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4156.0 - Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2012 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2012   
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CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION

Characteristics of participants

As the physical activity data collected in the ABS (2012a) Survey of Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2012 (CPCLA) (cat. no. 4901.0) are limited to children's participation in organised sport outside of school hours, it is not possible to make direct comparisons between the data for adult participation and the data for children's participation.

During the 12 months prior to interview, 60% of children aged 5-14 years participated in at least one sport outside of school hours that had been organised by a school, club or association. The participation rate for boys exceeded that for girls both overall and within each age group category.

Children aged 9-11 years were those most likely to participate in sport with a participation rate of 66%, exceeding the rates for both 5-8 year olds (56%) and 12-14 year olds (60%).

Though the participation rates of children living in capital cities (61%) were slightly higher than for children living elsewhere in Australia (58%) there was not enough evidence to suggest that this difference was statistically significant.

The participation rate for children in organised sport varied across the states and territories, ranging from 54% in the Northern Territory to 73% in the Australian Capital Territory. The greatest differences between boys' and girls' participation were in Western Australia (72% and 54%), New South Wales (67% and 53%) and the Northern Territory (61% and 46%).

3.5 CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN ORGANISED SPORT(a), Selected characteristics - 2012

NUMBER
PARTICIPATION RATE
Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
'000
'000
'000
%
%
%

Age group (years)
5-8
354.7
273.8
628.5
61.4
50.1
55.9
9-11
309.5
237.3
546.9
73.3
59.0
66.4
12-14
284.8
215.9
500.7
66.3
52.9
59.8
State or territory of usual residence
New South Wales
308.5
230.4
538.9
67.2
52.8
60.2
Victoria
227.1
182.5
409.6
65.4
55.4
60.5
Queensland
192.0
142.0
334.0
63.2
49.4
56.5
South Australia
65.2
56.9
122.1
66.1
60.2
63.2
Western Australia
110.6
78.4
189.0
72.3
54.4
63.6
Tasmania
21.1
16.2
37.2
63.8
51.9
58.0
Northern Territory(b)
7.8
5.6
13.4
60.7
46.3
53.7
Australian Capital Territory
16.8
15.0
31.8
76.0
70.5
73.3
Area of usual residence
State capital cities
608.2
453.0
1 061.1
68.4
53.6
61.2
Balance of state/territory(c)
340.8
274.1
614.9
63.0
53.6
58.5
Total
949.0
727.0
1 676.0
66.4
53.6
60.2

(a) Children aged 5 to 14 years who participated in organised sport (excluding dancing) outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April 2012.
(b) Refers to mainly urban areas.
(c) Includes all of ACT and NT.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0).


The three most popular organised sports for boys in the year ending April 2012 were outdoor soccer, swimming/diving and Australian Rules football with participation rates of 22%, 16% and 15% respectively. For girls, two sports were predominant - swimming/diving with 19% and netball with 16% of girls participating. The level of participation by girls in both of these sports was double the level of participation in gymnastics, which was the next placed sport with an 8% participation rate.

3.6 CHILDREN PARTICIPATING IN TOP 10 ORGANISED SPORTS AND DANCING(a), By sex - 2006, 2009 and 2012

2006
2009
2012
Number
Participation Rate
Number
Participation Rate
Number
Participation Rate
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

MALES

Soccer (outdoor)
268.5
19.6
277.8
19.9
309.7
21.7
Swimming/Diving
225.7
16.5
240.1
17.2
235.2
16.5
Australian Rules football
188.5
13.8
223.7
16.0
212.7
14.9
Basketball
101.7
7.4
118.7
8.5
131.3
9.2
Cricket (outdoor)
137.8
10.1
135.7
9.7
123.1
8.6
Tennis
109.3
8.0
131.6
9.4
119.6
8.4
Martial arts
83.4
6.1
105.2
7.5
111.2
7.8
Rugby League
107.6
7.9
97.2
7.0
107.4
7.5
Rugby Union
53.5
3.9
53.7
3.8
57.9
4.0
Dancing
32.5
2.4
41.9
3.0
50.7
3.5
Athletics, track and field
36.0
2.6
42.4
3.0
45.9
3.2

FEMALES

Dancing
300.1
23.1
348.5
26.3
367.4
27.1
Swimming/Diving
236.8
18.2
262.8
19.8
256.9
18.9
Netball
224.1
17.3
225.0
17.0
220.4
16.2
Gymnastics(b)
. .
. .
. .
. .
109.8
8.1
Basketball
74.6
5.7
83.2
6.3
88.9
6.6
Soccer (outdoor)
82.6
6.4
82.7
6.2
87.8
6.5
Tennis
85.8
6.6
83.2
6.3
85.6
6.3
Martial arts
37.0
2.9
49.5
3.7
49.8
3.7
Athletics, track and field
41.5
3.2
47.0
3.5
42.7
3.1
Horse riding/Equestrian/Polo
36.1
2.8
31.5
2.4
27.5
2.0
Hockey
28.9
2.2
31.8
2.4
26.6
2.0

. . not applicable
(a) Children aged 5 to 14 years who participated in organised sport (excluding dancing) outside of school hours during the 12 months prior to interview in April of the survey year.
(b) In 2009, callisthenics was included in the Gymnastics category. In 2012, callisthenics was excluded from organised sport altogether, and cheerleading was included in the Gymnastics category. Therefore the data are not comparable.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0).


Although boys had higher participation rates in organised sport, girls had a much higher participation rate than boys in another form of organised physical activity - dancing. During the 12 months ending April 2012, over one quarter (27%) of girls participated in organised dancing outside of school hours, compared with 4% for boys. Participation was similar to the level recorded for both girls and boys in 2009 (26% and 3% respectively) but has increased from 2006 (23% of girls and 2% of boys).

Besides organised sport and dancing, the 2012 CPCLA (ABS 2012c) also asked about participation in bike riding and skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter. A higher percentage of boys participated in these activities (70% in bike riding and 60% in skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter) than girls (57% and 47% respectively).

Between April 2009 and April 2012, the participation rate of boys in bike riding increased from 66% to 70%. Though there was also an increase in the participation rate of girls in bike riding (54% to 57%), there was not enough evidence to suggest that this difference was statistically significant.

3.7 Children's Participation in Selected Physical Recreation Activities(a), By sex - 2006, 2009 and 2012

2006
2009
2012
Number
Participation Rate
Number
Participation Rate
Number
Participation Rate
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

Males
Bike riding
1 003.0
73.4
922.5
66.1
999.8
69.9
Skateboarding or rollerblading(b)
. .
. .
780.4
55.9
857.8
60.0
Females
Bike riding
803.2
61.9
721.1
54.4
770.6
56.8
Skateboarding or rollerblading(b)
. .
. .
562.2
42.4
640.0
47.2

. . not applicable
(a) Children aged 5 to 14 years who were involved in selected other activities outside of school hours in the last two weeks of school prior to interview in April of the survey year.
(b) Includes data on riding a scooter which was not collected in 2006.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2012 (cat. no. 4901.0).






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