The numbers behind British participation in sport

 

The legacy provided by the Olympics is a hot topic a year after the event, with the numbers of British people participating in sport a very important indicator of success.

The figures provided by sport England in December that showed the year from October 2011 to 2012 showed that there were 15.5 million people aged 16 and over taking part in sport once a week for 30 minutes, which was 750,000 up on the year previously, and up 1.57 million on when the Olympic bid was successful in 2005.

Cycling showed the most significant rise, following the performances of athletes such as Laura Trott and Sir Chris Hoy, with an extra 200,000 people involved.

The figures for April, charting April 2012 to April 2013, showed a drop in this figure, from 15.5 million to 15.3 million - which, while still meaning that numbers were up significantly on 2011/2012 numbers, as well as 1.4 million up since 2005 - there was still cause for concern.

Many sports showed a decline in figures (some of the most popular shown in the table below), with only nine out of 29 sports showing an increase. In the October figures there was no significant move in the number of 16-25 year olds participation in sport, will the April figures saw a small increase.

The cold weather during winter was one of the reasons attributed to the fall between October and April.

 

 Apr 2012-Apr 2013Apr 2011-Apr 2012% change

Swimming

2.89m

2.82m

+2.39%

Athletics

1.96m

1.99m

-1.82%

Football

1.94m

2.2m

-11.76%

Cycling

1.87m

1.93m

-3.54%

Golf

772,800

908,000

-14.89%

Tennis

424,300

420,300

+0.95%

Squash

257,700

281,100

-8.32%

Cricket

189,400

211,300

-10.36%

Rugby union

166,400

197,500

-15.75%

Boxing

150,100

139,200

+7.83%

Comments