Active People Survey: record level of people taking part in sport
Record numbers of women and men in England are playing sport every week, according to Sport England’s annual Active People Survey.
Now in its sixth year, the report shows that that 15.5 million people aged 16 and over are playing sport at least once a week – 750,000 more than in 2010-11 and 1.57 million more than when London won the Olympic and Paralympic bid (in 2005).
The strongest growth has been among women, with an increase of more than 500,000 in the past year helping to cut the gender gap in sport.
There has also been a sharp rise in participation numbers the period since the London 2012 Games got underway.
A range of Olympic sports have benefitted from the “summer of sport” as more people have joined clubs – particularly cycling and sailing.
Participation by disabled people has been rising steadily since 2005, but still lags far behind that for non-disabled people. Earlier this week, Sport England announced a £10.2m National Lottery investment to tackle the challenge of getting more disabled people active.
Sport England CEO, Jennie Price, said: “We set the bar high in this survey, measuring only the people who play sport once a week, every week. These results show we are on the right track.
“I’m particularly pleased that many more women are taking up sports from netball and cycling to running.
“Sport needs to work even harder to attract and keep young people. So the investment in individual sports we will be announcing before Christmas will be strongly focussed on getting more 16- to 25-year-olds playing sport.”
Minister for Sport and Tourism, Hugh Robertson, said: “One of the key legacy ambitions from London 2012 was to get more people playing sport – something that no other host city has managed to do. These are excellent figures and show that we are making good progress.”
To download and read the full Active People Survey and its reports, click here.