Following the launch of the Team Up England campaign which saw England Hockey, Netball and Cricket join forces to encourage more females between the ages of 8-11 to participate in team sports, we take a look at the top participated sports by children in the country.
According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part Survey, completed by 1,780 children, the difference between boys and girls playing, or taking part, in sport is significant: 88% of boys, compared to 79% of girls, play or take part in sport.
Girls, however, eclipse boys when choosing to participate in other activities such as music, arts and crafts, dance, reading and other media activities – such as blogging, making a website or even podcasting.
Of the top 10 participated sports by children aged 5-10, just one is widely identified as a team sport – Football (32.2%).
The next team sport is down at 5% (Rugby & Basketball), while the three ‘Team Up’ members are, 4% (Cricket – a decrease), 2% (Hockey – no change) and 1.6% (Netball – which also saw no change).
The Taking Part survey found that 81% of 5-15 year olds had taken part in sport in 2014-15, but when broken down, just 36% had been undertaken outside of school time.
Here is a comprehensive guide to the Top 10 participated sports amongst children:
Including: Judo, Karate, Taekwondo
Clubmark clubs: Derby: Zero. East Midlands: 16. England: 189
Non-clubmark: 29 clubs in and around the Derby area.
Why do it?: Master Afzal of Kombat Kinetics says: “Some children take up martial arts due to watching a martial arts film or their friends are doing a martial art.
“In my professional opinion most children are encouraged to do martial arts by their parents who want their kids to learn discipline, respect, self defence and confidence building.
“Children who enjoy martial arts realise it’s fun and it’s a way of getting fit whilst learning something constructive. When they see themselves improving, it gives them confidence, joy and they want to be leaders in all aspects of their lives.
Including: Putting, pitch-and-putt.
Clubmark clubs: Derby: 1. East Midlands: 51. England: 502
Non-Clubmark: 13 Golf clubs in and around Derby
Why do it?: Aaron Holtom, PGA Professional and founder of youth golf: “I think it appeals to the not so sporty types, also the fact that you can’t rely on anyone [but yourself] is quite empowering.
“I don’t think most kids play sports to be the best though. As we get older this is what we can be led to believe is why children play sport.”
Including: Tennis as you know it. Rackets and balls. Most council parks have tennis courts that are free to use and accessible in all weather.
Clubmark Clubs: Derby: 5. East Midlands: 92. England: 1038
Non-Clubmark: 12 clubs in and around Derby
Why do it?: Derbyshire Tennis Centre manager, Rob Hawkins said: “Children choose tennis for the enjoyment of hitting a ball! From an early age they are taught to throw and catch this for them is the next stage – the opportunity to hit a moving object with another object is a challenge they enjoy.
“Any kid can play a game with another kid, tennis courts are readily available through schools links to clubs like ourselves or through tennis courts in a park.”
Including: Roller-blading and skateboarding.
Clubmark Clubs: Zero
Non-Clubmark: 2 places to roller-skate or skateboard in and around Derby, however some parks have ramps
Why do it?: Andy Baines, manager at Rollerworld, Derby said: “Skating is fun for all the family, we have a wide selection of games for everyone and are both enjoyable and competitive.
He added: “Roller skating is a great way to meet new friends with socialising elements and also keeping fit at the same time.”
What is a Clubmark club?
Above: Clubmark affiliation in Derby as recorded by Sport England.
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Including: Ten-Pin Bowling as we know it, a ball and ten pins – no other variations
Clubmark Clubs: Zero
Non-Clubmark: 1 bowling alley in and around Derby
Why do it?: Liz Brailsford, centre manager, Chesterfield Bowl: “Not all parents can get to tennis etc, and bowling, is something the whole family can do.
Including; Gym, gymnastics, trampolining and climbing frame
Clubmark Clubs: Derby: 3. East Midlands: 74. England: 788
Non-Clubmark: 9 gymnastics clubs/sports centres incorporating gymnastics in and around Derby
Why do it?: Former gymnast, free-runner and Hollywood stuntman, Damien Walters of Derby City Gym says: “Not many sports can be participated indoors at such a young age. Plus they get to jump around and play on soft equipment.
“Gymnastics gives you all the pre requisite skills for all other sports; strength, flexibility, coordination and balance.”
Clubmark Clubs: Zero
Non-Clubmark: 9 routes listed by the Derby City Council, some leisure centres have groups too
Why do it?: John Harris of Walking In England said: “If my grandchildren are anything to go by, the reason they like walking is just being out in the countryside and fresh air.
“My grandkids love the woods where they don’t just walk they dam streams, build hides etc., and the countryside – where they can climb in ditches, run up and down hills – it is basically a playground for them!”
Including: recreationally riding a bike
Clubmark: Derby: 3. East Midlands: 29. England: 274
Non-Clubmark: 1 track cycling venue in and around Derby
Why do it?: Cycle Derby have delivered a large amount of training to schools in the last eleven years says Mark Smith: “Having designed and built a BMX track and established the Cycle Derby CC it is clear there is a huge demand for it. Derby already boasts several under 16 amateur world BMX champions!
“The beauty of cycling is that there are so many disciplines to choose from and although it is a very sociable activity it is also something that can be done on your own.”
Mark concluded: “Sir Chris Hoy started off on BMX’s and progressed to the track as did Shanaze Reade. Cycling is a great way of building confidence and families can do it together. Just going out for a social ride to a local place of interest can be so much fun. Cycling covers; health, leisure, commuting and sport so it’s so easy to get involved.”
Including: Five-a-side football and mini soccer
Clubmark Clubs: 35. East Midlands: 423. England: 4,446
Non-Clubmark: Over thirty football clubs in and around Derby
Why do it?: Angela Harper, Derbyshire FA: “Football is a very powerful tool that can not only help tackle low activity levels, but also work on children’s social, psychological and technical areas of development.
“Football can help children work together as a team to work towards a common goal and is an excellent choice for children as the laws are relatively simple and a small amount of equipment is needed in order to take part.”
Including: diving and lifesaving
Clubmark Clubs: Derby: 3. East Midlands: 76. England: 595
Non-Clubmark: Over 20 swimming clubs in and around Derby
Why do it?: Clive Smith, chairman of Etwall Eagles swimming club says: “Swimming is good exercise and works many muscles in body, plus later in life it helps with gaining a strong core.
“Most other sports are done by gender especially when into teenage years, but we train all mixed. It’s a sport where you can compete as an individual and as a team through out the year.”
Note: Not all of the top ten are classified as “typical” sports in the mainstream, rollerskating and ten-pin bowling for example. Therefore they are not included in the Clubmark table. To change this, go to www.sportenglandclubmatters.com and start a club.