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4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Mar 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/03/2011   
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Latest edition of Perspectives on Sport released January 2011

We all know that participating in sport is good for children's health and development and that Australia's sporting heroes are a source of inspiration to many, but what does it take for them to go from playing in the local junior team to competing at an international level?

Released in January as part of the latest edition of the Perspectives on Sport (cat. no. 4156.0.55.001) the article Australian Children Going for Gold: Children's Participation in Commonwealth Games Sports looks in detail at the participation of Australian children (aged 5 to 14 years) in five popular Commonwealth Games sports; swimming, athletics, gymnastics, rugby league and netball.

Using data from the 2009 survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0), the article looks at factors that may impact on a child's likelihood of participating in these sports.

In 2009, 63% of Australian children aged 5 to 14 years participated in organised sport or physical activity outside of school hours. Swimming was the most popular Commonwealth Games sport that children participated in with a participation rate of 19%. After swimming, rugby league was the second most popular sport for boys with a participation rate of 7%, while netball was the second most popular sport for girls after swimming, with a participation rate of 17%.

Also released in the latest edition of the Perspectives was Fit Figures: Physical Activity and Health in Australia. Using data from the 2007-08 ABS National Health Survey (cat. no. 4364.0). The article looks at people's physical activity and exercise levels in the context of their overall health and well-being.

Between 2001 and 2007-08 the proportion of people reporting a low or sedentary level of exercise increased from 69% to 72% while the proportion of adults in the normal Body Mass Index category decreased from 47% to 42% in 2007-08 and increased in the obese category from 16% to 21%.

The final article featured in the January 2011 edition of Perspectives on Sport was Australia Outplayed in Sporting Goods Trade Arena which looks at imports and exports of sports and physical recreation goods using data from the ABS publication International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0).

In 2008-09 most sports and physical recreation goods were imported into Australia from China with a total value of $791.9m. New Zealand was the main destination for sports and physical recreation goods exported from Australia with a total value of $108.9m.

The next edition of the Perspectives on Sport is due for release in June 2011.

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