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4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/11/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

November 17, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
131/99
Participation in organised sport grows - ABS

More Australians are participating in organised sport and physical activity, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Almost a third (30.3%) of people aged 18 years and over participated in a sport or physical activity organised by a club or association during the 12 months prior to interview in 1998-99. This is up from 26.5% in 1996-97 and 28.3% in 1997-98.

About three-fifths (59.4%) of all adult Australians participated in a sport or physical activity at least once during the year, whether organised by a club or association or not.

The two top participation activities were walking and swimming. For men, golf was the most popular (15.7% participating) while for women, walking (29.5%) was clearly the most popular activity. For each of these activities, non-organised participation exceeded that of organised participation.

Participation was greater for men (62.6%) than women (56.3%). This was true for all age groups and in all States and Territories.

Age was a key factor in determining whether people undertook sport or physical activity. Participation declined from 80.4% for the 18-24 year age group to 36.8% for those 65 years and over.

The Australian Capital Territory was the most active State or Territory overall, with 73.2% of persons involved in sport or physical activities, and this was true of all age groups. The least active State was South Australia with a participation rate of 56.9%.

Of those who participated in any sport or physical activity, 45.6% did so as members of a club or association whose primary focus was the activity concerned. Over 60% of these also participated in other sport or physical activities but not as club members.

Details can be found in Participation in Sport and Physical Activities (cat. no. 4177.0) available in all ABS bookshops. A summary of the main findings is available on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.

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