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Over 10 million Australians play Commonwealth Games Sports - 7 million Australians make swimming Australia’s favourite

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).

Australians’ love of sport is well-known, and it is no surprise that Australians love the Commonwealth Games – Australia has topped the Commonwealth Games medal tally for the last six Commonwealth Games (1990–2010). This success is not surprising; Roy Morgan Research shows last year more than 10 million Australians (52.4%) played Commonwealth Games* sports regularly or occasionally in the last three months.

This year the Commonwealth Games are set to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, beginning in late July. Swimming is Australia’s most successful sport at the Commonwealth Games and is also the sporting activity more Australians participate in than any other – 7 million Australians (36.6%). It is also one of the rare sporting activities more women (3.84 million) take part in than men (3.15 million).

Of course, Australians like a wide variety of sports – other sporting activities pursued by many Australians include Jogging/ Marathons/ Running/ Athletics/ Track & Field – 4.3 million (22.4%), Cycling and Mountain Biking – 3.7 million (19.3%) and the popular high profile sports of Golf – 2.0 million (10.6%) and Tennis – 1.7 million (8.9%).

Most Popular Sports & Activities participated in regularly or occasionally

Australian Sporting Participants

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).


Battle of the Football Codes

One of the most debated topics in Australian sport concerns the never-ending argument about which football code is ‘Number One’ in Australia. Clearly there are large regional differences on this question, however on the pure numbers Soccer is clearly well ahead on a national basis. In addition, men clearly outnumber women in participation across all four football codes.

  • Soccer: 1.48 million (7.8%). Men: 1.10 million (11.6% of men); Women: 0.39 million (4.0%);
  • Australian Football: 0.62 million (3.2%). Men: 0.50 million (5.3%); Women: 0.12 million (1.2%);
  • Rugby League: 0.35 million (1.9%). Men: 0.27 million (2.8%); Women: 0.09 million (0.9%);
  • Rugby Union: 0.25 million (1.3%). Men 0.22 million (2.3%); Women: 0.03 million (0.3%).

 

Sports & Activities participate in regularly or occasionally

TOTAL

MEN

WOMEN

 

('000)

('000)

('000)

Total Commonwealth Games Sports*

10,002

5,072

4,930

Swimming

6,988

3,147

3,841

Jogging/ Marathons/ Running/ Athletics/ Track & Field

4,284

2,284

2,000

Cycling/ Mountain Biking

3,684

2,226

1,458

Golf

2,021

1,657

364

Tennis

1,698

924

774

Soccer

1,484

1,096

388

Table Tennis

1,157

758

399

Cricket

1,151

990

161

Basketball

1,017

716

301

Lawn Bowls

786

489

297

Netball

738

116

622

Australian Football

615

500

115

Boxing

572

314

258

Badminton

508

273

235

Squash

377

270

107

Rowing

368

192

176

Sailing

367

228

139

Rugby League

354

268

86

Gymnastics

263

125

138

Rugby Union

247

220

27

Clay/ Target Shooting

238

202

36

Softball/ Baseball

215

99

116

Field Hockey

211

115

96

Motor Racing

154

129

25

Triathlons

149

86

63

TOTAL

14,681

7,565

7,116

Walking

13,175

5,962

7,213

TOTAL (Including Walking)

16,811

8,296

8,515

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2012 – September 2013 (n=49,846).
*Commonwealth Games Sports include: Swimming, Marathons, Running, Athletics, Track & Field, Cycling, Mountain Biking, Table Tennis, Lawn Bowls, Netball, Boxing, Badminton, Squash, Gymnastics, Clay/ Target Shooting, Field Hockey & Triathlons. The Commonwealth Games sports of Judo, Rugby Sevens, Weightlifting and Wrestling were not measured.

Gary Morgan, Executive Chairman, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Australia’s love of sport is deeply entrenched in the national psyche of this wide brown land we call home. Sporting heroes are celebrated long after they hang up their togs (Dawn Fraser – gold medals in the Olympics of 1956, 1960 and 1964) or grace a football field for the last time (The late Ted Whitten – Captain of the AFL Team of the Century was known as Mr. Football and is still deeply revered in Victoria nearly twenty years after his death).

“The Commonwealth Games which are due to be held this year in the Scottish city of Glasgow hold a special place in the hearts of many Australians given Australia’s great success at the event. Australia has topped the medal tally for the last six Commonwealth Games (1990-2010), and a total of 12 out of 19 times since the Games began in 1930.

“Roy Morgan’s detailed analysis of Australians’ sporting habits show more than 10 million Australians (52.4%) regularly or occasionally play a sport that is contested at the Commonwealth Games. Unsurprisingly, this is led by Swimming of which 7 million Australians (36.6%) participate regularly or occasionally.

“Although Australia’s Winter football codes are starting their seasons at the moment: the NRL kicked off last night with South Sydney defeating the reigning Premiers the Sydney Roosters in the season opener (28-8) and the AFL kicks off next Friday with Collingwood hosting last season’s runner-up Fremantle, the Australian Swimming Championships, this year being held in Brisbane, are just around the corner in the first week of April.

“This year’s Swimming Championships double as the selection event for the Commonwealth Games team. America’s Cup winning yachtsman John Bertrand, the new President of Swimming Australia, is aiming high in his new position – aiming to turn around the fortunes of the Australian swim team which won only one gold medal at the London Olympics. Bertrand has pledged to make Australia the world’s No. 1 swimming nation by the time of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The last time Australia could make such a claim – the 1956 Melbourne Olympics when Australian won eight of the thirteen swimming gold medals on offer.”

View President of Swimming Australia John Bertrand's President's Message here.


For comments or more information please contact:

Gary Morgan,

Executive Chairman

Office: +61 (3) 9224 5213

Mobile: +61 411 129 094

Gary.Morgan@roymorgan.com


Related research findings

View our extensive range of Sporting Profiles, including Swimmers Profile,  AFL Spectator Profiles,  NRL Spectator Profiles, Soccer Players Profiles, Netball Viewer Profiles and the profiles of many other sports and sporting clubs. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.


About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate

40%-60%

25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%

5,000

±1.4

±1.2

±0.8

±0.6

7,500

±1.1

±1.0

±0.7

±0.5

10,000

±1.0

±0.9

±0.6

±0.4

20,000

±0.7

±0.6

±0.4

±0.3

50,000

±0.4

±0.4

±0.3

±0.2