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Swimming Most Popular Sport for Australian children: Football Tops for Boys
Swimming is still the most popular sport among Australian children, followed by football (soccer) and Aussie Rules, according to a survey of children's cultural and leisure activities released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
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 football have not changed significantly since 2006, while participation in Australian Rules football has increased from 8% to 9%.
The ABS figures considered the activities of 2.7 million children aged five to 14 in Australia and found that nearly two-thirds of all children participated in organised sport, with more boys (70%) playing sports than girls (56%).
On average, Children participated in organised sport 70 times during the year to April 2009.
Breaking down activities by gender, soccer/football, with a 20% participation rate, was the most popular sport for boys, while swimming had a participation rate of 17% and 16% of the boys played Aussie Rules.
Football Federation Australia spokeswoman Bonita Mersiades said the statistics reveal that the game has a bright future in the country, stating âthe ABS data shows just how much Aussie children love football and how prominent the sport is in Australian culture."
Meanwhile, the statistics also found that swimming was the most popular sport for girls, with a participation rate of 20%.
The figures also found that 17% of girls played netball and 8% did gymnastics.
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, used them mostly for contacting family rather than friends.
Further details can be found in Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, 2009 (cat. no. 4901.0), available for free download from the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4901.0
25th September 2009 - CHILDHOOD OBESITY RATE CONTINUES TO RISE
4th May 2009 - FFA BLUEPRINT FOR FOOTBALL SUCCESS
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