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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/02/2008   
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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 other 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 8,656 private sector organisations involved in the provision of sports and physical recreation services (table 14.24). The total income of these organisations for 2004-05 was $7,342.6m, while total expenses were $6,958.7m. At the end of June 2005, total employment was 100,468 assisted by 181,832 volunteers during the month of June. Of these volunteers, 18,126 (10.0%) assisted non-employing organisations.

14.24 SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION SERVICES - 2004-05

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)
Total

Businesses/organisations at 30 June
For profit no.
759
^777
872
. .
825
1 774
5 007
Not for profit no.
359
47
145
1 147
1 824
^127
3 649
Total no.
1 119
^824
1 016
1 147
2 649
1 900
8 656
Total employment at 30 June
Males no.
9 826
5 509
9 309
6 084
12 890
6 333
49 951
Females no.
6 719
11 362
10 005
4 535
9 326
8 571
50 518
Persons no.
16 544
16 871
19 314
10 619
22 216
14 904
100 468
Total volunteers during the month of June no.
3 457
^343
^2 031
^65 131
54 342
56 527
181 832
Total income(b) $m
1 556.3
679.4
1 109.8
1 531.0
1 884.1
582.0
7 342.6
Total expenses $m
1 515.5
649.4
1 020.3
1 461.7
1 815.1
496.6
6 958.7
Operating profit/surplus before tax(b)(c) $m
^41.3
^30.3
90.1
^70.9
70.6
^85.7
388.8

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
. . not applicable
(a) Includes sports services such as education and coaching.
(b) Includes capital funding.
(c) This item is derived as total income minus total expenses, plus closing inventories minus opening inventories.
Source: Sports and Physical Recreation Services, Australia (8686.0).

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%).

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 14.25). 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.

The ABS conducted a household survey in April 2004 to measure people's involvement in organised sports and physical activities over the previous 12 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 (table 14.26). 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.

14.25 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 (4148.0).


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

Some paid
involvement
(b)
Unpaid
involvement only
Total
involvements
Involvement
rate
(c)
2001
2004
2001
2004
2001
2004
2001
2004
Type of involvement
'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

* estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution
. . not applicable
(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 12 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 (6285.0).


Of the 4.3 million people involved in organised sport and physical activity, 895,800 (21.0%) 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 12 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 14.26). These data, and the figures in table 14.24, indicate how heavily reliant sports organisations are on the support of unpaid helpers.

A household survey, conducted by the ABS during March-July 2006, 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 a third (34.1%) of Australians aged 18 years and over (5.2 million people) undertook some form of voluntary work in the 12 months prior to interview in 2006. Sports and physical recreation organisations had the largest number of volunteers at 1.7 million, giving a volunteer rate of 11.2%. Although the overall volunteer rate for females (36.4%) was higher than for males (31.8%), the reverse was true for sports and physical recreation organisations with the male volunteer rate being 13.8% and the female 8.7%. The peak age group for volunteering for sports and physical recreation organisations was 45-49 year olds with a volunteer rate of 19.0%. The volunteer rate for these organisations was higher in the balance of the states (14.2%) than it was in the capital cities (9.5%). Higher rates of volunteering for these organisations were also associated with being employed (14.1%), being in a couple family with dependent children (17.9%), attending sporting events (17.4%) and participating in sports and physical recreation (15.9%).


Government 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 its website.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 websites.

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 website.

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 website.

Surveys of organisations (both private and public) providing sports and physical recreation services were conducted by the ABS in respect of 2004-05. It was found that the total funding provided by Commonwealth, state and local governments to these organisations was $1,563.6m - 17.7% of their combined total income ($8,820.5m). Of the funding provided by government, $695.1m went to Commonwealth, state and territory government organisations providing sports and physical recreation services, $480.8m funded local government organisations, $45.9m went to organisations operating to make a profit, and $341.8m funded organisations operating on a 'not-for-profit' basis. The amount of funding by type of sports and physical recreation service can be seen in table 14.27.

14.27 GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR ORGANISATIONS PROVIDING SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION SERVICES - 2004-05

Funding
Type of sports and physical recreation service organisation
$m

Sports and physical recreation venues(a)
^157.2
Sport and physical recreation administrative organisations
^188.1
Sports and physical recreation clubs, teams and sports professionals
25.2
Sports and physical recreation support services
17.1
Government organisations
Commonwealth, and state or territory
735.8
Local
440.1
Total
1 175.9
Total
1 563.6

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
(a) Includes health and fitness centres and gymnasia; and other sports and physical recreation venues, grounds and facilities.
Source: Sports and Physical Recreation Services, Australia (8686.0).

Participation by adults

The ABS conducted a household survey during the period July 2005 to June 2006 to measure participation in sports and physical recreation during the 12 months prior to interview. The survey included sports, such as football or netball, which are usually organised by a club or association. It also included other sports and physical recreation 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 2005-06 survey found 65.9% of the population aged 15 years and over (or 10.5 million people) participated as a player (rather than in a support role) at least once during the 12 months prior to interview in one or more sports or physical recreation activities (table 14.28). The participation rate was highest for the 25-34 year age group (75.1%), then declined steadily with age to 49.4% for persons aged 65 years and over. The overall participation rates for males and females were very similar. However, for the 42.7% (6.8 million) of the population who participated at least weekly (on average), female participation (44.2% or 3.6 million) was higher than male participation (40.9% or 3.2 million).

14.28 PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION(a)

Males
Females
Persons
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Age group (years)
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

15-17
307.8
77.3
302.8
72.1
610.5
74.6
18-24
735.2
73.3
671.3
71.8
1 406.4
72.6
25-34
1 054.5
76.3
1 033.9
74.0
2 088.3
75.1
35-44
975.4
66.7
1 035.9
69.1
2 011.2
68.0
45-54
871.8
63.5
923.4
65.7
1 795.2
64.6
55-64
670.1
60.4
716.3
64.6
1 386.5
62.5
65 and over
591.0
50.8
652.9
48.2
1 243.9
49.4
Total
5 205.7
66.0
5 336.4
65.7
10 542.1
65.9

(a) Relates to persons aged 15 years and over who participated in sports or physical recreation as a player at least once during the 12 months prior to interview in the 2005-06 survey.
Source: Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia (4177.0).

The 2005-06 survey found that the activities which attracted the most participants during the 12 months prior to interview were walking for exercise (4.0 million people), aerobics/fitness (2.0 million), swimming (1.4 million) and cycling (1.0 million).

For both males and females, the two most popular activities were walking and aerobics/fitness. Golf was the third most popular activity for males, while for females it was swimming. Table 14.29 shows the ten sports or physical recreation activities in which the most men participated and the ten in which the most women participated.

14.29 PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES(a)

Number
Participation rate
'000
%

MALES

Walking for exercise
1 298.6
16.5
Aerobics/fitness
744.5
9.4
Golf
695.6
8.8
Cycling
691.0
8.8
Swimming
633.3
8.0
Running
425.9
5.4
Tennis
389.5
4.9
Soccer (outdoor)
311.5
3.9
Cricket (outdoor)
309.7
3.9
Bush walking
248.1
3.1

FEMALES

Walking for exercise
2 659.7
32.8
Aerobics/fitness
1 271.5
15.7
Swimming
814.0
10.0
Netball
387.5
4.8
Tennis
379.4
4.7
Cycling
320.7
3.9
Bush walking
271.4
3.3
Running
255.4
3.1
Yoga
248.7
3.1
Golf
179.9
2.2

(a) Relates to persons aged 15 years and over who participated in sports or physical recreation as a player at least once during the 12 months prior to interview in the 2005-06 survey.
Source: Participation in Sports and Physical Recreation, Australia (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 14.30).


14.30 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

(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 (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 14.31), 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).
14.31 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
15.70
6 332.5

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



Participation by children

A survey of children's activities in the 12 months to April 2006 found 1.7 million children aged 5-14 years (63.5%) 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 nine years for girls. However, across all ages boys were more likely to participate than girls - the total participation rate was 68.9% for boys and 57.8% for girls (table 14.32 ). There was also a higher percentage of boys participating in more than one sport (36.6% of boys compared with 25.0% of girls).

14.32 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT(a) - 2006

Number
Participation rate
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
Age group (years)
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

5-8
332.1
268.2
600.3
62.6
53.2
58.0
9-11
308.0
259.4
567.4
74.2
65.9
70.2
12-14
301.2
222.2
523.4
71.5
55.5
63.7
Total
941.3
749.8
1 691.1
68.9
57.8
63.5

(a) Outside school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2006.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (4901.0).


Children in the Australian Capital Territory had the highest participation rate (70.9%) in organised sport outside school hours, while those in Tasmania had the lowest participation rate (59.3%).

The most popular organised sports for children in 2006 were swimming, which had a participation rate of 17.4%, and outdoor soccer with 13.2% (table 14.33). The organised sports that attracted most boys were outdoor soccer (19.6%), swimming (16.5%), and Australian Rules football (13.8%); whereas girls favoured swimming (18.2%), netball (17.3%), and tennis (6.6%). As might be expected, boys dominated participation in some sports while girls outnumbered them in others. Boys made up 96.5% of Rugby League players, 96.1% of outdoor cricket players, and 94.1% of Australian Rules footballers. On the other hand, 99.2% of netballers and 76.8% of gymnasts were girls.

Between April 2003 and April 2006, the sport participation rate rose from 54.2% to 57.8% for girls but remained steady at around 69% for boys.

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

2003
2006
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
%
%
%
%
%
%

Swimming
15.7
17.5
16.6
16.5
18.2
17.4
Soccer (outdoor)
22.2
4.2
13.4
19.6
6.4
13.2
Netball
0.6
18.1
9.1
*0.1
17.3
8.5
Australian Rules football
13.6
0.7
7.3
13.8
0.9
7.5
Tennis
9.5
7.8
8.6
8.0
6.6
7.3
Basketball
8.6
6.9
7.7
7.4
5.7
6.6
Cricket (outdoor)
9.1
0.7
5.0
10.1
*0.4
5.4
Martial arts
6.2
3.6
4.9
6.1
2.9
4.5
Rugby League
5.6
**0.1
2.9
7.9
*0.3
4.2
Gymnastics and trampolining
1.7
5.4
3.5
1.6
5.5
3.5
Athletics and track and field
3.8
3.8
3.8
2.6
3.2
2.9
Soccer (indoor)
1.9
0.4
1.2
3.3
1.1
2.2
Other organised sports
17.4
14.4
16.0
18.9
18.7
18.8
Total(c)
68.6
54.2
61.6
68.9
57.8
63.5

* 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
(a) Children aged 5-14 years who participated in organised sport outside school hours during the 12 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.
(c) Components do not add to totals because some children participated in more than one sport.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (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 12 months ended April 2006, there were 300,100 girls who participated in organised dancing outside school hours - a participation rate of 23.1%. The number of boys participating was 32,500 - a participation rate of only 2.4%. (table 14.34).

Besides organised sport and dancing, the survey of children's activities in April 2006 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 (73.4% and 29.2% respectively) participated than did girls (61.9% and 17.6%). However, participation by girls in bike riding was substantially higher in April 2006 than it had been in April 2003 - 61.9% compared with 53.3%.

14.34 CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES

2003
2006
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
'000
%
'000
%

MALES

Skateboarding or rollerblading
386.4
28.5
399.3
29.2
Bike riding(a)
957.4
70.5
1 003.0
73.4
Dancing(b)(c)
22.2
1.6
32.5
2.4

FEMALES

Skateboarding or rollerblading
218.2
16.9
228.5
17.6
Bike riding(a)
687.4
53.3
803.2
61.9
Dancing(b)(c)
307.1
23.8
300.1
23.1

PERSONS

Skateboarding or rollerblading
604.5
22.8
627.8
23.6
Bike riding(a)
1 644.8
62.1
1 806.2
67.8
Dancing(b)(c)
329.3
12.4
332.6
12.5

(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 12 months prior to interview in April.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (4901.0).

Attendance

Attending sports events (such as club matches and international competitions) is a popular pastime of many Australians. The ABS household survey conducted during the period July 2005 to June 2006 indicated 7.1 million people, or 44.3% of all people aged 15 years and over, attended a sporting event (excluding junior and school sport) at least once in the 12 months prior to interview. Men (51.9%) were more likely to have attended a sporting event than women (36.9%). Attendance rates were highest for men in the 25-34 year age group (62.1%) and women in the 18-24 year age group (52.6%). For both sexes, attendance then steadily declined with age. Among men aged 65 years and over, the attendance rate was 29.2%, while for women in this age group it was 17.5%.

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 14.35). Horse racing (2.0 million), Rugby League (1.5 million) and motor sports (1.5 million) also attracted large numbers of spectators.

14.35 ATTENDANCE AT SELECTED SPORTING EVENTS(a)

Number
Attendance rate(b)
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

Australian Rules football
1 515.5
1 011.3
2 526.7
19.2
12.5
15.8
Horse racing
1 091.5
912.2
2 003.7
13.8
11.2
12.5
Rugby League
943.8
542.6
1 486.4
12.0
6.7
9.3
Motor sports
1 023.1
462.1
1 485.2
13.0
5.7
9.3
Cricket (outdoor)
547.5
183.2
730.7
6.9
2.3
4.6
Rugby Union
449.6
232.4
682.0
5.7
2.9
4.3
Soccer (outdoor)
348.6
212.2
560.7
4.4
2.6
3.5
Harness racing
253.7
190.5
444.2
3.2
2.3
2.8
Tennis
104.3
163.5
267.9
1.3
2.0
1.7
Dog racing
139.7
85.2
224.8
1.8
1.0
1.4
Basketball
132.6
104.6
237.2
1.7
1.3
1.5
Netball
58.0
130.8
188.8
0.7
1.6
1.2

(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in the 2005-06 survey, by persons aged 15 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 (4174.0).





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