Research and Information Services

Sports Participation

The Sports Council for Wales has, since 1987, commissioned regular surveys of sports participation in Wales. Surveys are undertaken every two years to measure adult (aged 15+) sports participation, and the results have been published in the Council’s Sports Update series. Initially, surveys were carried out as part of the Welsh Omnibus Survey based on a sample of around 4,000 adults. More recently, since 1998, an independent survey , with a greatly expanded sample size, has been undertaken. This change has enabled data about adult sports participation to be analysed at the local authority level.

A copy of the latest publication on adult participation can be downloaded from here.

Biennial surveys for previous years (since 1987/88) are still available.

Surveys of sports participation by children in Wales have been carried out every two years since 1991. The survey is administered to children aged 7-11 years at primary schools and 11-16 years at secondary schools. As with the adult participation survey, the size of the sample has recently been greatly increased, allowing the results to be discussed at local authority level. The results of the most recent survey were published in Sports Update 58, Active Young People in Wales.

On a UK basis questions on sports participation have been included in the Government’s General Household Survey approximately every three years, commencing with the 1973 survey. The last published survey to include sport was in 2002 and the results are in: Office for National Statistics (2004) Sport and leisure: results from the sport and leisure module of the 2002 General Household Survey, HMSO, London.

Copies of all Sports Council for Wales sports participation survey publications, together with copies of the relevant General Household Surveys and other information on sports participation, can be consulted at the Sports Council for Wales Information Centre.