FOOTBALL is the number one, organised, club-based participation sport in NSW, with more than 516,000 participants enjoying the round ball game.
Football NSW has again achieved healthy registrations for 2019 as the game continued to blossom across all sporting codes, according to latest AusPlay survey released by Sport Australia.
Overall numbers indicated that from June 2019, 1,853,600 people played football across the nation comprising 1,084,200 adults and 769,400 children. There was an impressive 18.2 per cent growth in the number of children aged 14 years or under.
Football NSW CEO Stuart Hodge was delighted with the AusPlay Data highlighting football as not only the number one sport in the state, but in the country.
“Football plays such an important role in our communities, providing significant physical and mental health benefits, helping the fight against obesity, promoting social cohesion and multicultural inclusion,” he said.
“Football NSW once more continues to experience exceptional growth with 11 per cent growth over the past five years for the winter season.
“This is undoubtedly due to the phenomenal work of our Associations and Clubs.”
Summer football has also grown significantly with 60,000 players registered showing a record number of females, referees and coaches in the game.
“These stats further strengthen football’s case as a year-round sport for participants and with the additional growth in Futsal, puts an increasing strain on facilities of all types,” Mr Hodge said.
“As our game continues to grow and develop, we face several challenges including an increase in participation and population along with pressure on facilities with added demands for drainage and lighting and amenities, as some clubs are stretched to accommodate the player demand in their area.”