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4156.0 - Sports and Physical Recreation: A Statistical Overview, Australia, 2011  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2011   
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CHILDREN'S PARTICIPATION

Characteristics of participants

As the physical activity data collected in the ABS (2009b) Survey of Children's Participation in Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2009 (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, 1.7 million or 63% of children aged 5 to 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 (70%) exceeded that for girls (56%), both overall and also within each age group category.

Children aged 9 to 11 years were those most likely to participate in sport. Their participation rate of 68% exceeded the rates for both 12 to 14 year olds (65%) and 5 to 8 year olds (58%).

The participation rates of children living in capital cities and children living elsewhere in Australia were similar at 63% and 64% respectively.

The participation rate for children in sport varied across the states and territories, ranging from 58% in Tasmania to 71% in the Australian Capital Territory. The greatest differences between boys' and girls' participation were in New South Wales (70% and 50%) and the Northern Territory (68% and 48%).

3.5 Children participating in organised sport(a), Selected characteristics - 2009

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

Age group (years)
5-8
349.5
264.8
614.2
63.9
51.0
57.6
9-11
302.8
258.1
560.9
72.1
64.6
68.4
12-14
318.6
224.0
542.6
74.2
54.9
64.8
State or territory of usual residence
New South Wales
319.8
215.8
535.6
70.4
49.8
60.3
Victoria
245.9
207.1
453.0
72.5
64.3
68.5
Queensland
190.1
153.5
343.6
65.1
55.1
60.2
South Australia
68.4
59.6
128.0
69.4
63.2
66.3
Western Australia
102.9
73.5
176.5
71.2
54.4
63.1
Tasmania
19.8
17.1
36.9
60.1
54.8
57.5
Northern Territory(b)
8.7
5.7
14.4
68.4
47.9
58.6
Australian Capital Territory
15.2
14.7
29.8
71.5
71.1
71.3
Area of usual residence
State capital cities
582.9
436.0
1 018.9
70.0
54.9
62.6
Balance of state/territory
387.9
310.9
698.8
68.9
58.4
63.8
Total
970.8
746.9
1 717.8
69.6
56.3
63.1

(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 2009.
(b) Refers to mainly urban areas only.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0).


The three most popular organised sports for boys in the year ending April 2009 were soccer (outdoor) with 277,800 participants (20%), swimming with 240,100 participants (17%) and Australian Rules football with 223,700 participants (16%). For girls, two sports were predominant - swimming with 262,800 participants (20%) and netball with 225,000 participants (17%). The level of participation by girls in both of these sports was more than double the level of participation in gymnastics, which was the next placed sport with 101,200 participants (7.6%).

3.6 Children participating in selected organised sports(a), By sex - 2003, 2006 and 2009

2003
2006
2009
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

MALES

Soccer (outdoor)
301.1
22.2
268.5
19.6
277.8
19.9
Swimming
213.6
15.7
225.7
16.5
240.1
17.2
Australian Rules football
184.2
13.6
188.5
13.8
223.7
16.0
Cricket (outdoor)
124.2
9.1
137.8
10.1
135.7
9.7
Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
128.3
9.5
109.3
8.0
131.6
9.4
Basketball (indoor and outdoor)
116.1
8.6
101.7
7.4
118.7
8.5
Martial arts
83.9
6.2
83.4
6.1
105.2
7.5
Rugby League
76.2
5.6
107.6
7.9
97.2
7.0
Athletics, track and field
51.7
3.8
36.0
2.6
42.4
3.0
Hockey
33.3
2.5
22.9
1.7
25.6
1.8
Gymnastics
22.5
1.7
21.6
1.6
23.7
1.7
Other organised sports
239.2
17.6
279.0
20.4
270.6
19.4
Total(b)
931.9
68.6
941.3
68.9
970.8
69.6

FEMALES

Swimming
225.5
17.5
236.8
18.2
262.8
19.8
Netball (indoor and outdoor)
233.0
18.1
224.1
17.3
225.0
17.0
Gymnastics
69.9
5.4
71.7
5.5
101.2
7.6
Tennis (indoor and outdoor)
100.1
7.8
85.8
6.6
83.2
6.3
Basketball (indoor and outdoor)
88.9
6.9
74.6
5.7
83.2
6.3
Soccer (outdoor)
54.8
4.2
82.6
6.4
82.7
6.2
Martial arts
45.8
3.6
37.0
2.9
49.5
3.7
Athletics, track and field
48.6
3.8
41.5
3.2
47.0
3.5
Hockey
33.0
2.6
28.9
2.2
31.8
2.4
Australian Rules football
9.4
0.7
11.9
0.9
11.4
0.9
Cricket (outdoor)
9.5
0.7
5.6
0.4
6.8
0.5
Other organised sports
164.8
12.8
233.9
18.0
173.3
13.1
Total(b)
698.5
54.2
749.8
57.8
746.9
56.3

(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) Sum of sports may not add to total because some children will be involved in more than one sport.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (cat. no. 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 ending April 2009, 348,500 girls participated in organised dancing outside of school hours - a participation rate of 26%. The number of boys participating was 41,900 - a participation rate of only 3.0%. Participation was similar to the level recorded for both girls and boys in 2006 (23% and 24% respectively).

Besides organised sport and dancing, the 2009 CPCLA (ABS 2009b) also asked about participation in bike riding and skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter. A higher percentage of boys participated in these activities (66% in bike riding and 56% in skateboarding, rollerblading or riding a scooter) than girls (54% and 42% respectively).

Between April 2006 and April 2009, the participation rate of girls in bike riding decreased from 62% to 54% and for boys from 73% to 66%. Care should be taken when comparing the participation rates in skateboarding and rollerblading in 2003 and 2006 with 2009, as this was the first year that riding a scooter was included in this category.

3.7 Children participating in selected physical recreation activities(a), By sex - 2003, 2006 and 2009

2003
2006
2009
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
'000
%
'000
%
'000
%

Males
Bike riding
957.4
70.5
1 003.0
73.4
922.5
66.1
Skateboarding or rollerblading
386.4
28.5
399.3
29.2
(b)780.4
(b)55.9
Females
Bike riding
687.4
53.3
803.2
61.9
721.1
54.4
Skateboarding or rollerblading
218.2
16.9
228.5
17.6
(b)562.2
(b)42.4

(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 2003 and 2006.
Source: Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia (cat. no. 4901.0)






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