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AusPlay shows the sporting behaviours of a nation

08 December 2016

The Australian Sports Commission is today releasing the first findings of the most comprehensive national population tracking survey into sport and physical activity in Australia. 

AusPlay survey will provide the sport sector with vital insights into participation for adults and children, the barriers to physical activity and inform strategy.

ASC Chair John Wylie said AusPlay collected adults’ and children’s sport and physical recreation participation data together for the first time.

“The Australian Government’s investment in AusPlay means we will now have a deeper understanding of the sport and physical activity behaviours of our nation,” he said.

“The AusPlay survey will report every six months and provide up-to-date information about trends in sport and physical activity participation that will guide key decisions in this area.”

Findings from the first 12 months of AusPlay data also show:

  • Sport is very important for children and they are more likely to take part in organised sport-related activities than other forms of organised physical activity outside of school hours
  • Physical health and fitness is the top motivator for all types of sport and physical activity with sport-related activity seen as being more fun and social
  • Time constraints is the biggest barrier to sport and physical activity for adults up to middle age
  • Australians spend $10.7 billion a year on sport and physical activity participation fees, with less than a third (29 per cent) going to sports clubs
  • Use of technology in support of physical activity is particularly popular among young adults and women
  • The single most popular sport or physical activity for adults is walking (43 per cent), while the most popular organised sport or physical activity outside of school hours for children is swimming
  • The most popular club-based participation sport in the country for adults and children is football (see table below).

Information was collected on 20,021 adults (15 years and over) and 3,849 children (0-14 years) over the period October 2015 to September 2016.

More information about AusPlay can be found at

Club sport (Adults and Children combined) – Top activities (updated 21 December 2016)

Club sport (Adults and Children combined) Top activitiesPopulation estimate% of population% of club sport populationFootballGolfAustralian footballNetballTennisCricketBasketballTouch footballSwimmingRugby leagueAthletics, track and field1,086,986685,732635,627625,721585,751562,669532,311271,628267,890 247,883238,0844.5%2.8%2.6%2.6%2.4%2.3%2.2%1.1%1.1%1.0%1.0%18.8%11.9%11.0%10.8%10.1%9.7%9.2%4.7%4.6%4.3%4.1% 
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