Coaches fight on: survey shows

Market research company IBISWorld reveals that mixed health messages, tightened belts and competition from fitness instructors has hit the growth of the sports coaching industry in Australia

Market research shows the Sports Instructors industry has experienced moderate growth over the past five years as it faces extensive competition from the general fitness industry.

Sports participation has declined in Australia and an increasing amount of participants are turning to non-organised sport as time constraints and low discretionary income have provided disincentives.

Health consciousness declined during the global financial crisis, particularly in 2008-09 as pressing financial constraints took precedence for consumers.

The Sports Instructors industry remains highly diverse in products and services offered due to the wide range of sports played in Australia.

Unlike some other countries, Australians have a wide taste in sports and many are played that require sports instruction.

Team sports such as AFL, soccer and rugby are very popular with juniors but they generally require a lower coach per person ratio and are also helped by communities rather than one-on-one paid coaching.

Individual sports such as tennis and golf tend to be highly technical and therefore require more paid coaching to improve technique.

In October , the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its most recent comprehensive overview of our national health.

Despite increasing health consciousness, obesity rates continue to grow , and the study found 63 percent of Australians are now overweight or obese. The research found that 67 percent of Australians perform little or no exercise.

The report paints a mixed picture: although Australians are exercising more and smoking less, the overweight and obesity rate is increasing.

The basic finding is that although Australians are becoming more health conscious, there is a long way to go.

One of the reasons that Australians are becoming increasingly overweight is the consistent decline in sports participation, reports the IBISWorld survey.

Australians are known to love sport, but active participation is struggling as households became busier with more work, family commitments and increasing budget constraints over the past five years.

The sports instructors industry has grown by only one percent per annum over five years through 2012-13, with personal fitness becoming more popular than organised sports participation.

There have been some spikes in sport participation interest, particularly during major events such as the 2012 London Olympics and world championships.

Health consciousness is expected to rise nationally over the next five years, and Australians are forecast to drink and smoke less.

We are becoming more active, but personal fitness is becoming much more popular than participation in organised sports, reports IBISWorld.

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