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6285.0 - Involvement in Organised Sport and Physical Activity, Australia, Apr 2001  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/01/2002   
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SUMMARY

In the 12 months to April 2001, an estimated 4.1 million persons aged 15 years and over were involved in sport and physical activity that was organised by a club, association or other organisation. This represents a participation rate of 27.1%. This involvement includes players or participants and those involved in non-playing roles that support, arrange and/or run organised sport and physical activity.

A total of 3.5 million persons (23.5%) were players or participants in at least one organised sport or physical activity. This group is referred to as 'players' throughout the publication.

Just over 1.4 million persons (9.5%) were involved in at least one of the following non-playing roles: coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member or administrator; scorer or timekeeper; medical support; or other role.

Of the 4.1 million persons involved in organised sport and physical activity, 0.9 million (5.9% of all persons or 21.6% of those involved) were both a player and involved in at least one non-playing role.

One-third (33.8%) of those who were involved in a non-playing role were involved in more than one non-playing role. In total, there were 2.1 million non-playing involvements among the 1.4 million persons involved in at least one non-playing role.

Other key findings are:

  • men were more likely than women to be involved in organised sport and physical activity, both as players (27.3% of men and 19.7% of women) and in non-playing roles (10.9% of men and 8.1% of women);
  • 39.5% of persons aged between 15 to 24 years were players, and player participation rates decreased with age;
  • of the 1.4 million persons who were involved in a non-playing role, 33.6% had undertaken a course or held a qualification related to their role;
  • of the 3.5 million players involved in organised sport and physical activity, 88,100 (2.5%) received some payment (either in dollars and/or goods and services) for their involvement;
  • of the 2.1 million non-playing involvements, 233,500 (11.0%) attracted some payment; and
  • the non-player participation rate of 9.5% for 2001 is lower than the rates recorded in both 1993 (10.4%) and 1997 (11.5%); this was reflected in the data for both males and females.


INVOLVEMENT IN ORGANISED SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

There were an estimated 4.1 million persons (27.1%) aged 15 years and over who were involved in organised sport and physical activity in the 12 months to April 2001. Involvement in organised sport and physical activity includes persons involved as players or participants, as well as those involved in the following non-playing roles: coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member or administrator; scorer or timekeeper; medical support; or other role. Persons involved only as a spectator or club member are excluded.

The participation rate was higher for males (31.1%) than females (23.2%).

The 15 to 24 year age group had the highest participation rate (40.9%), with rates declining consistently with age to 16.8% for those aged 65 years and over. Males had higher participation rates than females across all age groups.

PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, By Age and Sex
GRAPH - PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, By Age and Sex



GEOGRAPHIC COMPARISONS

The participation rate for persons residing in the six State capital cities (25.0%) was lower than that for persons residing outside of these areas (30.7%). Across Australia, the participation rate ranged from 26.1% for Queensland to 32.3% for the Australian Capital Territory.

As participation appears to be related to age and sex, differences in age and sex profiles of the States and Territories should be considered when making comparisons. For example, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory have higher proportions of younger adults than the Australian average, while the populations of South Australia and Tasmania have a greater than average percentage of older persons.

The following table shows the participation rates for each State and Territory recorded from the survey, as well as standardised rates which take account of the differing age and sex profiles of the States and Territories. The standardised rate presented is based on the age and sex profile of the Australian estimated population at 31 March 2001.

PARTICIPATION IN ORGANISED SPORT AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, By State and Territory
Unstandardised participation rate
Standardised participation rate
%
%

New South Wales

26.2

26.3
Victoria
26.6
26.6
Queensland
26.1
26.0
South Australia
29.4
30.0
Western Australia
29.7
29.4
Tasmania
30.7
31.4
Northern Territory(a)
26.4
25.5
Australian Capital Territory
32.3
31.5
Australia
27.1
27.1

(a) Refers to mainly urban areas only


The standardised results indicate that the age and sex profiles of the States and Territories have a minimal impact on the participation rates recorded, with all changes less than one percentage point.


CHARACTERISTICS OF PLAYERS

In the 12 months to April 2001, there were 3.5 million persons aged 15 years and over who were involved in organised sport and physical activity as a player or participant. This is a participation rate of 23.5%. The rate was higher for males (27.3%) than for females (19.7%).

The 15 to 24 year age group had the highest player participation rate (39.5%), while the 65 years and over age group had the lowest rate (16.4%). For both males and females the highest player participation rate was for the 15 to 24 year age group: 46.5% for males and 32.4% for females.

PLAYER PARTICIPATION, By Age and Sex
GRAPH - PLAYER PARTICIPATION, By Age and Sex



The player participation rate for employed persons (27.2%) was higher than the rate recorded for those who were unemployed (19.1%) or not in the labour force (17.5%).

Persons residing in the six State capital cities (21.6%) had a lower player participation rate than persons residing outside of these regions (26.6%). Across Australia, the participation rate for players ranged from 22.8% for Queensland to 27.2% for the Australian Capital Territory.

Persons who were born in Australia had a higher player participation rate (26.8%) than those who were born overseas in the main English speaking countries (22.0%). Both of these rates were higher than the player participation rate for those born in other countries (10.3%).


CHARACTERISTICS OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN NON-PLAYING ROLES

In the 12 months to April 2001, 1.4 million persons were involved in organised sport and physical activity in one or more non-playing roles, such as: coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; committee member or administrator; scorer or timekeeper; medical support; and other non-playing role. This is a non-player participation rate of 9.5% of all persons aged 15 years and over. The participation rate was higher for males (10.9%) than females (8.1%).

The 35 to 44 year age group had the highest participation rate (15.0%) for non-playing roles, while those aged 65 years and over had the lowest rate (3.5%). Males consistently had higher participation rates in non-playing roles than females for all age groups.

PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES, By Age and Sex
GRAPH - PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES, By Age and Sex



More employed persons were involved in non-playing roles (12.3%) compared with those who were unemployed (9.2%) or not in the labour force (4.6%). Females who were employed full time had a lower non-player participation rate (9.7%) than those employed part time (13.0%).

The non-player participation rate for persons residing in the six State capital cities (8.1%) was lower than for persons residing outside of the six capital cities (11.9%).

Persons who were born in Australia had a higher non-player participation rate (11.1%) than those who were born overseas (5.3%).


NON-PLAYING ROLES

Of the 1.4 million persons with non-playing involvement, 66.2% participated in one non-playing role, 22.2% had two non-playing roles and 11.6% were involved in three or more non-playing roles. These 1.4 million persons had 2.1 million involvements in non-playing roles in the 12 months prior to interview.

PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES, By Role and Sex
GRAPH - PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES, By Role and Sex



A greater percentage of males than females participated in the roles of: coach, instructor or teacher (4.7% of males and 2.8% of females); referee or umpire (2.8% of males and 1.8% of females); and committee member or administrator (4.7% of males and 3.3% of females).


SCHOOL AND JUNIOR SPORT

Of the 1.4 million persons involved in non-playing roles, 760,600 (53.6%) were associated with school or junior sport for at least some of their non-player involvement. Of those involved as a coach, instructor or teacher, 68.1% had some association with school or junior sport. A lower percentage of those involved as a committee member or administrator had some association with school or junior sport (40.8%).


QUALIFICATIONS FOR NON-PLAYING ROLES

One-third (33.6%) of all persons involved in non-playing roles (477,500 persons) had completed a course or qualification relevant to their role. For most non-playing roles, the proportion of males and females who held qualifications were similar. However, the percentage of female referees and umpires who held qualifications (54.7%) was higher than the percentage of male referees and umpires who did so (36.4%).

The role with the highest proportion of participants who held a qualification was medical support; 85.5% or 77,100 of the 90,100 persons who provided medical support had completed a course or qualification relevant to the role.


PAYMENT FOR INVOLVEMENT

Only 6.5% (264,000 persons) of the 4.1 million persons involved in organised sport and physical activity received some type of payment for their involvement. The number of involvements for which these 264,000 persons were paid totalled 321,600.

Payment may have been only in the form of goods or services (16.1% of paid involvements), or payment may have included an amount in dollars (73.6% of paid involvements). Where payment was in dollars there may also have been some payment in goods and services. Of all paid involvements, 61.6% (198,200 involvements) were for cash payments of less than $5,000 in the previous 12 months, and 12.0% (38,600 involvements) were for $5,000 or more.

Of the 2.1 million non-playing involvements, 11.0% (233,500) attracted some kind of payment. In contrast, 2.5% of the 3.5 million players (88,100 persons) received some payment for their playing role.

Some non-playing roles were more likely to attract payment than others. For example, 20.4% of persons involved in a referee or umpire role received some payment: 19.0% of those in a coach, instructor or teacher role did so, and 13.2% of persons in a medical support role were paid. In contrast, 4.1% of persons involved as a committee member or administrator and 3.2% of persons involved in scoring or timekeeping were paid.


TIME INVOLVED

More than half (56.3%) of involvements in organised sport and physical activity were for 26 weeks or less in the previous year, one in ten (10.7%) were for 27 to 39 weeks and one-third (33.1%) lasted throughout most of the year (40 to 52 weeks). This involvement may have related to more than one type of organised sport or physical activity.

In terms of hours spent involved in organised sport and physical activity, almost half (47.9%) of involvements were for less than 3 hours per week on average over those weeks when participation took place. A further 44.9% of involvements were for an average of 3 hours to less than 10 hours per week.

Persons involved in non-playing roles were involved for fewer weeks in the year and spent fewer hours per week involved in these roles compared with those who were involved as players or participants. Of the 2.1 million non-playing involvements, 41.1% were for 1 to 13 weeks and 62.0% were for less than 3 hours a week. In contrast, of the 3.5 million player involvements, 23.9% participated for 1 to 13 weeks and 39.4% participated for less than 3 hours a week.

There was some variation in the amount of time involved across the non-playing roles. For example, 37.2% of committee members or administrators were involved for 40 to 52 weeks of the year, whereas 14.2% of referees or umpires and 12.3% of scorers or timekeepers were involved for this length of time.


COMPARISON OF 1993, 1997 AND 2001 DATA

In 1993 and 1997, similar surveys were conducted by the ABS. Due to some differences in the questions asked and survey methodologies, caution should be exercised when making comparisons between the surveys. Comparisons have only been made for persons in non-playing roles.

In the 12 months to March 1993 there were an estimated 10.4% of all persons aged 15 years and over (1.4 million persons) who were involved in sport in a non-playing capacity. The non-player participation rate had increased to 11.5% (1.7 million persons) in 1997 and had declined to 9.5% (1.4 million persons) in 2001.

The increase in non-player participation from 1993 to 1997 was statistically significant for males (from 11.7% to 13.3%). The decline in participation from 1997 to 2001 was significant for both males (from 13.3% to 10.9%) and females (from 9.7% to 8.1%).

PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES, 1993, 1997 AND 2001
GRAPH - PARTICIPATION IN NON-PLAYING ROLES: 1993, 1997 AND 2001



A comparison of participation rates across 1993, 1997 and 2001 can be made for the three non-playing roles of: coach, instructor or teacher; referee or umpire; and scorer or timekeeper. Between 1993 and 1997, there was no significant change in participation rates for the role of referee or umpire, while there had been an increase for the roles of coach, instructor or teacher (from 3.9% to 4.4%) and committee member or administrator (from 4.6% to 5.1%). There was a significant decrease in participation rates for each of these roles from 1997 to 2001 (from 4.4% to 3.7% for the coach, instructor or teacher role; from 3.2% to 2.3% for referees or umpires; and from 5.1% to 4.0% for committee members or administrators).


ABOUT THE PUBLICATION

The publication presents information on the number of persons aged 15 years and over who were involved in organised sport and organised physical activity over a 12-month period. These data were collected as part of the April 2001 Monthly Population Survey.

Data are presented in this publication for players and participants in organised sport and physical activity and for persons involved in non-playing roles. A description of the characteristics of each group is provided, as well as information about whether any payment was received and the amount of time spent on each type of involvement. Further information is provided about the types of non-playing roles undertaken, whether a course or qualification had been completed for these roles, and whether any involvement was with school or junior sport. For non-playing roles, comparisons are also presented using data from the 1993 and 1997 Involvement in Sport surveys.


FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information about these statistics, please contact Lisa Conolly on (08) 8237 7402 or email nccrs@abs.gov.au.

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