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4156.0.55.001 - Perspectives on Sport, June 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2011   
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STATS & FACTS SPORTING FACILITIES


INTRODUCTION

Participating in sport and physical recreation has many associated benefits, including increasing fitness levels, improving health, and enhancing a person's overall sense of wellbeing. There are a number of factors that may influence whether people choose to participate, with one of these being having access to the right kind of facilities.

This Stats & Facts sheet will present information on the facilities used by different people participating in sports and physical recreation activities.

For the purpose of this Stats & Facts sheet, the sporting facilities below will be referred to as the following:

      Home - Own home or someone else's home
      Structured facilities - Structured facilities, such as fitness centre or gym, public swimming pool or courts
      Sports grounds - Facilities such as sports grounds, ovals or playing fields
      Other outdoor - Facilities such as parks, walking trails or a beach
      Other - Other facilities

The term 'facilities used' applies to all activities that a person participated in. Participants may have used more than one type of facility for each activity.


AGE

A person's age may influence the kind of sport or physical recreation activity that they participate in, and therefore the type of facility they use:
  • 62% of people aged between 15 to 17 years used sports grounds, ovals or playing fields for their physical activity.
  • The use of structured facilities, such as fitness centres or gyms, public swimming pools or courts decreased as age increased, with only 40% of people aged 65 years and over reporting that they had used them during 2009-10.
  • Other outdoor facilities, such as parks, walking trails or the beach were the most popular facilities used by people in the middle and older age groups, particularly those aged between 55 to 64 years (66%), 45 to 54 years (65%), and 35 and 44 years (62%).
  • For people aged 65 years and over, other outdoor facilities were the most popular facilities used (57%), which could be because of the flexibility in undertaking physical activity in these settings and the popularity of activities, such as walking for exercise, with this age group.
PARTICIPANTS, Sport and physical recreation (a), Facilities used, By age - 2009-10
Graph: PARTICIPANTS, Sport and physical recreation (a), Facilities used, By age—2009–10



ORGANISED AND NON-ORGANISED ACTIVITIES

Due to their nature, organised sports and physical recreation activities tend to take place at structured facilities as opposed to non-organised activities, where an individual has more control over the facility they prefer to use and which best suits them:
  • 21% of people who participated in non-organised only sport and physical recreation used their own home or someone else's home.
  • Nine percent of people who were involved in organised sport only used their own home or someone else's.
  • Most people who were involved in organised activities only used structured facilities such as fitness centres and gyms, public swimming pools or courts (65%), and sports grounds such as ovals and playing fields (42%), compared with people who were involved in non-organised activities only (38% and 17% respectively). This may be due to the scheduled nature of gym classes, swimming lessons or training sessions held at these facilities.
  • 78% of people who participated in both organised and non-organised activities used structured facilities such as fitness centres or gyms, and public swimming pools or courts.
  • Other outdoor facilities such as parks, walking trails or the beach were mostly used by people involved in non-organised only activities (65%) and both organised and non-organised activities (68%).
PARTICIPANTS, Sport and physical recreation (a), Facilities used, by type of participation - 2009-10
Graph: PARTICIPANTS, Sport and physical recreation (a), Facilities used, by type of participation—2009–10



SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION ACTIVITIES

In 2009-10, walking for exercise was the most popular physical recreation activity:
  • 88% of those who took part in walking for exercise used other outdoor facilities such as paths, parks, walking trails, and the beach.
  • The 22% who used their own home or someone else's home for walking could possibly be using equipment, such as a treadmill for exercise.
  • 29% of people who walked for exercise were doing so in a structured facility such as a fitness centre or a gym, which could imply that people use gym equipment, such as a treadmill, for walking.

Personal training in aerobics and fitness activities is popular in outdoor settings:
  • 45% percent of people who participated in some form of aerobics/fitness/gym activity used other outdoor facilities such as parks, walking trails or a beach.
  • A high proportion (86%) used structured facilities such as fitness centres or gyms, or public swimming pools or courts.

Jogging/running can be performed in a range of settings whether it be on a running track, or using equipment within a gym or fitness centre:
  • 88% of people used other outdoor facilities such as parks, walking trails, or the beach for jogging/running.
  • 59% used structured facilities such as fitness centres or gyms.
  • Interestingly, 48% who took part in jogging/running used sports grounds such as ovals or playing fields.

Participating in cycling/BMXing is not only confined to outdoor bike trails:
  • 25% of people who participated in cycling/BMXing used their own home or someone else's, indicating that people may cycle on equipment within their own home.
  • 52% used structured facilities such as gyms or fitness centres for cycling/BMXing, which indicates that those cycling may be using an exercise bike in a gym.
  • The highest proportion of people (88%) used other outdoor facilities such as parks, walking trails, or the beach for cycling/BMXing.
PARTICIPANTS, Facilities used (a), Selected sports - 2009-10
Graph: PARTICIPANTS, Facilities used (a), Selected sports—2009–10



FURTHER INFORMATION

The 2009-10 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey of Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation (cat. no. 4177.0) collects data about the characteristics of persons aged 15 years and over who participated in sport and physical recreation activities and the facilities they used. People who were involved in non-playing roles, such as coaches, umpires or club officials, were excluded from the data.

For further information, please refer to the publication on the ABS website.



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