National Sailing Participation Census 2015

Results of Australian Sailing's inaugural National Sailing Participation Census 2015.

In late 2015, Australian Sailing implemented their first annual National Sailing Participation Census, in collaboration with all State Associations (MYAs), as part of “One Sailing” national approach to the management of the sport.

The Census included existing Club Membership numbers, but also sought details of the numbers of participants in State and National competitions; social, corporate and community based sailing, schools with sailing programmes and recognised programmes and events, including windsurfing and kiteboarding.

The data collected by the Census will allow us to secure government investment to grow sailing through targeted participation programmes, education and training.  The findings will also allow us to strategically plan for the future to better develop resources and programmes to engage existing sailors and newcomers to our sport.

The Census was undertaken by Street Ryan and Associates who have extensive experience with other sporting organisations in managing the process and collating the results.

All Clubs were invited to submit a return on participants, promotional activities and support personnel, with 120 Clubs of the total 346 Clubs nationally completing the survey.

All Class Associations (including Kiteboarding and Windsurfing Associations) were invited to submit a return on their participant numbers and 38 completed returns were received.

Known schools with sailing programs were invited to submit a return on the number of students participating in regular and occasional sailing activities and 11 completed returns were received.

Executive Summary

  • Registered membership of sailing clubs was reported by the State Associations (MYAs) in 2015 as 77,351. This was a 6.2% increase on the 2014 membership level (of 72,815).
  • There were 122,138 participants (at least 3 times during the year) in sailing competitions and programs in 2015.
  • There were 9,675 active support personnel, of which 8,433 were volunteers and 1,242 received a level of remuneration.
  • There were 117,185 promotional participants in sailing in 2015. These are people having a sailing experience in occasional (less than 3 per year) or once-off activities such as regattas, “Discover Sailing” days, school introductory programs and community organisation (eg Scouts and Guides) events.
  • Of the 122,138 regular sailing participants in 2015;
    • 67.6% were male and 32.4% were female.
    • 16.6% were aged 5-12 years
    • 19.0% were aged 13-18 years
    • 64.4% were aged 19 years and over.
  • Sailing has a national footprint; with regular participants and promotional activities in all States and Territories. Victoria and New South Wales are the States with greatest sailing participation, with 31,620 participants and 30,083 participants, respectively in 2015[1].

[1] State figures include national Class Association participants allocated to the State of the Association’s main office or contact.


2015 Australian Sailing National Participation Census:

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