SWIMMING has topped the Australian Sport’s Commission’s latest national AusPlay data to be the number one participation sport in the country.
Nearly six million Australians participate in swimming – be it learn to swim, recreational lap swimming, squad training, ocean swimming or competition.
The 2022-23 report, released last week, also found that swimming is the most popular sport for children with nearly two million (1,918,000) participants.
With a review on how COVID-19 impacted sport and activity, swimming also defied a national trend to be more popular in 2022-23 than 2021-22.
Other key findings include:
- Swimming participation has increased 33% (1.45 million) since 2017-18.
- In all – 3.95 million adults and 1.92 million children are involved in swimming.
- Adult swimming participation rates have increased to 18% in 22-23 from 14.6% in 2017-18.
- The swimming participation rate amongst children has increased to 37.9% in 2022-23 from 30.8% in 2017-18.
- Swimming is particularly popular amongst women and girls, who represent 54.8% of total swimming participation (3.22 million).
- Females represent 56.9% of total adult swimming participation and 50.6% of total swimming participation amongst children.
- Swimming is the leading sport for people with a disability (573,000).
- Swimming is the leading sport amongst people who speak a language other than English (LOTE) at home (995,000).
Interim CEO of Swimming Australia Steve Newman said the AusPlay data was an invaluable information source for governments at all levels and sporting organisations.
“Clearly Australians – of all ages – love to swim and we look forward to working with our stakeholders to help provide more opportunities to make this happen,” he said.
“It is inspiring what swimming means to the Australian psyche and identity and the sense of connection we feel for the water.
“Swimming is a sport and activity that we can all carry for life and Swimming Australia looks forward to working with stakeholders and government on developing life skills to help prevent drownings, building participation, and investing in infrastructure.”