The Australian Sports Commission has today released its first independent survey into participation rates across sports in Australia.


“Volleyball Australia commends the ASC for the important contribution it makes to participation in sport nationally and endorses the survey and the data set collected as an important baseline for future independent assessment of participation rates in Australian sport,” said Craig Carracher, President, Volleyball Australia.


The AusPlay survey confirms volleyball is the most gender-equal sport in Australia and also confirms that volleyball is also the third biggest Olympic team sport, one of the largest team sports by participation, and enjoys high rates of participation across all age groups.


“The results of this important survey commissioned by the ASC confirms Volleyball’s important contribution to school age sport and also its leadership position in gender equality in Australia,” he said.


“Volleyball has been a sleeping giant that has just been awoken, and has already bypassed traditional Australian sports like hockey and rugby union in terms of participation. But importantly we can now benchmark participation rates against independent data points.”


“This week in Melbourne, more than 5000 school students, from almost 200 schools from all over Australia, are taking part in the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup. It’s the biggest school sporting event in the country, and is in its 32nd year, and underlines just how popular volleyball has become.”


Volleyball Australia, with the support of the Australian Sports Commission, has worked hard in recent years to build the sport’s profile in Australia.


Volleyball Australia has hosted several major international indoor and beach volleyball events, has funded its own women’s volleyball Centre of Excellence, and has worked hard to attract new sponsors including Gina Rinehart, Hancock Prospecting, and helloworld, among others.


Mr Carracher also revealed Volleyball Australia will be re-launching Spike Zone, a popular school-aged program, as well as a surf-volley activity.


Today’s AusPlay results come in the same month Volleyball Australia announced a $4 million National Participation Agenda, which will see for the first time every state and territory volleyball association working with Volleyball Australia to lift the quantity and quality of participation rates in volleyball nationwide.


“What we can see from the AusPlay survey is that volleyball is a sport for life,” Mr Carracher said.


“Our new National Participation Agenda reflects a change in sports governance for a leading sport in Australia, with the collaboration of all states and territories and the national governing body agreeing to the fundamental importance of enhancing the quantity and quality of participation rates in the most gender equal, non-contact, Olympic team sport in the world.”