Irish Sports Council issues new report on participation levels
The third annual Irish Sports Monitor report, for the year 2009, is published today by the Irish Sports Council. The report, written by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) on behalf of the Council, measures adult participation in sport and physical activity and compares it with the previously published information from 2007 & 2008.
The report shows that there were increases in the levels of physical activity in 2009, a recovery from 2008 which was badly affected by the onset of recession. The proportion of adults who actively participated in sport rose significantly between 2008 and 2009, from 30.8% to 33.5%
The proportion who walked regularly also went up, from 57.5% to 60.5%.
Overall swimming remained the most popular activity (7.2%) ahead of personal exercise (5.8%) and soccer (5.6%). Soccer (10.7%) and golf (8.1%) were the most popular activities for men, while swimming (8.5%) and personal exercise (7.1%) were most popular among women.
Walking and cycling as a mode of transport contribute substantially to physical activity, with 45.7% and 11.2% of adults doing each regularly. Students, city dwellers, single people and younger people areparticularly likely to walk and cycle for transport.
The proportion of the population that is effectively sedentary fell significantly from 18.2% in 2007 to 15.5% in 2009.
This welcome development is driven by a combination of increases in participation in
sport, recreational walking and walking for transport. However, the reduction in the level of sedentarism was considerably greater for those on higher incomes who were already less likely to be sedentary.
The report was officially launched by Mr. Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport.
Speaking at the launch event in Dublin he said; ”The reported increase in participation in physical activity is most welcome. Together with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Irish Sports Council is working with other Government Departments and many statutory and non‐statutory agencies as well as the various sports organisations to provide opportunities for everyone to enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity. It is this collaborative approach which will help to make the population of
Ireland more active and healthy”.