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4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1996-97  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/02/1998   
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MEDIA RELEASE

February 5, 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
11/98

Latest figures on sport and physical activities

Twenty-nine per cent of Australians aged 15 years and over participated in an organised sport or physical activity and in total spent $2.8 billion doing it in the year ended June 1997, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The most popular activities were aerobics, golf, tennis and netball. Males had a higher participation rate than females (32 per cent compared to 25 per cent). Age was also a key factor in determining whether people undertake an activity and if so which ones.

More than half (61 per cent) of children aged between 5 and 14 participated in either school-organised or club-organised sport or physical activities, the most popular being swimming, basketball, netball and soccer. Boys were more likely to be involved than girls (65 per cent compared to 57 per cent).

In the 15-24 age group the most popular activities were aerobics, basketball and netball, while for those people 45 years and over the most popular activities were golf and lawn bowls.

For each participant aged 15 and over it cost on average $693 during the year to be engaged in organised sport or physical activity. Costs for the most popular activities were aerobics ($419), golf ($955), tennis ($314) and netball ($386). These costs included membership fees, transport, clothing and equipment, weekly fees and other miscellaneous expenses.

The most expensive organised sport or physical activities for people aged 15 and over were motor sports ($1,787), horse riding ($1,405), waterskiing/powerboating ($1,277), air sports, eg hang-gliding, gliding ($1,259) and scuba diving ($1,253).

In addition to organised sport and physical activities, people may participate in sport and physical activities on a social basis - ie without belonging to a club, association or school. The most popular social sport and physical activities were swimming, fishing, cycling and weight-lifting.

Details on sport and physical activities undertaken in 1996-97 can be found in Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia (cat. no. 4177.0) available in all ABS bookshops.

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