Olympic 2 min read

New Research From Allianz Australia Highlights Drop in Youth Sports Participation

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With just 21 days until the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games kicks off, new research from Allianz Australia reveals that 34% of young Australians have expressed a desire to stop participating in out-of-school sports. The primary reasons cited include time constraints, financial pressures, competitiveness, and a loss of interest.

Key Findings:

  • Time and Financial Commitments: Over half of the parents surveyed indicated that the time required and the increasing costs of participation, including membership fees and travel expenses, are significant barriers.
  • Competitiveness and Interest: A decline in interest and the competitive nature of sports were also mentioned as deterrents.
  • Impact on Children with Disabilities: The research highlighted that children with disabilities are more likely to stop participating in sports at an earlier age, with 50% discontinuing by age 11. Anxiety and the preference for other activities, such as gaming, were noted as contributing factors.

To counter these trends, Allianz Australia has launching initiatives to inspire young athletes and underscore the benefits of sports. This includes a unique experience at Allianz Stadium, where young athletes will hear a recorded cheer from 45,000 Australians, simulating the support they would receive in a major sporting event.

Dr. Emma Steer, a Clinical Psychologist at Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, emphasises the importance of a supportive environment for young athletes. She notes that parental encouragement and visible support can significantly boost a child’s motivation and self-belief in sports.

Olympic Bronze Medallist and Allianz Ambassador Owen Wright highlights the crucial role of national support in an athlete’s journey. He stresses that the encouragement from a supportive network can drive young athletes to continue their involvement in sports, both professionally and socially.

The research suggests that providing financial flexibility, focusing on fitness and fun over competition, and enhancing coach training to support children of all abilities can help sustain youth participation in sports.

Laura Halbert, General Manager of Customer Strategy and Marketing at Allianz Australia, expresses the company’s commitment to promoting the unifying power of sports across Australian communities. She hopes the Olympic and Paralympic movements will inspire more young Australians to engage in sports, helping them realise their full potential.

For further details, visit Allianz’s support of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

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