Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish Sports Council release their activity report...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Irish Sports Council release their activity report...

Last Wednesday the 11th of July 2012, the Irish Sports Council released their latest report which outlines the public participation (aged 16+) in sporting activities.

The full report can be seen HERE

Here are a few snippets from it.....
1) The survey was conducted in 2011 and 8749 people were interviewed.
2) 6 in 10 Irish adults are obese or overweight.
3) Between 2009 and 2011, participation in sport increase from 34% to 46%. Note that the definition for a 'sport' includes walking, dancing, etc.
4) Individual sports show stronger rises in participation than team sports, most notably running and cycling.
5) The most popular sport was recreational walking. Running increased from 5th to 3rd.
6) Biggest barrier to participation was a lack of time.
7) Volunteering for sport increased from 7% to 15%.

"Personal exercise (which is predominantly accounted for by gym activities) is now the most popular sport in Ireland, regaining the position it lost in the 2008 survey. The other notable change is that running, which was  consistently the fifth most popular sport, now becomes the third most popular sport. In the case of the latter, increased participation levels  would  be expected for this  sport,
both in terms of recreational running (as has been reported anecdotally with the claimed emergence of another running boom in Ireland), as well as competitive running (for example,  events  such as  the Dublin  Marathon  reporting considerable increases in entrants in recent years). Initiatives such as the Meet & Train programmes through the Local Sports Partnership network and also the An  Post  Cycle  Series  are  also  likely to  have made  a contribution to  the increases seen in running and cycling.

A further  key difference between  the two  surveys  is  the number of sports identified on the survey. In  order  to  quantify the full spectrum  of sporting behaviour, respondents could  identify up to three sports that they had participated in  within  the previous  seven days. In  the 2011 survey, 17% identified more than one sport compared to 7% in the 2009 survey. As a result, not only are there more respondents identifying that they participate in sport but also those participating in sport are identifying more sports that they participate in. The impact of this on participation levels for specific sports is considerable,  both  in  terms  of popular  sports  (as detailed above)  and  minority sports  (the 2011 survey identifies 47 individual sports as having participation levels of less than 1%, 14 of which are not identified in the 2009 survey)."

"A number of sports  stand out as  being more  popular  amongst  higher socioeconomic groups. Running is particularly noteworthy in this regard and a strong contrast exists between the higher AB social group and the lower C2 and DE social groups in terms of their likelihood to participate in this activity, with the latter groups being less likely to participate. It is unlikely to be any income effect
that is driving this, as running also has lower barriers of entry when compared to many other sports, and indicates the potential to broaden the base of running in Ireland, and in turn increase the levels of physical activity at an overall level."

Club membership.....
It's worth pointing out of course that a lot of people that run do not take part in any type of road race. Still though, it shows that a lot of people find no reason to join an athletic club.

"In order to maximise this opportunity, clubs will need to demonstrate to newer participants  in  sport how their involvement in  a  club will facilitate  them in meeting their objectives from the sport. Key to doing this will be ensuring that the club environment is managed in such a way that has a suitable focus on newcomers and proactive recruitment of potential members at relevant events.
In doing so, clubs need to ensure that their structures recognise and can adapt to  the lifestyle  factors  that may be driving the increased desire  for  individual sports (for  example, flexibility in  training schedules  and  times). Addressing these  issues  will require  clubs  to  work in  collaboration with  potential new members."


Gerard said...

" In order to maximise this opportunity, clubs will need to demonstrate to newer participants in sport how their involvement in a club will facilitate them in meeting their objectives from the sport " Good comment. Even though I am a member of a club, I ma not sure how much I actually benefit from it in terms of competiting. A lot of clubs dont sem to offer much support to runners at races.Wonder if there are any other thoughts on the matter ?

Paudie said...

"Biggest barrier to participation was a lack of time"
What a excuse. Graveyard is full of people that couldn't make time.