List of access keys Home Page Site map Search Contact us Back to top
Active Logo Print Version SPARC - Active NZ
Quick search

SPARC Facts 1997-2001


SPARC Facts contains the facts and figures about New Zealanders’ involvement in sport and physical activity. These have been compiled from the New Zealand Sport and Physical Activity surveys run by SPARC.

Most of the information in this report comes from the combined results of the Hillary Commission’s (now SPARC)1 1997, 1998 and 2000 Sport and Physical Activity Surveys. These national surveys have now interviewed a total of 16,500 New Zealanders - 12,500 adults (people aged 18 and over) and 4,000 young people (5-17 year-olds) - about their participation in physical activity and sport. People were chosen for the survey at random from 12 regions (covering the 17 Regional Sports Trusts (RST). Interviews took place in each region every month during each year that the survey was carried out to track how active people were including from season to season.

Combining results from the three surveys provides more detailed activity profiles of people across the different demographic variables (i.e. ethnicity, gender and age). More detailed information about activity levels of boys and girls and men and women of different ages and ethnic backgrounds is published in this edition of SPARC Facts.

Definitions of activity and inactivity, sport and active leisure, sporting activity and ethnicity are provided within the document and are listed in summary in the Appendices (page 51). Information on how the surveys are carried out is also described in more detail in the Appendix.

 This document provides an overview of all the key information contained in the New Zealand Sport and Physical Activity surveys. The information includes:

  • How active/ inactive people are by gender, age, ethnicity, as well by their education and available household income
  • How active New Zealanders want to be
  • What sport and physical activities we participate in
  • Levels of club membership, participation in organised sports and active leisure competitions, and who receives coaching
  • Who is involved in sport and active leisure coaching and administration
  • Why we need to be active
  • How New Zealanders compare internationally.

Summary profiles are included by:

  • Regional Sports Trusts (RSTs)
  • Ethnicity - Māori, European, Pacific people and other ethnic groups
  • People with a disability
  • Older people (aged 55 years or over).

Some of the key trends since 1997 are also presented, along with other interesting facts, such as:

  • Awareness of the Hillary Commission’s (now SPARC) sports programmes for young people and awareness of the RSTs
  • Why people stop and start being active
  • Who takes the stairs
  • Other activities people participate in during their leisure time.

Detailed profiles are available on the SPARC website for the following:

  • Demographic profiles (Māori, European, Pacific, other ethnic groups, older people, people with a disability, volunteers, gender)
  • Regional Sports Trusts
  • Sports profiles
  • Trends (from 1997 to 2001).

Other publications (from previous surveys) and more information about the Sport and Physical Activity Survey are also available on the SPARC website:


This report was written by Ingrid van Aalst (Consultant) with assistance from Dimitry Kazakov (Research Analyst, SPARC) and Grant McLean (Senior Advisor Research, SPARC).

1 SPARC (Sport and Recreation New Zealand) formerly known as the Hillary Commission.