Footy is Australia’s favourite club sport

Peter Terlato 12 December 2016

Soccer football kids sport playing

Aussies love soccer, athletics, swimming and walking.

New data shows the most popular club-based sport among Aussie adults and children is football, more commonly known down under as soccer.

The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) released the first batch of findings from its latest AusPlay survey, analysing physical recreation participation and intentions.

Over 17 million Australians aged 15 or over (87%) participated in a sport or physical activity in the last 12 months, while 11.6 million Aussies (59%) did so three or more times per week.

The survey results found children are more likely to partake in organised sport-related activities outside school hours than other types of physical activity.

For all Australian sporting participants, physical health and fitness is the primary source of motivation. Aussies also see sports as fun, social activities.

For middle-aged Aussies, time constraints are a huge factor in their ability to engage in sports.

For younger adults and women, technological innovations - such as fitness trackers and calorie counters - play a popular role in monitoring and supporting physical activity.

The survey also found that Aussies hand over $10.7 billion each year in sports participation fees, although less than a third (29%) goes to sports clubs.

While football (a.k.a. soccer) is the most popular club-based sport in the country (18.8%), Aussie adults are keenest on walking (43%), while children most prefer swimming (30%).

Adults also enjoy working out at the gym (32.1%), athletics (15.8%), swimming (14.5%) and cycling (11.7%).

The least popular sport for adults is recreational dancing (1.4%) and for children it's martial arts (1%).

Top 10 club sports (adults and children)Population estimate% of population% of club sport population
Football1,086,9864.5%18.8%
Golf685,7322.8%11.9%
Australian Football635,6272.6%11.0%
Netball625,7212.6%10.8%
Tennis585,7512.4%10.1%
Cricket562,6692.3%9.7%
Basketball532,3112.2%9.2%
Swimming267,8901.1%4.6%
Rugby League247,8831.0%4.3%
Athletics, Track and Field2380841.0%4.1%

The AusPlay survey reports on sports trends every six months, guiding key decisions within the sector.

Planning on playing sports overseas? Find travel insurance that covers sports and adventure activities.

Latest health insurance headlines

Picture: Shutterstock

Compare health insurance on finder.com.au

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site