Sport Australia and AusPlay announce gymnastics in its Top 20 for participation

In Australia’s largest and most comprehensive sport and physical activity survey distributed by AusPlay, Sport Australia has released the latest annual participation data.

Based on the annual participation of organised out-of-school activities, only for children 0-14 and all activities for adults 15+, the sport of gymnastics has ranked in at 18th in the Top 20. 

A positive for the sport, the age bracket of 0-4 years, gymnastics sits in the top three for male and female. For females, gymnastics stays as a fantastic activity avenue and remains in the top five for age brackets 5-8 and 9-14. 

The AusPlay data backs up Gymnastics Australia’s 2018 data as 91% of our athletes were under the age of 12 years and 26% were under the age of 5 years. Gymnastics Australia’s CEO, Kitty Chiller AM discusses the importance of the growth within gymnastics. 

“Gymnastics Australia is pleased to see the sport ranked so highly in the nation’s top sports and physical activities, especially in the 0-4 age bracket which reflects our leading role in the development of physical literacy skills,” Ms Chiller said.

“We pride ourselves on gymnastics being the start of a child’s physical activity. As a sport, we are able to provide children across the country with fundamental movement skills that will help them continue to grow and develop throughout their lifetime. 

“Importantly the AusPlay data also shows gymnastics is a key sport of choice for females up to the age of 14.  With the growth in women’s sport it is pleasing to see gymnastics is still front of mind for parents and young girls.

“Overall, our own 2018 data reflected a record high number of registered athletes and resulted in our biggest and best year yet in terms of participation, so we are looking forward to continuing our growth and improving our programs on a national level, growth that is always a positive outcome for the sport.”

As per the AusPlay data, 398,374 children between the ages of 0-14 participated in organised out-of-school gymnastics which is 8.5% of that age brackets population. 

The AusPlay survey also shows that the peak participation rates for organised gymnastics were among children between 5-8 years old. Further participation levels for children under 15 showed that over 70% were all females. 

Kate Palmer, Sport Australia CEO explains why AusPlay plays a pivotal role in providing information for governments at all levels, sporting organisations and physical activity providers.

“It can also serve as inspiration for all Australians.

“Australians are lucky to have so many opportunities to get active.

“Our AusPlay survey records 385 types of sports and physical activities undertaken by Australians, and you may just need to find a connection with one of those to change your life for the better.

Sport Australia is working hard to create a change to improve participation numbers across the board in sport and physical activity. The AusPlay data displayed a step in the right direction although it will take time to continue to see change.

“Sport Australia realises the importance of shifting the dial on this now because we are committed to making generational change,” Palmer said.

To learn more about the AusPlay survey from Sport Australia, please click here.