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Recreation in Australia

National Sports Plan

Through a National Sports Plan the Government seeks to understand Australia’s expectations of the sports sector, including our shared goals for high performance sport; sporting participation; cultural and public health outcomes and our willingness to pay for these services, opportunity and success.
The National Sports Plan consultation period is closed and it is expected that the plan will be released in early 2018. Further information can be found on the National Sports Plan website.

National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework

The National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework, endorsed by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Ministers for Sport and Recreation in February 2011, provides the basis for continued collaborative work between Governments and includes clarification around the role of each layer of Australian sport. The Framework provides a guide for the development and alignment of policies, strategies and programs for Governments, and defines priority areas for cooperation with underpinning objectives and measures. The Framework is currently under review.

Fitness Australia

Fitness Australia is the peak health and fitness industry association providing a range of support services and solutions to over 30,000 registered personal trainers, registered fitness instructors, fitness businesses and suppliers Australia-wide.

Parks and Leisure Australia

Parks and Leisure Australia is the peak industry association for professionals working in the Parks and Leisure sector in Australia, representing over 2500 members. Through a broad range of services they support members to provide opportunities that strengthen communities through good use of leisure time for the social, environmental, economic and physical wellbeing of all Australians.

AusPlay Sport and Recreation Data

The AusPlay Survey is a large scale national population tracking survey funded and led by the Australian Sports Commission that:

  • is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind ever conducted in Australia;
  • is the single-source participation data currency for government and the sport and recreation sector; 
  • helps the sport and recreation sector better understand the participation landscape and identify strategies to grow participation; and
  • provides national and state based data.

Data collection for AusPlay commenced on 22 October 2015. The latest data release was on 16 November 2017 reflecting data collected for the financial year 2016/17.

National AusPlay Data General Findings

  • People tend to spend more time doing non-sport related activity as they age
  • Adults participate in non-sport related physical activity more often than sport.
  • Physical health or fitness is the strongest motivation for non-sport related physical activity.
  • Sport clubs are not the main choice for participation in sport or physical activity for adults.
  • 59% of money being spent by adults on being active is in recreational activities
  • Recreational walking is the most popular physical activity for Australians, then fitness/gym activities

SA AusPlay Data – November 2017

Top 15 activities for adults – 9 of top 15 involve active recreation

Walking (Recreational)                                                    45.9%
Fitness/Gym                                                                    32.2%
Athletics, track and field (includes jogging and running)12.9%
Cycling                                                                             12.0%
Swimming                                                                        11.1%
Bush walking                                                                    5.9%
Yoga                                                                                 4.5%
Golf                                                                                  4.4%
Basketball                                                                        4.3%
Australian football                                                            4.3%
Netball                                                                             4.2%
Tennis                                                                              3.8%
Football/soccer                                                                3.6%
Pilates                                                                              2.3%
Cricket                                                                              2.3%