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4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/2009   
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MEDIA RELEASE


October 28, 2009 Embargoed 11.30am (AEDT) 74/2009
Swimming still most popular sport for kids: ABS

Swimming is still the most popular sport for kids, followed by soccer and Aussie Rules, according to a survey of children's cultural and leisure activities released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

Almost one in five children (19%) between 5 and 14 years old participated in swimming, while 13% played outdoor soccer and 9% played Australian Rules football outside of school hours.

The participation rates for swimming and outdoor soccer have not changed significantly since 2006, while participation in Australian Rules football has increased from 8% to 9%.

The ABS found that nearly two-thirds of all children participated in organised sport, with more boys (70%) playing sports than girls (56%). Children participated in organised sport on average 70 times during the year to April 2009.

One-third of children (34%) participated in at least one cultural activity such as playing musical instruments, dancing, singing or drama. The most popular activity for boys was playing a musical instrument (19%), while for girls it was dancing (26%).

Just over half of all children had visited a public library in the previous year, with children between 5 and 8 years old more likely to visit a museum or art gallery than older children.

While TV, DVDs or videos were watched by 97% of all children, other screen based activities such as using a computer and playing games on games consoles and mobile phones were also very popular (83%).

Of the 2.2 million children who had accessed the Internet in the previous 12 months, more used the Internet at home (92%) than at school (86%), with the most popular Internet activities at home being educational activities and online gaming.

Almost one third (31%) of children had a mobile phone, and they used them mostly for contacting family than friends.

Further details can be found in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0), available for free download from the ABS website - www.abs.gov.au

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