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Sport industry in Australia - Statistics & Facts

Australia is a proud sporting nation. Team sports such as cricket, rugby and netball have maintained their popularity among Australians since British colonization. However, the country has also managed to cultivate its own unique sporting identity. Australian rules football, or AFL, was developed in the 19th century and is now one of the most popular sports in the country, both in terms of spectator attendance and participation. Aside from team sports, individual sports and fitness activities like walking and working out at the gym are also popular physical activities in the country as Australians embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Many Australians are introduced to sports from a young age and it is common for children to participate in organized sports such as swimming, football, and gymnastics. Youth participation in sports can vary greatly but over 50 percent of Australian children participate in sports at least once per week.

As spectators, Australians are some of the most enthusiastic in the world. Sports such as rugby, Australian rules football, horseracing and cricket have historically drawn in large numbers, and attendance for these sports continue to be high. While male sporting events have traditionally been more popular in Australia, recent trends have shown women’s sports drawing in large numbers of spectators as well. The Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) in particular, has seen a surge in popularity which has been translated into high attendance numbers and a spotlight on the gender pay gap disparity experienced by female athletes.

More and more Australians have been opting to join gyms over the past few years, which has become a convenient solo alternative to team sports. Accordingly, the number of fitness centers and gyms have grown steadily, despite many businesses being forced to close temporarily during lockdown periods in 2020. This indicates that the industry is on track to maintain its growth rate post-COVID and bodes well for other individual sports segments such as the wearable technologies industry.

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