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The latest survey from Sport England reports that 15.5m adults are now participating in sport on a weekly basis. The total is up by some 1.5m from the 2005/6 period and is partly indicative of the impact which the 2012 Olympics had, and is continuing to have, on our perception of the benefits and fun to be gained from taking part in sport.
However, within that total there are winners and losers. On the plus side the report has revealed record numbers of adults taking part in disabled sports but the number of 16-25 year olds taking part in sport has declined. Football too is a loser, dropping to fourth place in the rankings behind swimming, athletics and cycling. In fact, among the results, the stand out performer is cycling; reflecting the ongoing success and visibility of the British team.
Irrespective of the individual winners and losers, the general message is that the saying that success breeds success is true. With average satisfaction levels of 80.6%, those participating are spreading the message that taking part in sport as an adult is an acceptable thing to do. In just the same way that engaged employees can spread positive messages about their organisation, so too are those engaged in sport spreading positive messages about sports participation. With some 50% of adults still not participating in sport on a weekly basis there may be some way to go but the participation ball is rolling and with a continued emphasis on satisfaction/engagement levels the future for sport in England looks positive.