6285.0 - Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, 1997  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/11/1997   
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November 13, 1997
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
Sport: More play and more get paid

More Australians are playing sport than ever before, and more people are being paid for their involvement, according to the latest sporting snapshot released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS publication Involvement in Sport, Australia, March 1997 states there were 4.7 million people, or 32.4 per cent of people aged 15 years and over, involved in sport in the year ended March 1997. This is 165,000 more people than 1993. Of this number, there were an additional 151,600 players.

The number of people involved in sport who received payment increased by more than 50 per cent over this four year period. In 1997, seven per cent (328,500) of those involved in sport received some payment, compared with 4.7 per cent (213,300 people) in 1993. Out of the 4.1 million people who played sport in1997, 142,600 received some payment.

Over 1.1 million players had additional non-playing commitments, including activities such as coaching, umpiring, as a committee member or administrator, or other non-playing involvement such as timekeeping or providing medical support. This is a 25.3 per cent increase in the number of players prepared to take on non-playing responsibilities since 1993.

Over 550,000 people were involved in sport solely in a non-playing capacity. Coaching is the activity most likely to attract some payment, with over 100,000 people being paid for coaching.

Age is a key factor in determining the type of involvement people have in sport. The 15-24 year age group had the highest participation rate for players (49.1 per cent), while the 35-44 year age group had the highest participation rate for non-players (17.5 per cent).

Males had a significantly higher rate of involvement in sport than females, both as players and as non-players. Overall, participation rates were 39.8 per cent for males and 25.2 per cent for females. The participation rate in 1997 is down slightly compared to 1993, despite an increase in the number of people involved in sport.

People resident in the Australian Capital Territory (40.6 per cent) had the highest participation rate, closely followed by those living in the Northern Territory (38.5 per cent). Participation rates in other States were; South Australia 34.3 per cent, Western Australia 33.6 per cent, Tasmania 33.1 per cent, Victoria 32.3 per cent, New South Wales 31.5 per cent, Queensland 31.4 per cent.

Involvement in Sport, Australia, March 1997 (cat. no. 6285.0) is available from ABS Bookshops.