17th December 2009

Athletics Leading Legacy


17 December 2009

Athletics is one of the lead sports helping to create a sporting legacy according to Sport England Research released this week.

Alongside cycling, athletics has helped deliver a combined increase of over 240,000 weekly participants. Four other sports  (Boxing, table tennis, canoeing and netball) are also meeting growth targets for year one of a plan to get one million people playing more sport by 2012/13, and takes the increase in regular participation to 635,000 since the Olympic and Paralympic bid was won in 2005.

Athletics is also one of only four sports with more than one million adults participating once a week – benefitting from the development of strong grassroots programmes alongside a growing number of mass participation events, low participant costs and a strong and improving performance at elite level which has led to increased profile of the sport.

The number of adults in England who play sport at least three times a week has reached 6.93 million, continuing the positive trend of the past four years. However, sports  with a higher cost of participation, such as golf, sailing and snowsport, appear to be facing challenges in retaining participants.

Other findings from Active People Survey show that:

  • Individual sports are growing at a faster rate than team sports
  • The number of men playing sport three times a week has risen by 176,000 to 4.203 million
  • Regular participation among non-white adults has increased by 98,800 to 713,800.

The figures cover the first six months of a four-year funding period in which Sport England will invest almost half a billion pounds going to 46 sports’ national governing bodies.

For more information on participation targets download the Sport England Document attached