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The sporting year: did you pay attention in 2015?

To usher in a new sporting year, Roy Morgan Research brings you a light-hearted quiz loosely based around some of our key 2015 sports research findings...

Just like love and marriage, strawberries and cream, or Batman and Robin, the love affair between Australians and sport is legendary and long-standing. Many of our national heroes are sports stars, and our illustrious reputation on the world sporting stage continues to fuel patriotic pride (Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, anyone?). To usher in a new sporting year, Roy Morgan Research brings you a light-hearted quiz loosely based around some of our key 2015 research findings….

  1. What are the five most popular team sports and the five most popular individual sporting activities among Australians 14+?

  2. Besides improving their fitness, people who play regular team sports benefit in which other, less immediately obvious way?

  3. Which sporting activity gained the most popularity among Australians 14+ between October 2010 and September 2015? 

  4. What are the country’s most and least gender-balanced sports?

  5. Traditionally the most popular team sport played by Aussie girls aged 6-13, netball was recently overtaken by which other team sport? 

  6. Another summer of sport is upon us, with the Test Cricket already in full swing and the Australian Open tennis in January. Which of the two sports do more Australians watch on TV?

  7. Australian surfing was in the spotlight in 2015, primarily due to the trials, tribulations and triumphs of our own champion surfer Mick Fanning. But as we reported in April last year, surfing participation by men and women has actually fallen among Fanning’s age bracket (25-34 years), while experiencing a surge in popularity among which other age group?

  8. Which Australian state is home to the highest proportion of cyclists in the country?

  9. After walking for exercise, which sporting activity do Aussie men aged 65+ most commonly participate in on a regular basis?

  10. In September, we revealed which AFL team’s supporters were most likely to be in the market for a new car. While 13 of the league’s 18 teams are sponsored by either an automotive make or retailer, the team with the fourth-highest proportion of new-car intenders among their fan-base does not have any automotive sponsors. Which team is it?



  1. The five most popular team sports* played either regularly or occasionally by Australians 14+ are: Soccer (played by 7.9%); Cricket (6.1%); Basketball (5.4%); Netball (3.7%); Australian Rules football (3.3%). * NB: team sports exclude those that can be played either by a team or an individual (eg. ten pin bowling) The five most popular individual sporting activities practised regularly or occasionally by Australians 14+ are: Walking for exercise (done by 74.9%); Swimming (36.2%); Hiking/bushwalking (27.3%); Jogging (25.4%); Gym/weight training (22.8%). Note the much higher participation rate for informal, individual sporting activities. Australians are increasingly time-poor, choosing to do what they can when they can. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  2. In March 2015, we published an article revealing that Australian adults who participate regularly in some kind of team sport are noticeably less likely than the average Aussie to experience mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety or stress. As of September 2015, this still applies: regular team-sports players are 27% less likely to be stressed, 38% less likely to suffer from anxiety, and 53% less likely to have depression. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  3. Hiking/bushwalking. In the 12 months to September 2011, 15.6% of Australians 14+ (2.9 million people) reported that they took part in hiking/bushwalking either regularly or occasionally. Five years later, this figure has grown to 27.3% or 5.3 million people, a proportional increase of 75%. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  4. In an article we published in July 2015, we reported that ten pin bowling, marathons/ running, gym/weight training and jogging were the nation’s most gender-balanced sports.  As of September 2015, this honour belongs to gym/weight training (with a male:female ratio of 52%:48%) and hiking/bushwalking (male:female ratio = 48%:52% ). Netball and cricket remain the most gender-biased sports. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  5. Soccer. In November 2015, we reported that 39% of Aussie girls aged 6-13 years now play the Beautiful Game, compared with 37% playing netball. (Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, July 2014-June 2015)

  6. Cricket. Some 40% of Australians 14+ watch cricket on TV either occasionally or almost always, just ahead of tennis, which is viewed by 35% of the population. (See last year’s article on this subject). (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  7. The 50+ age bracket. As we revealed in April 2015, surfing participation increased among both women and men aged 50 years or older. Sadly, since then, the number of mature-aged surfers has decreased, among both women (now 57,000, down from 58.000 at the time of the article) and men (now 142,000, down from 169,000). Too many shark attacks for comfort? (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  8. Western Australia: 22% of WA residents ride their bike either regularly or occasionally (down from 23% when we published state-by-state cycling findings in May, 2015). Meanwhile, Victorian cyclists are picking up speed (21%, up from 20%). (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  9. Golf. 10% of men aged 65+ play golf regularly, as we reported in November 2015. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, October 2014-September 2015)

  10. St Kilda. In September 2015, we revealed that 14.5% of St Kilda supporters were in the market for a new car in the next four years. This has since crept up to 14.7%. (Source: Roy Morgan Single Source, November 2014-October 2015)

Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Not only was 2015 a huge year for sport in Australia, but also for Roy Morgan Research’s sports data. Touching on some of last year’s most-read research findings, this quiz is a fun way to brush up on your sporting facts and stats in time for the new sporting year.

“With more than 50,000 respondents interviewed per year, Roy Morgan Research Single Source provides detailed and holistic insights into Australians’ sporting participation, viewing habits, attitudes and trends, analysed from every angle and correlated across hundreds of metrics.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%