4147.4.55.001 - Culture and Recreation News, Oct 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/10/2011   
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Latest edition of Perspectives on Sport released June 2011

We usually think about sports players when we think about sports participation but what about those who organise the matches for the players, coach them and are on stand by in case they are hurt?

Released in June as part of the latest edition of the Perspectives on Sport (cat. no. 4156.0.55.001) the article Sport's Unsung Heroes: Involvement in Non-Playing Roles looks in detail at people's involvement in a variety of non-playing roles including coaching, umpiring, timekeeping, offering medical support or being a member or administrator for a committee.

Data from the 2010 survey of Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity (cat. no. 6285.0) was used to examine the number of people involved in non-playing roles and their characteristics.

In 2010, an estimated 1.6 million people (9% of people aged 15 years and over) were involved in a non-playing role in the 12 months prior to being surveyed. This rate remains relatively unchanged from 10% involvement in 2001. The proportion of men and women who were involved in non-playing roles varied depending on role type. Of the 10% of men and 8% of women involved in non-playing roles, a similar proportion of men and women were committee members or administrators (33% and 35% respectively), and providers of medical support (7% and 8%). A greater proportion of men were coaches, instructors or teachers (45% compared to 37% of women), or referees or umpires (24% compared to 16%) but a higher proportion of women were scorers or timekeepers (36% compared to 26% of men).

Also released in the latest edition of Perspectives was A Profile of Spectators at Selected Sporting Events 2009-10: Who will you be sitting next to? Looking at the demographics of those who attended sporting events and which sporting events people with certain characteristics were most likely to attend, the idea that sport unites those from different parts of society was explored and a spectator profile developed.

According to data from the 2009-10 ABS survey Spectator Attendance at Sporting Events (cat. no. 4174.0), the majority were most likely to be males, married and born in Australia. Women were most likely to be spectators at horse racing events, representing 48% of those who attended. Soccer was most popular amongst 15-24 year olds with 29% in attendance, while cricket and horse racing was most popular for those aged 25-34 (with 25% attending both sports).

Also included was the article Stats and Facts: Sporting Facilities. Using data from the 2009-10 ABS survey Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation (cat. no. 4177.0), this article looked at the proportion of people who participated in sports and physical recreation activities at home, or at structured facilities such as gyms, pools or courts, sports grounds, and other outdoor areas such as parks, walking trails or the beach.

The facilities used was influenced by whether the activity was organised or non-organised and by the popularity of a certain activity within an age group. Sport grounds, ovals or playing fields were used the most by those aged 15-17 years, with 62% in this age group having used these facilities for their physical activity. The use of structured facilites decreased with age, while the use of other outdoor areas was most popular for those in the middle and older age groups.

The final article featured in the June 2011 edition of Perspectives on Sport was A Serve of All Things Tennis: Wimbledon 2011. A variety of ABS sources were used to explore participation in organised and non-organised tennis both in playing and non-playing roles.

ABS data from surveys on Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation (cat. no. 4177.0) revealed that tennis participation rates decreased slightly from 5% in 2005-06 to 4% in 2009-10. Tennis was most popular in the youngest age group with 6% of those aged 15-17 participating. Time series data from the ABS survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (cat. no. 4901.0), which collects information on children aged 5-14 years, revealed that during the years from 2006-2009 there was a small increase in tennis participation.

The next edition of the Perspectives on Sport is due for release in November 2011.