Sport England survey shows Olympics inspired record number of people to play sport

By NickiBlake on December 6th, 2012 - comments

Record numbers of women and men in England are playing sport every week in the wake of the 2012 Olympics, according to figures released by Sport England.

A total of 15.5 million people aged 16 and over are now playing sport at least once a week – a rise of 750,000 across the year, over two thirds of whom are women – while 1.57 million more people are participating than when London won the Olympic and Paralympic bid in 2005.

The survey shows that cycling and sailing are among the fastest growing sports, with judo, hockey and swimming also enjoying an upsurge in popularity.

Since 2005, Lincolnshire has been measured by Sport England on the number of adults taking part in sport and activity three times per week. As a county, we’ve seen a 1.7% increase from last year, meaning that 21.8% of adults in Lincolnshire are being active at least three times per week.

As a district, South Kesteven specifically has seen the largest increase in the county with a 1.2% increase, meaning that 24.2% of adults in South Kesteven are taking part in three 30 minute sports sessions per week. Five districts have also seen an increase in participation since the Active People Survey began in 2005.

Nationally, the number of adults taking part in at least one session per week has been a large focus for Sport England and National Governing Bodies of Sport since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Lincolnshire has seen a 1.7% increase from last year in adults playing sport at least once per week.

Sport England’s chief executive Jennie Price said: “We set the bar high in this survey, measuring only the people who play sport once a week, every week. These results show we are on the right track. I’m particularly pleased that many more women are taking up sports from netball and cycling to running. Sport needs to work even harder to attract and keep young people. So the investment in individual sports we will be announcing before Christmas will be strongly focussed on getting more 16- to 25-year-olds playing sport.”

Minister for Sport and Tourism Hugh Robertson added: “One of the key legacy ambitions from London 2012 was to get more people playing sport -something that no other host city has managed to do. These are excellent figures and show that we are making good progress.”

Sport England plans to invest £10.2m of National Lottery investment into improving participation in disabled sport and in January made getting more young people aged between 16-25 involved in sport one of its central priorities.