Sport participation in Ireland has reached record level, report finds

Almost two million adults in Ireland participate in sport every week

Sport participation in Ireland has reached its highest level since records began, a report from Sport Ireland has found.

Almost two million adults in Ireland participate in sport every week, as regular participation rates have grown from a low of 40 per cent in the pandemic to 47 per cent, according to the Irish Sport Monitor report. The difference in sports participation rates between men and women is also the narrowest on record at just under 3 per cent. This is largely due to women’s sports participation increasing by 6 per cent between 2022 and 2023 – it now stands at 46 per cent compared to 49 per cent for men.

Sports participation levels increased in 2023 among both younger and older age groups, with 64 per cent (up from 60 per cent in 2022) of those aged under 35 and 40 per cent (from 35 per cent in 2022) of those aged 35 and over playing sport regularly.

“Sport Ireland’s commitment to research underpins our decisions at every step. The 2023 ISM report provides invaluable insights to Ireland’s sports participation and physical activity levels,” Sport Ireland CEO, Dr Úna May, said.

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“I would like to acknowledge the Government, our National Governing Bodies, and Local Sports Partnerships, local clubs, coaches, officials, volunteers and participants for their commitment to promoting sport in all its forms.”

The Irish Sport Monitor (ISM) report provides the latest insights on sporting behaviours, beliefs and attitudes. The ISM is one of the world’s longest-running national surveys, collecting data on sport participation and physical activity for over 8,500 Irish individuals above the age of 16.