88.4% of children aged 5-15 took part in sport in the last four weeks according to findings from the 2016/17 Taking Part Survey results, released by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Key findings

  • 84.3% of 5-10 year olds had taken part in sport outside school in the four weeks prior to interview and 78% in the week prior to interview.
  • 94% of 11-15 year olds had taken part in sport in school lessons and /or outside school in the four weeks prior to the interview.
  • A significantly higher proportion of boys aged participated in sport outside school compared to girls.
  • Swimming, diving or lifesaving was the most common category of sport undertaken by 5-10 year olds and football was the most popular sport undertaken by 11-15 year olds.
  • Participation in tennis, cross country, jogging/road running, table tennis, gymnastics and walking/hiking significantly increased between 2010/11 and 2016/17 in 5-10 year olds.

The Taking Part Survey is an annual Household Survey commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport measuring engagement with the cultural sectors. The current report presents the headline estimates for child engagement for the year April 2016 to March 2017.