Participating in sports and physical recreation and attending sporting contests are important features of the Australian lifestyle.
However, the sports and physical recreation sector involves more than just the people who participate or attend. It includes organisations providing sports services, manufacturers and distributors of sports equipment, professional sports people, and other people who are involved in paid employment or voluntary work within the sector. Government and business also play an important role through the provision of facilities and support through grants and sponsorship.
This publication presents an overview of the sports and physical recreation sector. It contains information about the number of people who play sports; the most popular sports played; the number of people attending sporting events; the amount people spend on sports and physical recreation; the economic activity of businesses, clubs and associations involved in providing sports and physical recreation goods and services; the people who work in sports and physical recreation occupations or industries; and the levels of support provided by volunteers, sponsorship and government funding.
The decisions about which data to include in the publication were guided by the Australian Culture and Leisure Classifications (ACLC). This contains classifications for culture and leisure industries, products and occupations and includes those relating to sports and physical recreation.
ABS data relating to industry, products and occupation are compiled using ABS standard classifications. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) is used in ABS collections relating to industry, and the Australian and New Zealand Standard Product Classification (ANZSPC) is the basis for classifications used in the collection of product-related data. Some sports industry data are output in accordance with the ACLC and, for the presentation of information about products, the ACLC has been used as a guide in deciding which are sports and physical recreation products. Inclusions of data in, and exclusions of data from, tables in this publication have been explained in the body of the text where appropriate.
The Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) was used for the collection of ABS occupation data included in this publication. This classification is completely aligned with the ACLC for sports and physical recreation occupations. As a result, the occupation data in this publication is presented in accordance with the ACLC occupation classification. ASCO has recently been replaced by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). The ACLC occupation classification will be revised to align with ANZSCO for future presentation of sports and physical recreation occupation data.
ABS data relating to participation in sport and physical activity, time spent on sport and outdoor activities, and sport attendance are obtained from a variety of data collections. Each collection may define sports and physical recreation activities in different ways because there is no standard classification for these activities. Nevertheless, the principles underlying the ACLC have provided a guide for the development of some of the collections, and for the data included in this publication. Where there are inconsistencies or differences between the data collections, these have been highlighted in the text.