Sport in Australia

(Department of Health)


Participating in sport and physical activity helps Australians to enjoy healthier, happier and more productive lives. It also helps to bring communities together and benefits the local economy. Find out what we’re doing to support community and elite sport and physical activity in Australia.

Sport is an important part of life in Australia:

  • more than 90% of adults have an interest in sport
  • about 11 million adults and 3 million children take part in sport each year
  • 35% of Indigenous people aged 15 years and over participate in some type of sport or physical activity and 43% attend sporting events as a spectator

But many sports are finding it hard to get sponsors, and fewer people are playing sport. If this trend continues, adult participation is predicted to fall by more than 15% by 2036.

We need to reverse this trend because exercise and physical activity can have lasting health benefits. Sport can also:

  • benefit the local economy and increase social connections
  • give people the chance to test their limits and celebrate personal success

It’s also important to continue the success of Australian sportspeople here and overseas. Our sports champions can:

  • inspire people to take part in sport and have a positive influence on the community
  • strengthen our sense of national identity and pride

What we’re doing about sport

We work with the Australian Sports Commission (Sport Australia and the AIS) and other government agencies to ensure we have a fair sports system that everyone can take part in.

To support the Australian Government’s national sport plan (Sport 2030), we:

  • develop policies and support programs to increase participation in community sport
  • provide funding to support sports programs and events which benefit the health of Indigenous Australians
  • oversee work to protect the integrity of sport from threats such as doping, match-fixing and criminal exploitation
  • coordinate Australia’s role in major sporting events such as the Invictus Games
  • help to improve our sport relationships with other countries through sport diplomacy
  • provide funding and support to improve water and snow safety and reduce drownings

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