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Swimming - 12. May 2007.

SWIMMING TOPS SPORTS IN GOVERNMENT SURVEY




Swimming is revealed as the nation's most popular participation sport in a Department for Culture Media and Sport survey released this week.

The "Taking Part" survey, commissioned by DCMS alongside Sport England, English Heritage, Arts Council England and Museum, Libraries and Archives Council, is the first comprehensive study of how people spend their leisure time and swimming topped the list of sports enjoyed by the public.

Commenting on the report, Amateur Swimming Association (ASA) Chief Executive David Sparkes said: "This report clearly identifies the nation's passion for sport and the continued interest in swimming as the number one participation sport.

"Perhaps more importantly it reaffirms once again that swimming has the greatest potential to impact on increasing participation in sport and activity. This has been demonstrated through schemes such as the ASA's Everyday Swim programme, in conjunction with Sport England, and the Kellogg's Swim Active initiative.

"Clearly further investment into swimming, in the provision of facilities, coaches and opportunities, will greatly help towards getting our nation fitter and tackling the ever increasing problem of obesity."

The Taking Part survey revealed 94% of adults in England engaged in at least one form of sporting or cultural opportunity during the past 12months with 69% participating in active sport.

People in the South East are more likely to participate in sport and swimming beat visiting a gym, jogging and playing football as the most popular sport.

The purpose of the report is to help shape future Government policy to improve the nation's engagement across sport, cultural and leisure sectors.

Commenting on the findings, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell said: "This comprehensive survey shows the vital role culture and sport play in the life of our country. It tells us how people are getting involved - be it playing sport, visiting our national museums or stately homes, playing a musical instrument or tracing their family history.

"It allows us to focus our efforts on where we need to do more so that everyone is able to enjoy inspiring activities.

"And the news that adults encouraged to play sport during childhood are much more likely to stay active in later life is proof positive of why our drive to promote sport among young people is so important. This is the lasting legacy for future generations of our commitment to school sport."

-ends-

For further details contact Dave Richards, ASA Media Manager, on 01509 632237, 0778 992 6136 or email dave.richards@swimming.org <mailto:dave.richards@swimming.org>
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