1301.4 - Year Book Australia, 1997  
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Special Article - Recreation and Sport in South Australia

Article reproduced from South Australian Year Book, 1997 (ABS Catalogue No.

Recreational space and facilities

The City of Adelaide is surrounded by 693 hectares of Park Lands. These contain sporting facilities, which have been mainly developed by user organisations, on annual, seasonal permit or long-term lease. Lease facilities include national and regional standard venues such as the Adelaide Oval, Memorial Drive Tennis Club and the Victoria Park Horse Racing Track. The Adelaide Aquatic Centre and the Corporation Golf Links are situated in the North Park Lands. The Torrens Lake provides facilities for rowing clubs, social boating, and sightseeing aboard Popeye.

The Park Lands are extensively used by individuals, groups from wider Adelaide and tourists, for a wide range of casual and organised activities such as walking and cycling (commuting and recreational), picnics, and major community events, such as Skyshow, Glendi and Schutzenfest.

The Park Lands program includes not only cultural and recreational activities, but also sports, from local community activity to major international events such as World Class Tennis, World Title Boxing, Test Cricket and Rugby League.

Facilities and open space for a wide range of sporting and leisure activities are located throughout the metropolitan area, and most country towns have ovals and other sporting facilities.

Attendance at sporting events

An ABS survey conducted in March 1995 looked at spectator attendance at sporting events, matches or competitions. Excluded were persons under 15 years of age and attendance at junior sport. The statistics relate to the number of people who attended at least once in the 12 months before March 1995.

The number of South Australians aged 15 and over who attended at least one sporting event during the year was 573,900 or 49.1% of the population.

Australian rules was the dominant spectator sport among South Australians, with an attendance rate of 26.8%. It was also the most popular spectator sport in Australia, attracting almost 1.9 million people to at least one match.

Males attended more sporting events than females. In South Australia this was particularly evident for those aged between 35 and 44 where 61.4% of males, but only 48.0% of females attended at least one sporting event.

Attendance rates were highest in the younger age groups and declined with age. In South Australia 62.8% of young people aged between 15 and 24 years attended at least one sporting event while the attendance rate for those aged 65 years and over was 27.0%.


Recreation, Sport and Racing

The Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing was established to support community efforts to develop and promote recreation and sporting opportunities for all South Australians. Most community services are provided by the Recreation and Sport Development Unit, and the South Australian Sports Institute. One unit initiative includes administering holiday coaching clinics, enabling school children to participate in various sporting/recreation activities during school holidays.

The South Australian Sports Institute provides scholarships to assist various athletes/squads with training and competition expenses. Sports psychology and physiology services are available for elite athletes of sporting squads under the South Australian Sports Institute coaching program. The Racing Division administers the Racing Act.

In June 1995 the amalgamation was announced of the SA Tourism Commission, the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing, the Australian Major Events Group, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, the Adelaide Convention Centre, and the Australian Formula One Grand Prix Board.

Source: South Australian Year Book 1997, (ABS Catalogue No. 1301.4)