Sport

Australians love sport. There are more than 140 national sporting organisations and thousands of local, regional and state sports bodies.

Community-based sport across the nation underpins Australia's remarkable sporting achievements at the elite level where many international champions have been produced in many sports. The nation unites when Australians play on the international stage. Sport is a powerful force in creating social harmony in a nation made up of people from so many different countries.

Successive governments have committed to supporting sport in Australia from grassroots to elite, increasing participation in physical and recreational activities to promote physical and mental health, staging world-class major sporting events, and using sport as a vehicle to address disadvantage and social inclusion challenges.

Almost all the world's sports are played somewhere in Australia, with men and women well represented in sporting activities across the nation. Football (soccer) and netball are the biggest team sports in Australia. Three other football codes are also popular throughout the country: rugby league, rugby union and Australia's own unique brand of Australian rules football. Cricket, tennis, golf, swimming, field hockey and cycling are also popular.

The Australian Sports Commission promotes and funds grassroots participation in sport. It also invests in high-performance sport, including through scholarships for athletes in facilities such as the Australian Institute of Sport, based in Canberra.

The Nullabor Links—the world's longest golf course. It covers 1,365 kilometres along the Eyre Highway between Ceduna in South Australia and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. There is a hole at each participating town or roadhouse
The Nullabor Links—the world's longest golf course. It covers 1,365 kilometres along the Eyre Highway between Ceduna in South Australia and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. There is a hole at each participating town or roadhouse

Sporting events

Australia has a reputation for staging successful major sporting events. It has hosted the summer Olympics twice (Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000), the Commonwealth Games four times (Sydney 1938, Perth 1962, Brisbane 1982 and Melbourne 2006), the 2015 Cricket World Cup, the 2015 World Netball Championships and the 2015 Asian Football Confederation Cup. Queensland's Gold Coast will also host the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Other international events are staged annually around Australia such as the gruelling Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, the internationally accredited Tour Down Under cycling event in South Australia, and a round of the Moto GP on Phillip Island in Victoria. The world tennis circuit begins each year with the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Did you know?

The Australian Institute of Sport is a world best practice model for high-performance athlete development. It bases its activities on outstanding athlete results combined with skilled coaches, world-class facilities and cutting-edge sports science and sports medicine services.

Australian Socceroo Brett Holman playing against Bahrain in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar
Australian Socceroo Brett Holman playing against Bahrain in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar

Did you know?

In 2015, Australia hosted the AFC Asian Cup. With 15 countries vying for the title of Asia's best football team, it wass the biggest football tournament ever staged in Australia. The 23-day event attracted approximately 45,000 international visitors to Australia and reach a television audience of more than 2.5 billion, making it the most watched Asian Football Cup in history.

Child kicking ball
Child kicking ball (Australian Sports Commission)
Outdoor boxercise session
Outdoor boxercise session (Australian Sports Commission)
Cyclists
Cyclists (Australian Sports Commission)
Children playing cricket
Children playing cricket (Australian Sports Commission)

Did you know?

Almost all of the world's sports are played in Australia.

Last Updated: 25 August 2016
Silver medal winner in Canoe Slalom at the 2012 London Olympics, Jessica Fox
Silver medal winner in Canoe Slalom at the 2012 London Olympics, Jessica Fox (Australian Sports Commission)