Sports Mad Aussies Involved In Olympic Sports

Port Stephens athlete Shari Hurdman is collecting medals for sprinting, perhaps one day she will wear the green and gold and stand on an Olympic Dias.


WE’RE a nation of sport lovers and participants who are proud of and inspired by our Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes, with new data from Sport Australia showing four in five of us are proud of the athletes representing the nation at these global events.

Sport Australia’s latest AusPlay report found that 10.4 million Australian adults play an Olympic sport and 1.8 million volunteer in Olympic sports.

Minister for Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck said the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics present another great opportunity to get Australians more active and involved in sport.

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“The report shows that Australians love participating in Olympic sports and also feel a lot of pride and are inspired by our Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes further highlighting that sport really is an essential part of Australian life.”

It is also a ringing endorsement for Australia’s current bid to host the 2032 Brisbane Olympics and Paralympics.

Sport Australia Acting CEO Rob Dalton said the results show the Olympics and Paralympics impact us all, whether it’s playing a sport, volunteering or being inspired watching our Olympians and Paralympians compete.

“Just over 7 million Australians participate in athletics, swimming or cycling each year, making them the most popular Olympic sports,” Mr Dalton said.

Athletics (including running/jogging) is the most popular sport for men while swimming is the most popular sport for women.

When it comes to Olympic team sports, football/soccer and basketball are played the most.

“More men participate in shooting, rugby union and mountain biking, while more female participants enjoy equestrian, gymnastics and softball,” Mr Dalton added.

The top three Paralympic sports are swimming, cycling and athletics making them the same as Olympic sports but in a different order.

Mr Dalton said now is the perfect time to get involved in sport, either as a participant or volunteer adding that you don’t have to play the sport you volunteer in.

“Sports such as rugby union, football/soccer, gymnastics and basketball have a higher number of volunteers who don’t play. In many cases, this could be a parent volunteering to coach their child’s sporting team.

More than 3.5 million (or 73 per cent) children participate in an organised sport or physical activity outside of school hours with 2.9 million (or 61 per cent) playing an Olympic sport, with swimming the most popular for both boys and girls.

The report also highlights that there is a Summer Olympic or Paralympic sport for everyone and every age.

Sports like athletics, hockey, volleyball, swimming and rowing have similar numbers of male and female participants, while over-55s dominate sports such as golf, sailing, and shooting.

90 percent of Australian participating in sport or physical activity 10.4 million adults participate in an Olympic sport (51 per cent).

Shari Hurdman is a local athlete who continues to train and hopes to one day represent Australia on the world stage.
Anja Hurdman told News Of The Area, “She is focusing on 100m and 200m.

‘This year her achievements have been 3 gold medals at NSW Country Championships and she was a finalist in U15 100m and 200m at Athletics Australia Nationals in Sydney last month.

For some the motivation for sport is competition but others go all out for enjoyment with 81 percent of those surfing doing so for fun and enjoyment.

77 percent of sailors are also participating for fun and enjoyment, with 66 percent of those going paddling in kayaks or canoes also being involved for fun and enjoyment.

Sports like weightlifting, athletics, cycling, rowing and running are being taken up for physical health and fitness.

When it comes to our kids we are seeing swimming topping the sports for both boys and girls.

Top Olympic sports for boys include football, basketball and tennis while girls favour gymnastics, football and athletics.



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