Participation: The latest AusPlay survey results, 2020

Sport Australia has released its latest AusPlay survey results, for the year Jan. 2020 to Dec. 2020.

Bushwalking ranking – Nationally, in 2020 bushwalking (/hiking) has remained in the top six of the 133 activities with regard to participation and remains in the top seven in WA, only two places behind cycling.

Participation – 8.6% (1.8 million) of Australia’s adult population participated in bushwalking compared to 14.3% in cycling and 1.8% in mountain biking. In WA, bushwalking participation was a little lower, at 7% (~150,000) of adults, but a significant increase on the previous survey only six months earlier.

The AusPlay Bushwalking Report  indicates WA has an 8.2% share of the total bushwalking participation across Australia, compared to SA with 7.1% and NSW with 33%. 18% of bushwalkers were active at least once per week; 71% of those spent at least 2 hours on each bushwalking activity and 50% spent more than 3 hours. About 30-40% of bushwalkers indicate their main motivations for bushwalking are: to be outdoors to enjoy nature; physical health or fitness; fun/enjoyment. Interestingly ‘social reasons’ rank significantly lower for most (only ~17-20% of participants).

Long-term increase in participation –The longer term national data shows an overall increase of 3.3% for adult participation in bushwalking over the past 20 years compared to a 6.2% increase in cycling and a small 0.6% increase in mountain biking. However over the past 5 years, participation in bushwalking has increased from 4% to 6.9%, with the greatest rate of increase being in 2020.

Gender participation – In WA, there appears to have been an increase in female participation (56%) compared to males (44%), now similar to the national ratio of female 55% : male 45%, and contrasting with a seemingly male-centric  activity such as mountain biking where the ratio is 18% female : 82% male.

Non-sports versus Sports activities – Nationally in 2020, 27.7% of adults participated in non-sports related activities compared to 16.4% in sport-related activities.

See the AusPlay National and State results (AusPlay Focus report and Data Tables) released 3 May 2021. SportAus will also be releasing an update shortly to last October’s report on the impact that  COVID-19 has had on participation.

(Posted 7 May 2021.)

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