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Six million participants make swimming Australia’s top sport and recreational activity

Six million participants make swimming Australia’s top sport and recreational activity
February 16, 2018

Research from Roy Morgan shows that swimming is Australia’s leading sport and recreational activity with over six million Australians participating in swimming either regularly or occasionally in the last three months.

The newly released study shows that swimming is one of the rare Australian sporting pursuits where more women (3.45 million) participate than men (2.58 million)

Looking at sports that will feature at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the study shows that jogging, marathons, athletics and track and field participation numbers involve over 4.3 million Australians and that cycling and mountain biking has nearly 3.1 million participants.

Analysis of the broad range of sports being contested at this year’s Commonwealth Games shows more than 9.3 million Australians (46.4%) played Commonwealth Games’* sports regularly or occasionally last year (see table below).

Other popular Commonwealth Games’ sports in Australia comprise basketball and table tennis. More than one million participants play basketball and 979,000 play table tennis.

The two most widely played sports excluded at the Commonwealth Games are two of Australia’s traditional summer sports where Australia’s pedigree shines. Golf has more than 1.5 million Australians participating while tennis has almost 1.4 million participants.

Most Popular Sports & Activities participated in regularly or occasionally - December 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2017 (n=15,169). *Commonwealth Games Sports include: Swimming, Marathons, Running, Athletics, Track & Field, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Basketball, Table Tennis, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Boxing, Badminton, Squash, Gymnastics, Clay/ Target Shooting, Field Hockey & Triathlons. The Commonwealth Games sports of Judo, Rugby Sevens, Weightlifting and Wrestling were not measured.

Analysing Australia’s 6,025,000 swimmers in more detail reveals an over-representation by three of Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas communities.

More than a third of ‘Metrotechs’ (34.6%), ‘Aussie Achievers’ (33.5%) and ‘Leading Lifestyles’ (33.4%) participate in swimming. Combined together more than half of all Australian swimmers come from one of these three communities.

Helix Personas is a consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the Australian population into 56 Personas and seven Communities. Helix Personas uses a combination of Roy Morgan Single Source data and third party data sources.

This information is used to understand future buying intentions and media consumption patterns. These are easily integrated with third party datasets.

With nearly 1,000 clubs and 90,000 registered members nationally, Swimming Australia’s vision is to create a nation of swimmers admired by the world.

Swimming Australia President John Bertrand advises “from my perspective sport is of national importance.

“And swimming is the biggest participation sport in the country.”

The Roy Morgan research shows there are more swimmers, 1,639,000, within the ‘Leading Lifestyles’ community than any other and members of this community are 11% more likely to be a swimmer than the average Australian. The least likely community to be participating in swimming are the ‘Battlers’, which only 24.3% participate in swimming.

Australian Swimmers ranked by Helix Personas Communities - December 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2017 (n=15,169).

A full ranking of Australian participation in sports and activities (i.e. participated in ‘regularly or occasionally’ reveals men are more likely to participate in most sports.

However, there are some notable exceptions. In addition to the aforementioned swimming more women than men participate in netball (as expected), boxing, horse riding, gymnastics, ice/figure skating, rowing and softball/baseball.

All Sports & Activities participate in regularly or occasionally - December 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January – December 2017 (n=15,169). *Commonwealth Games Sports include: Swimming, Marathons, Running, Athletics, Track & Field, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Basketball, Table Tennis, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Boxing, Badminton, Squash, Gymnastics, Clay/ Target Shooting, Field Hockey & Triathlons. The Commonwealth Games sports of Judo, Rugby Sevens, Weightlifting and Wrestling were not measured.

Roy Morgan Research Chief Executive Michele Levine says Australians love of sport is well known with over 9.3 million Australians participating in sports that feature in this year’s Commonwealth Games program and more than a million Australians participating in Winter Olympic sports:

Morgan explains “Australians are enjoying a feast of sport at the moment as Australia’s finest Winter sports athletes pit themselves against the world’s best in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Over one million Australians participate in popular winter sports including snow skiing, snowboarding and ice/figure skating, however that impressive participation pales in significance when compared to more traditional summer sports.

“Over 9.3 million Australians take part in sporting activities being contested at this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games including more than six million swimmers – Australia’s leading sport by participation. The national swimming trials to select the final team for the Gold Coast Games are due to kick off in a fortnight at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre.

“Australia has high hopes of returning to the top of the medal tally after surrendering leadership in the Commonwealth in 2014 for the first time since the 1980s. The strong participation rates for sports and activities including cycling and mountain biking, jogging, marathons, athletics, track and field, basketball and table tennis – all sports being contested on the Gold Coast – augur well for a high degree of interest in the Games.

“The Helix Personas data is a unique and powerful consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the Australian population into 56 Personas and seven communities.

“The Roy Morgan product aids the future buying intentions and media consumption patterns of swimmers. This data can be easily integrated with third party data sets. The rich profiling would be invaluable for Australian consumer brands, advertisers, governing sporting bodies and major sponsors like Optus who have a long term sponsorship arrangement with Swimming Australia.” 

9th February 2018 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA CAMPAIGN DELIVERS 721 SWIMMING EXPERIENCES 

19th December 2017 - ALEX BAUMANN TO HELP LEAD SWIMMING AUSTRALIA HIGH PERFORMANCE STRATEGY

1st December 2017 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES AUSTRALIA SWIMS PARTICIPATION CAMPAIGN 

17th November 2017 - NEW AUSPLAY FIGURES SHOW FOOTBALL LEADS SPORT PARTICIPATION RATES IN AUSTRALIA 

20th October 2017 - SWIMMING AUSTRALIA RE-ELECTS BERTRAND, LIVINGSTONE AND JOHNSON 

20th September 2017 - CRICKET AUSTRALIA REPORTS RECORD PARTICIPATION NUMBERS

28th March 2017 - ARU REJECTS ROY MORGAN FINDINGS ON RUGBY PARTICIPATION 

24th March 2017 - FITNESS INDUSTRY BENEFITS FROM DECLINE IN SPORT PARTICIPATION

23rd March 2017 - MASSIVE DECLINE IN AUSTRALIANS’ PARTICIPATION IN RUGBY, SQUASH AND TENPIN BOWLING 

8th December 2016 - LANDMARK STUDY FINDS SPORT STRUGGLING TO KEEP YOUTH ENGAGED 

11th May 2015 - SWIMMING LOOKS TO RIO AND BEYOND WITH KEY HIGH PERFORMANCE APPOINTMENTS 


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Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

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