Sport bounces back

12 December 2013

APS Cyclists

Figures published today show that 15.5 million people are playing sport once a week, every week, an increase of over 1.5m since London won the bid to host the Games.  We are the first host nation to have increased the number of people playing sport off the back of the Games and today we see the continuing positive impact of London 2012 on people’s sporting habits.

When figures were published in June they showed a small dip reflecting the exceptionally cold winter when icy roads and waterlogged pitches kept people at home.  Today’s figures indicate that once the snow had cleared people got back on their bikes and put on their trainers. This shows that more people are continuing to play sport and the growth we saw in 2012 was not just a post-Olympic bounce.

The figures also reveal a record 1.67 million disabled people now playing sport each week, up by 62,000 over the last year. This is testament both to the impact of the Paralympic Games and Sport England’s increased investment in the grassroots.

There are also record numbers when it comes to people of BME origin with 2.7 million now playing sport once a week every week.

Although the data shows record participation numbers for many areas, there is still more to be done. Figures for the 16-25 year old age group have declined by 51,000 over the last year to 3.74 million. While this means the majority of this age group still play sport regularly the numbers are not going up. The evidence shows a sharp drop in the popularity of traditional sports like football and netball, and Sport England is committed to making sure young people have a wider range of sporting activities to choose from.

To read the results in full, visit our Research pages.