Social Capital

Sports participation

Evidence suggests that people who participate in sports and recreation enjoy better health and wellbeing and have a better quality of life [32-34]. When people are more productive and healthier, society benefits, and savings are made in the health system [33].

This indicator presents the total membership for Canterbury regional sports organisations (people who are members of clubs or school teams affiliated to the Canterbury regional sports body; may include Timaru, Grey and Westland for some sports). This indicator does not capture people who participate in non-organised/recreational sports (such as road cycling, mountain biking, running and swimming).

The figure shows that the total membership (number of members) of regional sports organisations in Canterbury increased substantially over the period 2012 to 2015, before decreasing in 2016 and 2017. The most recent data indicate that overall sports participation totalled 128,853 participants in 2018 (up from 125,016 in 2017).

Note that it is not possible to secure membership data for every code in each year and some sports may also have changed the criteria by which membership is defined and counted. Changes to the definition of membership for cricket may largely explain the drop in total membership seen between 2015 and 2016.

Data Sources

Source: Sport Canterbury.
Survey/data set: Administrative data. Custom data request for Canterbury region.
Source data frequency: Annually.

View technical notes and data tables for this indicator.

Updated: 26/11/2019