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SPORTS AND PHYSICAL RECREATION
At least 57% of the employees in sports administration, sports clubs, and horse and dog racing were male. Health and fitness centres and gymnasia had the highest level of female employment, both in absolute terms (11,362) and as a percentage of people employed (67.3%).
Organisations in the categories of sports administration, sports clubs and other sports services were the most likely to make use of volunteer labour. Together, they accounted for 96.8% of the 181,832 volunteers assisting organisations providing sports and physical recreation services. For these three categories, volunteers outnumbered employees by over three and a half to one overall. However, for the remaining three categories, employees outnumbered volunteers by nine to one overall.
The main sources of income for each category of sports and physical recreation service were:
horse and dog racing - net industry and TAB distributions (44.3% of total income) and training fees (13.6%)
health and fitness centres and gymnasia - membership and competition fees (78.8%) and casual playing fees (6.8%)
other sports and physical recreation venues - casual playing fees (19.5%) and membership and competition fees (16.7%)
sports administration - television and other broadcasting rights (16.7%) and sponsorship, fundraising and donations (16.2%)
sports clubs - sponsorship, fundraising and donations (22.4%) and membership and competition fees (19.1%)
other sports services - coaching, training and instructing (55.9%) and casual playing fees (15.6%).
EMPLOYMENT AND OTHER INVOLVEMENT
The 2001 Census of Population and Housing provides information on the number and characteristics of people aged 15 years and over whose main job in the week prior to the Census was in a sports and physical recreation occupation. People who had unpaid involvement in sports and physical recreation activities and people who worked in sports and physical recreation as a ‘second job’ were not recorded as being in sports and physical recreation occupations, unless their main job (in terms of hours worked) was also a sports and physical recreation occupation.
The 2001 Census found that in August 2001, 83,008 people (1.0% of all employed persons) had their main (paid) job in a sports and physical recreation occupation. This is a 21.6% increase from 1996 when 68,274 people (0.9%) had their main job in a sports and physical recreation occupation, and compares with an 8.7% increase for all occupations.
Of those employed in a sports and physical recreation occupation in August 2001, fitness instructors (12,364 persons) and greenkeepers (11,928 persons) were prominent (table 12.24). There were more males (50,113 or 60.4%) than females (32,895 or 39.6%) employed in sports and physical recreation occupations. By comparison, of all employed persons, 54.8% were male.
The ABS conducted a household survey in April 2004 to measure people's involvement in organised sports and physical activities over the previous twelve months. In the year ended April 2004, 4.3 million people (27.2% of all people aged 15 years and over) were involved in sport and physical activity organised by a club, association or other organisation. This involvement included not only players and participants, but also people involved in non-playing roles that support, arrange and/or run organised sport and physical activity. There were 1.5 million people (9.6% of all people aged 15 years and over) who were involved as coaches, referees, administrators, scorers or in other non-playing roles.
Of the 4.3 million people involved in organised sport and physical activity, 895,800 (21.0% of those involved) were both a player and involved in at least one non-playing role. Of the 1.5 million people with non-playing involvement, 32.8% participated in more than one non-playing role. In all, these 1.5 million people had 2.2 million involvements in non-playing roles in the twelve months prior to interview.
Of the 3.7 million players, 87,700 (2.4%) received some payment (in dollars and/or goods and services) for their involvement and, of the 2.2 million non-playing involvements, 267,100 (11.9%) attracted some payment (table 12.25). These data, and the figures in table 12.23, indicate how heavily reliant sports organisations are on the support of unpaid helpers.
A household survey, conducted by the ABS during March-July 2002, collected information on the types of organisations, clubs and associations to which people provided unpaid help in the form of time, services or skills. The survey found that just over one-third (5.0 million) of Australians aged 18 years and over undertook some form of voluntary work in the twelve months prior to interview in 2002. Sport, recreation and hobby organisations had the largest number of volunteers at 1.8 million, giving a volunteer rate of 12.1%. Although the overall volunteer rate for females (35.1%) was higher than for males (33.7%), the reverse was true for sport, recreation and hobby organisations with the male volunteer rate being 15.1% and the female 9.2%. The peak age group for volunteering for sport, recreation and hobby organisations was 40-44 year olds with a volunteer rate of 18.9%. The volunteer rate for these organisations was higher in the balance of the states (15.6%) than it was in the capital cities (10.2%). Higher rates of volunteering for these organisations were also associated with being employed (15.4%), being in a couple family with dependent children (17.8%), attending sporting events (19.3%) and participating in organised sport (25.6%).
GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE SUPPORT
Governments of all levels play an important role in the development of sport and physical recreation in Australia at both the elite and grassroots levels. The functions of some government (and non-government) national administrative bodies are described below.
The Sport and Recreation Ministers' Council (SRMC) provides a forum for cooperation and coordination between the Australian Government and state and territory governments on matters relating to the development of sport and recreation. The governments of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are also represented on SRMC. Its membership comprises government ministers with prime responsibility for sport and recreation. The Standing Committee on Recreation and Sport (SCORS) comprises representatives of the relevant ministers' departments and the Australian Sports Commission, and provides advice and administrative support to SRMC. A subcommittee of SCORS is the SCORS Research Group which provides a coordinated and collaborative approach to the collection and analysis of national sport and recreation data. More information about its operations and statistical output can be found on the web site.
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) is the Australian Government agency responsible for the funding and development of sport at the national level. The ASC supports a wide range of programs designed to develop sporting excellence and increase participation in sports by all Australians. The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is a major program within the ASC and is responsible for developing elite sport on a national basis with a particular focus on success at the international level. More information about the ASC and AIS can be obtained from their web sites.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) was established in March 2006 and reports to the Minister for Art and Sport. Its mission is to protect Australia's sporting integrity through the elimination of doping. ASADA is an integrated anti-doping organisation with testing, education and advocacy roles. It replaces the Australian Sports Drug Agency, and incorporates the functions of the Australian Sports Drug Medical Advisory Committee. More information about ASADA can be obtained from its web site.
Individual sports in Australia are managed and coordinated by National Sporting Organisations (NSOs), each managing the participation in, and development of, a specific sport. Many NSOs receive funding from the ASC. More information about most NSOs can be obtained from the Australian Sports Directory on the ASC web site.
The total expenditure by all three levels of government on sport and recreation activities in 2000-01 was $2,124.2m. Of this, Australian (Commonwealth) Government expenditure was $198.9m (9.4% of the total), while state and territory governments spent $875.2m (41.2%) and local governments spent $1,050.1m (49.4%) (table 12.26). The recurrent expenditure component ($1,585.5m) of total government expenditure on sport and recreation activities was much larger than the capital expenditure component ($538.6m).
An ABS survey of businesses found that, during 2000-01, they gave $1,447m to organisations and individuals, of which those involved in sport and recreation activities (which included the operation of sporting events, clubs and teams; indoor or outdoor recreational facility operations; social, leisure and hobby club activities; and recreational parks and gardens operations) received $628m (43%). This comprised $480m of sponsorship, $109m of donations and $39m of 'business to community projects' funding. Activities associated with sport and recreation attracted the most business sponsorship funding compared with the other activities surveyed, namely community service and welfare, arts and culture, health, education and training, and environmental activities.
PARTICIPATION BY ADULTS
The ABS conducted a household survey during March-July 2002 to measure participation in sports and physical activities during the twelve months prior to interview. The survey included sports or physical activities such as football or netball, which are usually organised by a club or association. It also included other sports and physical activities which may not have been organised, such as walking for exercise. Consequently, participation in swimming, for example, included people who swam for recreation at the beach, those who swam competitively as part of a team, and those who swam laps at the local pool for exercise.
The survey found 62.4% of the population aged 18 years and over (or 9.1 million people) participated as a player (rather than in a support role) at least once during the twelve-month period in one or more sports or physical activities (table 12.27). Participation rates were highest for the 18-24 year age group (72.6%), and declined steadily with age to 45.6% for persons aged 65 years and over. More males (65.0%) than females (59.9%) participated at least once during the year. However, for the 38.6% (5.6 million) of the population who participated at least weekly (on average) during this period, female participation (38.7% or 2.8 million) was virtually the same as for males (38.6% or 2.8 million).
The 2002 survey found that the activities which attracted the most participants were walking for exercise (3.7 million people), swimming (1.6 million), aerobics/fitness (1.6 million), golf (1.1 million) and tennis (1.0 million).
The most popular activities for men were walking and golf while, for women, walking and aerobics/fitness were most popular. Table 12.28 shows the ten sports or physical activities in which the most men participated and the ten in which the most women participated.
The 2004-05 National Health Survey conducted by the ABS found almost two-thirds (65.9%) of all adults had exercised for recreation, sport or fitness during the two weeks prior to interview, and the proportions of males and females exercising were similar. However, females were more likely to exercise at a lower level than males. The percentage of females exercising at a low level was 39.2% compared with 33.3% of males, whereas 8.3% of males exercised at a high level compared with 4.3% of females (table 12.29).
Almost half (49.3%) the adult population reported that they walked for exercise - 53.7% of females and 44.7% of males. Males were more likely to have undertaken vigorous exercise in the last two weeks - 18.0% compared with 11.4% of females.
Regular surveys of household expenditure are conducted by the ABS, most recently in respect of 2003-04. Findings from this survey showed households spent, on average, $15.70 per week on sports and physical recreation products (table 12.30), which was 1.8% of their average weekly expenditure on all products. Of the $7.57 spent weekly on equipment, $3.41 went on swimming pools and $1.14 on sports or physical recreation footwear. Major components of the $7.02 spent on services were sports facility hire charges ($2.30) and health and fitness studio charges ($1.44).
PARTICIPATION BY CHILDREN
A survey of children's activities in the twelve months to April 2003 found 1.6 million children aged 5-14 years (61.6%) participated outside school hours in sport that had been organised by a school, club or association.
Participation in organised sport peaked at the age of ten years for boys and eleven years for girls. However, across all ages boys were more likely to participate than girls - the total participation rate was 68.6% for boys and 54.2% for girls (table 12.31). There was also a higher percentage of boys participating in more than one sport (35.2% of boys compared with 22.9% of girls).
Children in Western Australia had the highest participation rate (65.8%) in organised sport outside school hours, while those in Queensland had the lowest participation rate (54.1%).
The most popular organised sports for children in 2003 were swimming, which had a participation rate of 16.6%, and outdoor soccer with 13.4%. The organised sports that attracted most boys were outdoor soccer (22.2%), swimming (15.7%), and Australian Rules football (13.6%); whereas girls favoured netball (18.1%), swimming (17.5%), and tennis (7.8%) (table 12.32). As might be expected, boys dominated participation in some sports while girls outnumbered them in others. Boys made up 98.8% of Rugby League players, 95.1% of Australian Rules footballers, and 93.0% of outdoor cricket players. On the other hand, 96.6% of netballers and 75.6% of gymnasts were girls.
Between April 2000 and April 2003, the sport participation rates rose for both boys and girls. For girls, this resulted mainly from significant increases in participation in outdoor soccer, martial arts and gymnastics. For boys, it was significant increases in participation in outdoor soccer and swimming which were the main contributors. One sport going against the general upward movement in participation was Rugby League. Between April 2000 and April 2003, participation by boys dropped significantly from 6.8% to 5.6%.
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 twelve months ended April 2003, 307,100 girls participated in organised dancing outside school hours - a participation rate of 23.8%. The number of boys participating was 22,200 - a participation rate of only 1.6%. Participation by boys was little different to the level recorded in 2000 whereas, for girls, the participation rate increased from 19.5% to 23.8% over the same period (table 12.33).
Besides organised sport and dancing, the survey of children's activities in April 2003 also asked about participation in a couple of non-organised physical recreation activities - bike riding and skateboarding/rollerblading. For both activities, a considerably higher percentage of boys (70.5% and 28.5% respectively) participated than did girls (53.3% and 16.9%).
Between April 2000 and April 2003, there was a small but significant drop in bike riding by girls with the participation rate falling from 56.2% to 53.3%. For boys there was little change over the same period. However, for skateboarding or rollerblading, the participation rates for both boys and girls fell substantially. For boys, the fall was from 35.6% to 28.5% while, for girls, it was from 26.1% to 16.9%. This result suggests a fall in the popularity of these largely youth-oriented activities but does not necessarily imply that children's leisure activities have become more sedentary over the period, as they may have increased their participation in either organised sport or other active leisure pursuits not covered by the survey.
Attending sports events (such as club matches and international competitions) is a popular pastime of many Australians. An ABS household survey conducted in March-July 2002 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 twelve months. 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 12.34). Horse racing (1.9 million), motor sports (1.5 million) and Rugby League (1.5 million) were also among the most attended sports.