Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Irish Sports Report shows a decline in the number of people involved in sport

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Irish Sports Report shows a decline in the number of people involved in sport

Sports Ireland have just recently released their annual activity report for 2015 and these are some of the key points...

a) 45% of the population participate regularly in sport.

b) Participation levels have declined for both genders (more for men than women).

c) Improving economic conditions and having less free time as a result may partially explain the declines in participation in sport.

d) Some sports participated in on an individual basis show increases in participation.

e) The proportion participating in team-based sports has declined.

 The term 'sport' and 'activity' used in the report is pretty wide as it includes things like walking, running, dancing, GAA, Soccer and so on.

 This 2015 study involved interviews with 8,540 respondents aged 16+.

In terms of improving economic conditions, the unemployment level was at 13.5% at the midpoint of the 2013 survey while it was at 8.9% for the mid-point of this one.

Most popular activity...

Personal exercise is a collection of different activities, most prominent of these are gym-based activities and classes. This remains the most popular sporting activity.

Running is now the second most popular form of sporting activity, just ahead of swimming which moves from 2nd to 3rd.

You'll notice some of the team based activities in decline...Soccer, Gaelic Football and Hurling/Camogie. The study found that 40.7% participated in a sport that is played on an individual basis with 9.1% participating in sport played on a team basis.  As the chart shows below, more and more people are doing their own thing in a time that suits their schedule.

Activity by Gender.....

The chart above shows the breakdown of each activity by gender. Notice that the number of men running has declined while the number of women running has remained much the same.

Findings......In terms of running, the report just highlights what we knew and suspected anyway i.e. we are gone past the peak of the running boom and numbers have dipped a bit. If the economy continues to improve and people get busier then we might expect to see the numbers running to decline a bit more.

The report does show however that activities that are short in duration and that people can fit into a busy schedule are the ones that are the most resilient. As such, the number of people running for exercise should do reasonably well.

The full report can be seen here...

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