07.10.2006 в 17:31 #51982
«In 2001, the Australian Sports Commission, the country’s peak Government body for Sport, released its first comprehensive survey of Australian citizen’s participation in sport, exercise, and recreation. Of the four major football codes played in Australia the 2001 survey confirmed what everyone had long-suspected. Soccer was No.1, followed by Aussie Rules and then Rugby League. Rugby Union was the least popular football code in Australia.
Today, with the release of the 2005 survey the situation is dramatically different. The order may be the same but the gaps are narrowing considerably. In 2001, Union had 96,400 Australians 15 years of age and older playing the game. Just five years later that figure has catapulted to 165,900 and the gap between Union and League participation has fallen from almost 70,000 to just on 30,000.
At this rate of growth Rugby Union should surpass Rugby League as Australia’s 3rd most popular football code — by participation for mid-teens and up — in the next year or two.
All four football codes in Australia have grown their player numbers over the past five years, bucking the trend of an overall decline in sport participation globally, but the rate of increase for Rugby Union has been higher than all the other codes. Union has increased its participation by a staggering 72.1 per cent in the past 5 years, while AFL (51.8%), League (18.4%) and Soccer (11.4%) were all significantly less.
Rugby still has a long way to go before it threatens the likes of Soccer or AFL (if ever) which both have more than half a million players currently, but some time in the next five years Rugby could have around 250,000 players aged 15 years and over. By then, it is projected that League will have less than 225,000 and beginning its slow decent into insignificance.
(first figure 2001, second figure 2005):
Soccer 551,300 — 614,300 (11.4% growth)
AFL 353,300 — 536,200 (51.8% growth)
League 165,500 — 195,900 (18.4% growth)
Union 96,400 — 165,900 (72.1% growth)
Once again, these figures do not include the considerable number of players under 15 years of age. The last time this particular data was taken was over five years ago and showed a similar rank order as for over 15 year olds — only the player numbers were much larger for each code than above.»
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