Sport England has discovered, via its nationwide survey of sports participation across the country, that the figure for women taking part in sports has risen at a faster rate than those for men.
People (both sexes) regularly playing sport stands at 15.74 million over the past12 months, a rise of 1.65 million since 2005/06 when the surveying began.
The usual trend is for men to have increased their numbers in sport and physical activity more than women, but this year the trend has reversed.
Swimming remains the top sport overall but continues to decline, with athletics a close second and rising.
There was good news for tennis, cricket, boxing and rugby union, with increases in the numbers taking part but football and cycling experienced falls.
“It’s particularly great to see This Girl Can is making a real difference. That’s because we’ve really focused on what drives women’s attitudes and behaviour,”said Jennie Price, Sport England’s chief executive.
Top sports: The top five sports in which adults take part at least once a week are:
Swimming (2.5million), Athletics (2.3million), Cycling (2.0 million), Football (1.8 million), Golf (0.74 million)
Gender: 8.73 million males aged 16 years or over (40.7%) played sport once a week during the period October 2014 to September 2015, an increase of 949,600 since 2005/06; 7.01 million females aged 16 years or over (31.2%) played sport once a week, an increase of 703,800 since 2005/06. (By my working out, that makes an increase of 12% for men, and 11% for women, which doesn’t quite match the claims, but hey, lets go with Sport England).
Athletics: The sport with the biggest improvement saw a rise of 98,700 to 2.3 million, much of it driven by more women taking part in running.
So, well done everyone taking part in sport – keep it up!
Especially well done to you ladies who have helped drive the figures up. Let us maintain this increase and encourage even more women into sports, particularly teenage girls, as sports participation at this age can have a big impact on future involvement in physical activity.