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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/01/2006   
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Contents >> Chapter 12 - Culture and recreation >> Participation in sports and physical activities

PARTICIPATION IN SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES

The ABS conducted a survey on the sports and physical activities in which people participated during a 12-month period prior to interview in 2002. This includes participation in sports or physical activities, such as football or netball, which are usually organised by a club or association. It also includes other sports and physical activities undertaken for recreation or exercise, which may not be organised, such as walking for exercise. Thus, for example, participation in swimming will include people who swim for recreation at the beach, those who swim competitively as part of a team, and those who swim laps at the local pool for exercise.

The survey found 62.4% of the population aged 18 years and over (9,056,300 people) participated as a player (rather than in a support role) at least once during the 12-month period in one or more sports or physical activities (table 12.37). Participation rates were highest for the 18-24 year age group (72.6%), and declined steadily with age. The rate for persons aged 65 years and over was 45.6%. Slightly more males (65.0%) than females (59.9%) had participated in sports or physical activities at least once during the 12 months prior to interview. However, 38.6% (5.6 million) of the population had participated at least weekly, on average, during this period, with females (38.7% or 2.8 million) reporting a similar weekly participation rate to males (38.6% or 2.8 million).

12.37 PARTICIPATION IN SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES(a) - 2002

Males
Females
Persons



Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Number
Participation rate
Age group (years)
’000
%
’000
%
’000
%

18-24
751.6
77.6
630.5
67.4
1,382.1
72.6
25-34
1,098.3
75.5
988.2
68.0
2,086.5
71.8
35-44
994.1
68.1
915.8
62.2
1,909.9
65.1
45-54
771.5
58.3
799.7
60.5
1,571.2
59.4
55-64
533.2
56.1
557.4
59.7
1,090.7
57.9
65 and over
516.0
50.6
500.0
41.3
1,016.0
45.6
Total
4,664.7
65.0
4,391.6
59.9
9,056.3
62.4

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over who participated in sport or physical activity as a player at least once during the 12 months prior to interview.

Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002 (4177.0).


POPULAR SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES

The 2002 survey indicated the activities which attracted the most participants were walking (3.7 million people), swimming (1.6 million), aerobics/fitness (1.6 million) and tennis (1.0 million).

For men, the most popular activities were walking and golf. For women, walking and aerobics/fitness were most popular. Table 12.38 shows the ten sports or physical activities in which the most men participated and the ten in which the most women participated.

12.38 ADULT PARTICIPATION IN SELECTED SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES(a) - 2002

Number
Participation rate
’000
%

MALES

Walking for exercise
1,255.2
17.5
Golf
890.3
12.4
Swimming
708.4
9.9
Aerobics/fitness
632.3
8.8
Tennis
544.5
7.6
Cycling
524.0
7.3
Running
440.9
6.1
Fishing
437.5
6.1
Cricket (outdoor)
340.8
4.7
Soccer (outdoor)
318.9
4.4

FEMALES

Walking for exercise
2,407.9
32.9
Aerobics/fitness
953.2
13.0
Swimming
867.4
11.8
Tennis
443.4
6.1
Netball
389.4
5.3
Cycling
305.6
4.2
Yoga
266.2
3.6
Bush walking
240.1
3.3
Running
221.9
3.0
Dancing
206.4
2.8

(a) Relates to persons aged 18 years and over who participated in sport or physical activity as a player at least once during the 12 months prior to interview.

Source: Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 2002 (4177.0).


EXERCISE

The ABS National Health Survey, conducted in 2001, found 70% of adults had exercised for recreation, sport or fitness during the previous two weeks. Overall proportions of males and females who exercised were similar, but males were more likely to have undertaken moderate (40%) and vigorous (20%) exercise in the last two weeks, compared with females (33% and 11% respectively).

ATTENDANCE AT SPORTING EVENTS

Attending sports events (such as club matches and international competitions) is a popular pastime of many Australians. The 2002 ABS Sports Attendance Survey indicated seven million people, or 48% of all people aged 18 years and over, attended a sporting event (excluding junior and school sport) at least once in the previous 12 months. The overall attendance rate was virtually unchanged from the rates recorded in similar surveys conducted in 1995 and 1999. Men (56%) were more likely to have attended a sporting event than women (41%). For both men and women, attendance rates were highest for the 18-24 year age group (70% and 59% respectively) and steadily declined with age. Among men aged 65 years and over, the attendance rate was 27%, while for women in this age group it was 16%.

The sport with the highest attendance was Australian Rules football - 2.5 million people attended this sport on at least one occasion during the year (table 12.39). Horse racing (1.9 million), motor sports (1.5 million) and Rugby League (1.5 million) were also among the most attended sports.

12.39 ATTENDANCE AT SELECTED SPORTING EVENTS(a) - 2002

Number
Attendance rate(b)


Males
Females
Persons
Males
Females
Persons
’000
’000
’000
%
%
%

Australian Rules football
1,503.9
982.0
2,486.0
21.0
13.4
17.1
Horse racing
1,062.6
802.6
1,865.2
14.8
11.0
12.9
Motor sports
993.3
480.1
1,473.4
13.8
6.6
10.2
Rugby League
951.4
513.2
1,464.6
13.3
7.0
10.1
Cricket (outdoor)
635.2
231.0
866.2
8.9
3.2
6.0
Soccer (outdoor)
519.3
282.6
801.9
7.2
3.9
5.5
Rugby Union
469.7
203.9
673.6
6.5
2.8
4.6
Harness racing
318.9
189.4
508.3
4.4
2.6
3.5
Basketball
226.0
208.4
434.4
3.1
2.8
3.0
Tennis
192.5
201.0
393.5
2.7
2.7
2.7
Dog racing
150.7
81.6
232.3
2.1
1.1
1.6
Netball
66.9
152.8
219.7
0.9
2.1
1.5

(a) Attendance at least once in the 12 months prior to interview in 2002 by persons aged 18 years and over.
(b) The number of people who attended, expressed as a percentage of the number of people in that population group.

Source: Sports Attendance, Australia, 2002 (4174.0).


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