Participation figures given a boost before the Olympics

Posted: Tue, 03 Jul 2012 10:08

The latest Sport England Active People Survey data has been made available, showing a significant rise in participation. Active People Survey 6 shows the number of people (16 and over) participating in sport once a week has gone over 15 million for the first time since the Surveys began in 2005/06. At 15.3m, this represents an increase of 1.4m since Active People Survey 1.

There was also positive news regarding participation of adults with a limiting disability/illness, increasing from 1.3m in 2005/06 to 1.7m this year.

There was also a significant increase in the figures for three times a week participation, increasing by 500,000 in the last 4 years and significantly 350,000 of these in the last six months.

Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said of the results, "We have got 500,000 more people doing sport three-times a week, and there has been a 350,000 increase in the last six months so there is an upward trend. The date for judging the target is also 2013, not this year. But there is evidence of real growth in tough circumstances."

There was still cause for caution, however, as some sports saw a significant decrease. Swimming, for example, saw a decrease in once a week participation by 430,000, a worrying statistic for a key Olympic sport. Others also commented that although the 500,000 increase in three times a week participation was welcome, it is still just half of the original target set by the former government of 1 million by 2013 (now abandoned by the Coalition).

Tags: Sport England, Active People survey 6, participation