December 2006 All News
Badminton ahead of tennis in Active People Survey
BADMINTON has stolen a march on tennis in a list of the nation's top 10 sports and recreations.
The Active People Survey, conducted by Sport England, listed the most popular activities as: recreational walking (8million), swimming (5.6m), gym activity (4.7m), cycling (3.1m), football (2.9m), running and jogging (2m), golf (1.4m), badminton (900,000), tennis (874,000) and aerobics (608,000).
The figures were based on people doing at least 30 minutes' activity in the last four weeks in a total of 230 sports and activities. Badminton and swimming, the survey reported, were good examples of sports that appealed to men and women as well as people of different ages.
Adrian Christy, Chief Executive of BADMINTON England said, "We are absolutely delighted with the results of this report. The survey was undertaken by Mori who are one of the world's leaders in this business, so it has immediate credibility. While we continue to be successful at International level, this report also demonstrates the tremendously successful work being undertaken at grass roots levels to encourage greater levels of participation."
The Sport England survey was the largest into sport and recreational habits among the populace and entailed questioning 363,724 people from 354 Local Authorities.
But the survey also revealed that half the population of England do NOT take part in any sport or recreational activity.
There is, however, an improvement compared to 2002. Today one in four people belong to a health or sports club compared to one in six four years ago.
The findings showed that one fifth of the population were hitting the target of 30 minutes' moderate intensity sport or recreation, three days a week. Of the 41 million population, six per cent were exercising every day.
The results of the survey will help Sport England, working with local authorities and sports bodies throughout the country, to identify where resources should be targeted to improve community sport.
Derek Mapp, chair of Sport England, said: “The survey highlights for the first time a true picture of activity and inactivity in England. Knowing the scale of the challenge is the first step to putting it right and it is a wake-up call to people everywhere.
"We will work with every local authority and our other partners to make sure these detailed findings help us all target our resources better so that we have the right places to play sport, and people on the ground to make sport happen – coaches, paid and unpaid, and other crucial volunteers.
"The survey results complement existing tools, including our Active Places website, which allows us to analyse facilities around the country. We aim to get two million more people doing sport by 2012. It’s a huge challenge and we’re ready for it.”
The South East is the most active region, while the West Midlands has the lowest percentage hitting the 3 x 30 minute-a-week target. Richmond upon Thames was the most active local authority, closely followed by Macclesfield. Boston and Newham are currently the least active.
Volunteering has a strong culture in badminton - and the survey showed that when it comes to sports volunteering, the people of Uttlesford in Essex were the most generous with their time.
Nationally 1.9 million people give at least one hour a week to help run a sports club or activity. That’s the equivalent of 54,000 full-time employees. Contrary to popular perceptions, it is the 16 to 24 year olds who are the most likely to give up at least one hour a week volunteering. People living in large cities tend to volunteer much less than their rural counterparts.
Mapp said: “This survey and the actions that will flow from it will be powerful tools in our fight against inactivity which costs the country over £8 billion a year. The power of sport is immense, not just improving the health of the nation and helping to build communities, but because it is fun and makes us feel better both physically and mentally. We need to use these results to ensure that we reach out to more of those currently missing out on sport and its benefits."
To learn more see www.sportengland.org or to view the survey in full see www.activepeoplesurvey.com