
Total
$m
$m
$m
$m

Administration and regulation
Administration, policy and planning
29.8
74.2
37.3
141.2
Regulation and control
39.7
20.3
4.6
64.6
Total
69.5
94.4
41.9
205.8
Venues, grounds and facilities
Venues and sports grounds(a)
14.5
185.8
410.1
610.5
Recreation parks and waterways
-
94.4
587.4
681.8
Total
14.5
280.2
997.5
1,292.2
Participation and special events
Participation by clubs, teams and individuals
2.4
67.0
6.5
75.9
Special events(b)
77.0
374.9
-
451.9
Total
79.4
441.9
6.5
527.8
Other services
Horse and dog racing
-
22.5
n.a.
n.a.
Coaching and training
24.4
26.5
n.a.
n.a.
Other support services
11.2
9.6
n.a.
n.a.
Total
35.5
58.6
4.2
98.4
Total
198.9
875.2
1,050.1
2,124.2

(a) Includes funding for Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games venues.
(b) Includes funding for Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, excluding venues.
Source: Sport and Recreation Funding by Government, Australia, 2000-01 (4147.0).


An ABS survey of businesses found that, during 2000-01, they gave $1,447m to organisations and individuals, of which those involved in sport and recreation activities (which included the operation of sporting events, clubs and teams; indoor or outdoor recreational facility operations; social, leisure and hobby club activities; and recreational parks and gardens operations) received $628m (43%). This comprised $480m of sponsorship, $109m of donations and $39m of 'business to community projects' funding. Activities associated with sport and recreation attracted the most business sponsorship funding compared with the other activities surveyed, namely community service and welfare, arts and culture, health, education and training, and environmental activities.

PARTICIPATION BY ADULTS

The ABS conducted a household survey during March-July 2002 to measure participation in sports and physical activities during the twelve months prior to interview. The survey included sports or physical activities such as football or netball, which are usually organised by a club or association. It also included other sports and physical activities which may not have been organised, such as walking for exercise. Consequently, participation in swimming, for example, included people who swam for recreation at the beach, those who swam competitively as part of a team, and those who swam laps at the local pool for exercise.

The survey found 62.4% of the population aged 18 years and over (or 9.1 million people) participated as a player (rather than in a support role) at least once during the twelve-month period in one or more sports or physical activities (table 12.27). Participation rates were highest for the 18-24 year age group (72.6%), and declined steadily with age to 45.6% for persons aged 65 years and over. More males (65.0%) than females (59.9%) participated at least once during the year. However, for the 38.6% (5.6 million) of the population who participated at least weekly (on average) during this period, female participation (38.7% or 2.8 million) was virtually the same as for males (38.6% or 2.8 million).


12.27 PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES(a) - 2002

Age group (years)
Males
Females
Persons



Number
Participation
rate
Number
Participation
rate
Number
Participation
rate
’000
%
’000
%
’000
%

18-24
751.6
77.6
630.5
67.4
1,382.1
72.6
25-34
1,098.3
75.5
988.2
68.0
2,086.5
71.8
35-44
994.1
68.1
915.8
62.2
1,909.9
65.1
45-54
771.5
58.3
799.7
60.5
1,571.2
59.4
55-64
533.2
56.1
557.4
59.7
1,090.7
57.9
65 and over
516.0
50.6
500.0
41.3
1,016.0
45.6
Total
4,664.7
65.0
4,391.6
59.9
9,056.3
62.4

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over who participated in sport or physical activity as a player at least once during the twelve months prior to interview.
Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002 (4177.0).


The 2002 survey found that the activities which attracted the most participants were walking for exercise (3.7 million people), swimming (1.6 million), aerobics/fitness (1.6 million), golf (1.1 million) and tennis (1.0 million).

The most popular activities for men were walking and golf while, for women, walking and aerobics/fitness were most popular. Table 12.28 shows the ten sports or physical activities in which the most men participated and the ten in which the most women participated.


12.28 ADULT PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES(a) - 2002

Number
Participation rate
’000
%

MALES

Walking for exercise
1,255.2
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 sport or physical activity as a player at least once during the twelve months prior to interview.
Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002 (4177.0).


The 2004-05 National Health Survey conducted by the ABS found almost two-thirds (65.9%) of all adults had exercised for recreation, sport or fitness during the two weeks prior to interview, and the proportions of males and females exercising were similar. However, females were more likely to exercise at a lower level than males. The percentage of females exercising at a low level was 39.2% compared with 33.3% of males, whereas 8.3% of males exercised at a high level compared with 4.3% of females (table 12.29).


12.29 EXERCISE LEVEL(a)(b)

2001
2004-05


Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
%
%
%
%
%
%

Sedentary
30.9
32.2
31.6
33.6
34.4
34.1
Low
34.1
41.5
37.8
33.3
39.2
36.3
Moderate
26.2
22.4
24.2
24.8
22.0
23.3
High
8.8
3.9
6.3
8.3
4.3
6.3
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over during the two weeks prior to interview in the year shown.
(b) This table contains age-standardised percentages, which are those which would have prevailed should the actual populations for the two reference periods both have the standard age composition. The standard population used is the estimated resident population at 30 June 2001 based on the 2001 Census of Population and Housing. Such standardisation enables comparison over time or across population groups.
Source: National Health Survey: Summary of Results, Australia, 2004-05 (4364.0).


Almost half (49.3%) the adult population reported that they walked for exercise - 53.7% of females and 44.7% of males. Males were more likely to have undertaken vigorous exercise in the last two weeks - 18.0% compared with 11.4% of females.


Regular surveys of household expenditure are conducted by the ABS, most recently in respect of 2003-04. Findings from this survey showed households spent, on average, $15.70 per week on sports and physical recreation products (table 12.30), which was 1.8% of their average weekly expenditure on all products. Of the $7.57 spent weekly on equipment, $3.41 went on swimming pools and $1.14 on sports or physical recreation footwear. Major components of the $7.02 spent on services were sports facility hire charges ($2.30) and health and fitness studio charges ($1.44).


12.30 EXPENDITURE ON SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION BY HOUSEHOLDS - 2003-04

Average weekly
household expenditure
Total annual
household expenditure
$
$m

Sports and recreation vehicles(a)
1.11
447.7
Sports, physical recreation and camping equipment
7.57
3,053.3
Sports and physical recreation services
7.02
2,831.5
Total sports and physical recreation expenditure
15.70
6,332.5

(a) This category consists of bicycles and boats.
Source: ABS data available on request, 2003-04 Household Expenditure Survey.


PARTICIPATION BY CHILDREN

A survey of children's activities in the twelve months to April 2003 found 1.6 million children aged 5-14 years (61.6%) participated outside school hours in sport that had been organised by a school, club or association.

Participation in organised sport peaked at the age of ten years for boys and eleven years for girls. However, across all ages boys were more likely to participate than girls - the total participation rate was 68.6% for boys and 54.2% for girls (table 12.31). There was also a higher percentage of boys participating in more than one sport (35.2% of boys compared with 22.9% of girls).


12.31 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT(a) - 2003

Number
Participation rate


Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
Age group (years)
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

5-8
339.6
238.0
577.6
63.4
46.9
55.4
9-11
305.1
239.7
544.9
73.8
61.1
67.6
12-14
287.1
220.8
507.9
70.3
56.6
63.6
Total
931.9
698.5
1,630.4
68.6
54.2
61.6

(a) Outside school hours during the twelve months prior to interview in April 2003.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2003 (4901.0).


Children in Western Australia had the highest participation rate (65.8%) in organised sport outside school hours, while those in Queensland had the lowest participation rate (54.1%).

The most popular organised sports for children in 2003 were swimming, which had a participation rate of 16.6%, and outdoor soccer with 13.4%. The organised sports that attracted most boys were outdoor soccer (22.2%), swimming (15.7%), and Australian Rules football (13.6%); whereas girls favoured netball (18.1%), swimming (17.5%), and tennis (7.8%) (table 12.32). As might be expected, boys dominated participation in some sports while girls outnumbered them in others. Boys made up 98.8% of Rugby League players, 95.1% of Australian Rules footballers, and 93.0% of outdoor cricket players. On the other hand, 96.6% of netballers and 75.6% of gymnasts were girls.

Between April 2000 and April 2003, the sport participation rates rose for both boys and girls. For girls, this resulted mainly from significant increases in participation in outdoor soccer, martial arts and gymnastics. For boys, it was significant increases in participation in outdoor soccer and swimming which were the main contributors. One sport going against the general upward movement in participation was Rugby League. Between April 2000 and April 2003, participation by boys dropped significantly from 6.8% to 5.6%.


12.32 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORTS(a), Participation rates(b)

2000
2003


Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
%
%
%
%
%
%

Swimming
13.1
15.8
14.4
15.7
17.5
16.6
Soccer (outdoor)
19.6
2.9
11.4
22.2
4.2
13.4
Netball
*0.5
18.2
9.1
0.6
18.1
9.1
Tennis
9.2
7.7
8.5
9.5
7.8
8.6
Basketball
8.8
6.3
7.6
8.6
6.9
7.7
Australian Rules football
12.6
*0.3
6.6
13.6
0.7
7.3
Cricket (outdoor)
9.9
0.6
5.3
9.1
0.7
5.0
Martial arts
5.4
2.5
4.0
6.2
3.6
4.9
Athletics and track and field
3.9
4.0
3.9
3.8
3.8
3.8
Gymnastics and trampolining
0.9
4.3
2.6
1.7
5.4
3.5
Rugby League
6.8
*0.2
3.6
5.6
**0.1
2.9
Hockey
2.3
2.5
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.5
Other organised sports
15.9
12.2
14.1
17.1
12.7
15.0
Total
66.1
52.3
59.4
68.6
54.2
61.6

(a) Children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised sport outside school hours during the twelve months prior to interview in April.
(b) A participation rate is the number of children who participated, expressed as a percentage of the number of children in that population group.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2003 (4901.0).


Although boys had the higher participation rate in organised sport, girls had a much higher participation rate than boys in another form of organised physical activity - dancing. During the twelve months ended April 2003, 307,100 girls participated in organised dancing outside school hours - a participation rate of 23.8%. The number of boys participating was 22,200 - a participation rate of only 1.6%. Participation by boys was little different to the level recorded in 2000 whereas, for girls, the participation rate increased from 19.5% to 23.8% over the same period (table 12.33).

Besides organised sport and dancing, the survey of children's activities in April 2003 also asked about participation in a couple of non-organised physical recreation activities - bike riding and skateboarding/rollerblading. For both activities, a considerably higher percentage of boys (70.5% and 28.5% respectively) participated than did girls (53.3% and 16.9%).

Between April 2000 and April 2003, there was a small but significant drop in bike riding by girls with the participation rate falling from 56.2% to 53.3%. For boys there was little change over the same period. However, for skateboarding or rollerblading, the participation rates for both boys and girls fell substantially. For boys, the fall was from 35.6% to 28.5% while, for girls, it was from 26.1% to 16.9%. This result suggests a fall in the popularity of these largely youth-oriented activities but does not necessarily imply that children's leisure activities have become more sedentary over the period, as they may have increased their participation in either organised sport or other active leisure pursuits not covered by the survey.


12.33 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES

2000
2003


Number
Participation
rate
Number
Participation
rate
'000
%
'000
%

MALES

Skateboarding or rollerblading(a)
481.6
35.6
386.4
28.5
Bike riding(a)
963.1
71.1
957.4
70.5
Dancing(b)(c)
22.9
1.7
22.2
1.6

FEMALES

Skateboarding or rollerblading(a)
335.8
26.1
218.2
16.9
Bike riding(a)
723.0
56.2
687.4
53.3
Dancing(b)(c)
251.1
19.5
307.1
23.8

PERSONS

Skateboarding or rollerblading(a)
817.4
30.9
604.5
22.8
Bike riding(a)
1,686.1
63.8
1,644.8
62.1
Dancing(b)(c)
274.1
10.4
329.3
12.4

(a) Relates to children aged 5-14 years who participated in this non-organised activity outside school hours during the last two weeks prior to interview in April.
(b) Although actually a cultural activity, dancing is included here because of the physical exertion it requires.
(c) Relates to children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised dancing (lessons or performances) outside school hours during the twelve months prior to interview in April.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2003 (4901.0).


ATTENDANCE

Attending sports events (such as club matches and international competitions) is a popular pastime of many Australians. An ABS household survey conducted in March-July 2002 indicated seven million people, or 48% of all people aged 18 years and over, attended a sporting event (excluding junior and school sport) at least once in the previous twelve months. Men (56%) were more likely to have attended a sporting event than women (41%). For both men and women, attendance rates were highest for the 18-24 year age group (70% and 59% respectively) and steadily declined with age. Among men aged 65 years and over, the attendance rate was 27%, while for women in this age group it was 16%.

The sport with the highest attendance was Australian Rules football - 2.5 million people attended this sport on at least one occasion during the year (table 12.34). Horse racing (1.9 million), motor sports (1.5 million) and Rugby League (1.5 million) were also among the most attended sports.


12.34 ATTENDANCE AT SELECTED SPORTING EVENTS(a) - 2002

Number
Attendance rate(b)


Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
’000
’000
’000
%
%
%

Australian Rules football
1,503.9
982.0
2,486.0
21.0
13.4
17.1
Horse racing
1,062.6
802.6
1,865.2
14.8
11.0
12.9
Motor sports
993.3
480.1
1,473.4
13.8
6.6
10.2
Rugby League
951.4
513.2
1,464.6
13.3
7.0
10.1
Cricket (outdoor)
635.2
231.0
866.2
8.9
3.2
6.0
Soccer (outdoor)
519.3
282.6
801.9
7.2
3.9
5.5
Rugby Union
469.7
203.9
673.6
6.5
2.8
4.6
Harness racing
318.9
189.4
508.3
4.4
2.6
3.5
Basketball
226.0
208.4
434.4
3.1
2.8
3.0
Tennis
192.5
201.0
393.5
2.7
2.7
2.7
Dog racing
150.7
81.6
232.3
2.1
1.1
1.6
Netball
66.9
152.8
219.7
0.9
2.1
1.5

(a) Attendance at least once in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002 by persons aged 18 years and over.
(b) The number of people who attended, expressed as a percentage of the number of people in that population group.
Source: Sports Attendance, Australia, 2002 (4174.0).


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