Netball remains the most popular team sport for girls, according to the Australian Sports Commission’s (ASC) latest AusPlay research – Children’s Participation in Organised Physical Activity Outside of School Hours.
The research looked at participation in sport outside of school hours, arranged by a club, association, school or other type of organisation.
In 2017, 13.3 percent of girls aged under 15 years of age were reported to participate in netball out of school hours, the most popular team sport.
Peak participation for kids was between 9-11 years of age. 23.9 percent of girls played netball within this age group, the highest ranked team sport.
Netball was the most popular of any individual or team sport for girls aged 12-14, with 30.6 percent.
Netball Australia CEO Marne Fechner believes the data reflects netball’s long-term commitment to providing a safe environment for girls to thrive, and the increase in visibility of netball’s role models through the Samsung Diamonds and Suncorp Super Netball.
“It is pleasing to see netball maintaining its position as the most popular team sport for girls. Netball Australia has made it its business to deliver women’s sport for over 90 years, building confidence for young Australians and helping young children have fun while gaining life skills through netball.
Suncorp NetSetGO provides the ideal introduction to netball and ensures participants aged 5-10 years learn new skills, keep physically active and make new friends. The program engages parents and communities across the country in delivering netball.
According to the report, cost can present a barrier to participation, with 84 percent of children from high income families engaged in organised physical activity compared to 58 percent from low income families. Children in major cities (76 percent) are also more likely to participate than children from regional areas (69 percent).
Fechner said, “we recognise that in the current climate, cost can be a barrier to participation. It’s great that our sport offers comparatively low equipment costs, reducing cost barriers to participation. We also have a footprint in every Australian community, it doesn’t matter where you live you can engage in netball”
The AusPlay survey commenced in 2015 and is the largest and most comprehensive survey of its kind conducted in Australia. Netball has topped the ladder for female team sport since the survey’s inception.
Credit: Netball Australia