Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Questions (47)

Kate O'Connell


47. Deputy Kate O'Connell asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the benefits from the results of the recently published sports monitor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25245/18]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The 2017 Irish Sports Monitor Report, published by Sport Ireland last month, is an insightful report providing important information on all aspects of adult participation in sport and physical activity. It also measures social participation in sport and provides key insights into the role that sport plays, not just in encouraging healthier, more active lifestyles, but also in fostering community spirit and developing social capital.

The report presents some very positive findings. It shows that 43% of the adult population regularly take part in sport, representing 1.6 million regular participants. It also shows that social participation among adults is currently at 45%, equivalent to 1.65 million adults. Overall, over 3 in 5 adults are involved in some way with sport.

I am pleased to note that there has been an increase in the proportion of the population that is highly active, with an increase from 30% to almost 33% of those now achieving the minimum level of activity set by the National Physical Activity Guidelines.  I would like to see that figure higher than a third and we are going the right direction.

I also welcome the narrowing of the gender gap in participation between men and women, which is now just 4.5%, the lowest recorded since the Irish Sports Monitor Report was introduced in 2007.

There are challenges for us in terms of increasing participation among the population generally and among those groups that are under-represented in sport.  The important work being done by Sport Ireland, the Local Sports Partnerships and sports organisations at national and local level is key in helping to achieve greater levels of participation in sport right across our society.

The Deputy will be aware that my Department is currently finalising a National Sports Policy. The Irish Sports Monitor Reports have been extremely informative in the development of that Policy.