It’s official – South African sports fans, whilst enjoying keeping fit, prefer to do so outside the four walls of a gymnasium.
In a recent online survey by Health24’s sister site www.sport24.co.za, the sports website with the largest South African audience, more than half of the participants admitted that they are not gym members – although just less than half of the readers claim to 'play some form of sport'.
63.49% of the survey's participants – more than 7,000 readers took part, in one of SA’s biggest online sports surveys ever – are not members of a gym, but 49.77% take part in some form of exercise 'just to keep fit, with just over 10% still playing competitive sport.
Whilst rugby is the most popular sport to watch, sports fans tend to keep away from the oval ball when it comes to playing, with tennis, swimming, cycling, cricket, soccer, road running and golf – in that order – all more popular than rugby; from a participation point of view.
Intriguingly, 'other' sports topped the list of ‘sports currently played’, with 33.53% of the survey participants taking part in the more ‘non-traditional’ sports as they look to maintain their fitness.
In other survey findings, Springbok captain John Smit emerged as the most popular sports person in the country – with most men even preferring him to FHM beauty Lee-Anne Liebenberg – and most readers also chose him as their No.1 dinner guest.
Of course, the fun stuff aside, the survey participants also revealed their feelings on the much talked-about quota system in South African sport, their plans for the 2010 Soccer World Cup and whether they prefer watching sport live or in the comfort of their own homes.
(Andrew Lanning, Sport24, December 2009)