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Latest AusPlay survey results identify swimming as the number 1 sport for NSW kids

Incoming councillors to the next term of Council (September 2020) might be interested to learn that the number 1 sport in terms of participation per capita across all ages in New South Wales is swimming.

Those who have continued to challenge Eurobodalla Councillors on their regressive decision to replace the 50m pool in Batemans Bay with a 25m pool and splash pad might gain strength from the latest AusPlay survey results that identify sport and physical activity habits across the country Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said AusPlay, which surveys 20,000 Australians annually, was an important way to track how Australians engage with sport and physical activity.

“The latest AusPlay results show that almost 13 million Australians (62.9 per cent) aged 15 or over participate in sport or physical activity at least three times a week. Almost 60 per cent of Australian children are active at least once a week in organised activities outside school,” Ms Palmer said.

“We want to see that increase because we know the physical, mental and social benefits that being active provides.

“Sport Australia’s national Find Your 30 campaign encourages all Australians to get active for at least 30 minutes every day. Of course, the recommended activity levels for children are one hour a day, so that may be 30 minutes at school and 30 minutes at home.

“The Find Your 30 campaign is complemented by a suite of programs that encourages everyone to be active for life, from children to older Australians. 

“The Australian Government’s national sport plan, Sport 2030, has set a long term goal for Australia to become the world’s most active and healthy nation. We have accomplished a lot so far, but there is far more to do if we are to continue to get Australia moving and achieve our vision. 

“Sport Australia works hand in glove with sporting organisations and physical activity providers across the country to drive participation. No matter what state or territory you live in, there are endless options to be active. The key is finding something that you enjoy.” In terms of participation per capita across all ages, Victoria has the highest proportion of tennis players, New South Wales in swimming, Northern Territory in yoga, South Australia leads in netball, Western Australia in hockey, Tasmania in recreational walking, Queensland in rugby league and the ACT in football. 

AusPlay shows that recreational walking continues to be the most popular activity across the nation, with almost 9 million Australian adults making it part of a physically active lifestyle. 

Swimming is the organised activity of choice for a large proportion of Australian children aged 0-14, ahead of football and gymnastics. 

AusPlay provides the sport sector with vital insights into the physical activity behaviours of adults and children and criticial evidence to inform strategies to grow participation. 

More than 75,000 telephone interviews have been conducted with Australian adults across all states and territories since AusPlay launched in October 2015. 

Aggregated AusPlay data from October 2015 to June 2019 also shows:

Activities with the most gender equity among adults include bush walking, jogging and running, fitness/gym and swimming. Physical health and fitness are the strongest motivation for keeping active. Young adults are more motivated to be active for fun and social reasons but as we age, mental health and the enjoyment of being outdoors become significant factors.  While sport remains an important form of activity throughout life, non sport-related physical activity becomes more important as we age.  Sport clubs are the primary avenue for children’s organised activity, with almost half of Australia’s children involved in a club sport outside of school hours.  Most disappointingly for the Eurobodalla community the Aquatic Strategy, commissioned by Council and written by the same consultant who prepared the Mackay Park design options, recommended that the Batemans Bay 50m pool be replaced with a 25m pool and that the shire residents go to Narooma if they wanted a 50m facility. That Eurobodalla Aquatic Strategy was endorsed by Council with NO community consultation nor any prior advice that they were going to endorse it. Hidden in a Mayoral Report as part of a host of other elements the Councillors endorsed the entire report without question. Adding insult to injury the Eurobodalla Councillors failed to consult with the Batemans Bay Swimming Club over their decision to downsize the 50m pool and they failed to advise the schools that they sought endorsing letters from, garnering support for the new Aquatic facility, that they intended to remove the town's Olympic Pool.


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