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Latest Ausplay report shows renewed participation in Olympic sport

Latest Ausplay report shows renewed participation in Olympic sport
May 2, 2021

Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay report reveals more than half of all Australians aged 15 or over (10.4 million) have participated in some form of Olympic sport in the last year with 1.8 million people volunteering at local clubs or sporting organisations.

Suggesting that the 12-month postponement of the Tokyo Games has increased interest and participation in Olympic sports, Federal Minister for Sport, Richard Colbeck, said as momentum builds ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, it was clear Australians continue to take inspiration from its high performance athletes.

Launching Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay data which identifies sport and physical activity habits across the nation, and Sport Australia’s other survey tool, the Community Perceptions Monitor, which captures public attitudes towards sport, Minister Colbeck (pictured below) stated “the AusPlay report shows just how much sport remains a lynchpin in the lives of everyday Australians.

“Whether we are aiming to improve our own health and wellbeing or are determined to ensure others have that opportunity - sport is key to healthy communities across the nation.”

The survey, based on self-reported data, shows athletics, swimming and cycling are the most popular Olympic sports with just over seven million Australians swimming, cycling and participating in activities deemed as 'athletics' every year.

Athletics (deemed to include recreational running/jogging) is the most popular sport for men while swimming tops the list for women.

The survey found football and basketball are the most popular Olympic team sports and that four in five adult Aussies (79%) say they are proud and inspired by our Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes and teams.

The survey revealed that around four in five adults with long-term disability also participate in some kind of sport or physical activity at least once a year while the top three Paralympic sports are the same as Olympic sports with swimming the most popular, followed by cycling and athletics.

Sport Australia’s acting Chief Executive, Rob Dalton added “whether it’s playing an Olympic or Paralympic sport at any level, volunteering or being inspired watching our athletes compete on the world stage, the Olympics and Paralympics impact us all in one way or another.”

Key points from the latest AusPlay survey on Australians’ participation in Summer Olympic and Paralympic sports.

• 18.3 million adults participate in some kind of sport or physical activity (90%) 
• 10.4 million adults participate in an Olympic sport (51%) 

Top five Olympic sports for Australian men
• Athletics 18%
• Cycling 15%
• Swimming 14%
• Football 8%
• Golf 8%

Top five Olympic sports for Australian women
• Swimming 17%
• Athletics 15%
• Cycling 9%
• Tennis 4%
• Football 3%

AusPlay provides the sport sector with vital insights into the sport and physical activity behaviours of adults and children and critical evidence to inform strategies to grow participation.

Click here for more information.

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