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Nearly half of Irish adults now regularly take part in sport

By Tom Walker    25 Nov 2019
There has been an increase of 3 per cent – around 100,000 people – in the number of adults taking part in regular sport since 2017 / Shutterstock
There has been encouraging increase in the number of adults actively and socially engaged in sport
– Brendan Griffin

Nearly half (46 per cent) of the Irish population – around 1.78 million people – currently participate in sport at least once a week.

The figure comes from the Irish Sports Monitor (ISM) 2019 Mid-Year Report published by Sport Ireland and marks a 3 per cent increase in the number of people playing sport since 2017.

There was also an increase in the number of people taking part socially in sport.

Overall, personal exercise remains the most popular activity (16 per cent of people taking part) followed by swimming (8 per cent), running (7 per cent) and cycling (4 per cent).

According to Brendan Griffin, Ireland's minister of state for tourism and sport, the findings show "good progress in meeting National Sports Policy targets".

“The mid-year report shows further progress towards the 2027 targets set out in the National Sports Policy 2018-2027," he said.

"There has been encouraging increase in the number of adults actively and socially engaged in sport, meaning more people are benefitting from the physical, mental and social dimensions of sport and physical activity.

"It is also encouraging that the gender gap in active participation has narrowed slightly."

The ISM measures adult participation in sport and physical activity since 2007 and is based on interviews with over 4,200 adults aged 16 and over.

Sport Ireland 
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