Soccer cements itself as WA’s most popular team sport

Stock image.
Stock image.

WITH the FIFA World Cup just around the corner, soccer has cemented itself as WA’s most popular team sport.

The recent Australian Sports Commission AusPlay study found that 196,600 WA people played soccer between July 2016 and June 2017, having grown by almost 20,000 participants since the previous survey.

Soccer is also ranked Australia’s most popular team sport, with 1.83 million players across the country.

Football West chief executive James Curtis said soccer had 24,000 and 34,000 participants more than the next biggest sports in football and basketball.

“For a number of years now football has been the number one team sport in Western Australia and across the country in terms of participation,” he said.

“The latest AusPlay data confirms the game as the sport of choice for so many women, men, girls and boys.

“There is no doubt that Australia’s rise towards the very pinnacle of the sport for both women and men is inspiring more and more kids to put a ball at their feet and have a go at the game.”

Gosnells City Football Club president Garry Nickisson said they had seen first hand the rise of the sport this year, welcoming 80 new players to the more than 300 juniors and 100 seniors on their roster.

“The game is promoted for all age groups as well as for male and female players and with the different levels of ability, teams are available to accommodate all,” he said.

“You don’t have to be the best to play football, it can be a serious game at a serious level or a social activity with a light-hearted atmosphere.

“Gosnells City Football Club is a community club open to all and this allows local boys and girls, men and women, to get together and develop team play, individual play and a social spirit that joins individuals together.

“There are opportunities to encourage football players, coaches, managers and parents in developing an appreciation and enjoyment of the game and its skills.”

Football West last week announced a three-year partnership with the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, with community teams to share in $540,000 of funding.

Visit www.gosnellscityfc.org.au for more information.

Top 5 most popular activities in WA for children

-Swimming (181,800 participants)

-Soccer (79,300)

-Australian Football (71,200)

-Basketball (52,200)

-Athletics (42,800)

Top 5 for Adults

-Walking/Fitness/Gym (1.68m)

-Athletics (381,600)

-Swimming (357,100)

-Cycling (321,100)

-Golf (131,600)