National governing body British Cycling has released a statement regarding the Sport England Active Lives figures (released today). These participation figures show that cycling for leisure and sport has increased by circa 100,000 – with a significant increase amongst women.
The highest ever levels of activity have been recorded by Sport England’s latest Active Lives Adult Survey, with 1 million more people physically active than when the survey began.
The survey provides analysis on the number of people engaging in activities at least twice in the last 28 days. The latest data tracks the May 2018-19 period.
- Overall estimated participation for ‘running, athletics or multi-sport’ rose from 6.9 million (in November 2015-16 and May 2017-18) to 7.1 million in May 2018-19.
- Participation for ‘cycling for leisure and sport’ rose from 6.2 million (in May 2017-18) to 6.3 million in May 2018-19.
- ‘Swimming activities’ were largely unchanged over the three-year period, despite an increase over the last 12 months. In November 2015-16 swimming activities were recorded at 4.9 million. This dropped to 4.5 million in May 2017-18, but rose to 4.7 million in May 2018-19.
Dani Every, Cycling Delivery Director at British Cycling, said “Cycling is the solution to so many of society’s challenges – from air pollution to physical inactivity and obesity – and these figures are a reassuring sign that an ever-increasing number of people are choosing to get on their bike.
“Regardless of people’s motivations, cycling really is an activity that can be embraced by people of any age, from any background – with 41% of the population having ridden a bike at least once in the last year.
“Most crucially, we know that 57% of people want to cycle more often and through our innovative portfolio of programmes and our world class facilities we continue to improve access for people who are less likely to engage with our sport – including women, children and those with lifelong illnesses or disabilities.
“The fact that there has been a significant increase in the number of women cycling is truly refreshing and is testament to our work to break down the barriers for women – with our HSBC UK Breeze programme experiencing record numbers and more female members joining British Cycling in the past year than in any other of our 60-year history.”