Source: The Mercury, Wednesday, 21 June 1995, p. 63
GOLF is the most popu- lar sport played in Aus- tralia followed by net- ball and tennis, accord- ing to an Australian Bureau of Statistics report released yesterday. Olympic events barely rated a mention in the 10 most popular sports played in Australia despite 3.1 mil- lion people being actively involved. Golf was the most popular with 384,600 people involved followed by netball (336,200) and tennis (299,300). About 35 per cent of Aus- tralia's male population in 1993-94 played sport com- pared with 23 per cent of women. The ACT had the highest participation rate at 34.3 per cent of its population. Despite hosting the 2000 Olympic Games, New South Wales had the lowest propor- tion of population in sport at 27.8 per cent-1.2 per cent below the national average. But because of its popula- tion NSW had the largest number of players at 1.3 million. Tasmania had the second highest state participation rate (29.7 per cent), behind Western Australia (31.8) but ahead of Queensland (29.5) and South Australia (28.8). The high level of participa- tion in the ACT was mainly the result of a larger propor- tion of younger people in its population. Report editor David Povah said yesterday the figures provided a snapshot of Aus- tralia as a sporting nation. He said while participa- tion rates were high there was no data available to compare it with other coun- tries. Basketball was also one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, particularly in the 15 to 19 years age group, as was netball among women. Traditional male sports such as rugby league and union rated nine and 10 re- spectively in the men's top 10 popular sports while outdoor cricket rated second favourite for men and ninth favourite for women. People born in Australia were more likely to play sport than people born over- seas.
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