Netball has retained its position as the leading team sport for women and girls in South Australia, according to the latest AusPlay data released by Sport Australia earlier this month.
The report shows strong participation in netball with more than 1 million people actively participating in the sport nationwide and naming netball as the sport they most strongly identify with.
The AusPlay survey, which has been running since October 2015, is Australia’s largest and most comprehensive sport and physical activity survey conducted by Sport Australia.
Netball South Australia General Manager of Netball, Lizzie Bermingham, said that the organisation is thrilled that netball has maintained its position as number one sport in South Australia.
“To be recognised as the top team sport for Australian women and girls again in 2018 shows that netball resonates with females in our state and has a widespread impact on the physical activity habits of South Australians,” she said.
South Australia’s engagement rates are very strong compared with other states, with the highest participation rate at 3.9% and the highest percentage of people who identify netball as their most strongly associated sport at 8.3%.
“Netball SA works hard to encourage participation and facilitate opportunities for our community to play netball in metropolitan and regional areas so we are delighted to once again report benchmark participation rates compared to the rest of the country,” she said.
Lizzie also referenced the wide variety of ways people can participate in netball in South Australia.
“The sport continues to create opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in netball, from the Suncorp NetSetGO for children aged 5 to 10 years, through to masters competitions that include older or less mobile demographics,” she said.
“We’re always looking to create meaningful opportunities for more Australians to play netball and it’s great to see the impact of this commitment reflected in the 2018 AusPlay data.”
The survey showed that the top three motivations for people in Australia to participate in netball were social reasons (52%), fun and enjoyment (50%) and physical health or fitness (45%) and the majority of participants who play do so with their local netball club (just under 70%).
The AusPlay data also demonstrated that netball retains players (in Australia) for longer than other sports, with strong female participation into adulthood (18-24 years of age), in fact netball is the activity with the second largest adult female participation rates (89%), behind pilates (90%).
“This data confirms our belief that netball is a sport for all, regardless of age or skill level,” Lizzie said.
Read the full AusPlay Netball State of Play Report here.