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4177.0 - Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia, 1997-98  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/1998   
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  • Almost half participate in sport and physical activities - ABS survey (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

October 20, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
102/1998

Almost half participate in sport and physical activities - ABS survey

Forty-eight per cent of Australians aged 18 years and over participated at least once in a sport or physical activity during the year ended June 1998, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Three-fifths of these people took part in sports or physical activities organised by clubs or associations, the remaining proportion participating in non-organised activities only.

Swimming, aerobics/fitness, golf and tennis attracted the most participants. For each of these activities, non-organised participation exceeded organised participation. Swimming was clearly the most reported non-organised activity while the highest reported organised activity was aerobics/fitness.

Males had a higher participation rate than females (53 per cent compared with 43 per cent). Golf was the sport or activity most reported by males and swimming and aerobics/fitness were the most popular activities undertaken by females.

Age was also a key factor in determining whether people undertook sport or physical activity, with participation declining with age. When examined by country of birth, the participation rates of Australian-born persons and those born in the United Kingdom, Ireland or New Zealand were similar, at around 50 per cent. However, people born in other countries displayed a significantly lower level of involvement, averaging just 31 per cent.

The most active State or Territory was the Australian Capital Territory where 64 per cent of adults were involved in sport or physical activities during 1997-98. Participation rates in other States were; Western Australia 52 per cent, Northern Territory and Queensland 51 per cent, Tasmania 50 per cent, Victoria 48 per cent, South Australia and New South Wales 45 per cent.

    SPORTS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES WITH MOST PARTICIPANTS
    Persons
    Participation rate
    '000
    %
    Swimming
    1628.8
    12.3
    Aerobics/fitness
    1379.2
    10.4
    Golf
    1116.2
    8.4
    Tennis
    937.8
    7.1
    Fishing
    641.5
    4.8
    Cycling
    626.0
    4.7
    Tenpin bowling
    438.0
    3.3
    Billiards/snooker/pool
    373.1
    2.8
    Netball
    339.8
    2.6
    Squash/racquetball
    321.2
    2.4

Details on sport and physical activities undertaken in 1997-98 can be found in Participation in Sport and Physical Activities, Australia (cat. no. 4177.0) available in all ABS bookshops. This release and a summary of the main findings are also available from this site.

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