Australia is a sporting nation. Whether it’s playing or watching, we love our sports and many young boys will play sports during their adolescence.
Today, in no particular order, we’ll look at the top ten most popular sports played by boys aged 6-16 in Australia.
Australian Rules Football
Aussie Rules Football has long been one of Australia’s most popular sports and is still by far the most watched sport in terms of game crowds and tv viewership (the Australian Football League or AFL is the premier professional Aussie Rules Football competition).
Although it’s much more popular in the southern states such as Victoria (the official birthplace of Aussie Rules Football), South Australia and Western Australia, it has grown exponentially in recent decades to build strong footholds in traditional Rugby League states such as New South Wales and Queensland.
The Northern Territory has also long been an Aussie Rules loving state with many indigenous players from Northern Territory finding success in the AFL.
Through ‘Auskick’ and strong grassroots support from the AFL, Aussie Rules continues to be a popular choice for young boys looking for a fast paced, high endurance contact sport. Find a AFL Sports Camp.
As mentioned above, Rugby League has its stronghold in the northern states of New South Wales and Queensland. A highly physical game that requires great strength and fitness, Rugby League also is very popular with TV viewers and has dedicated fans across Australia.
The National Rugby League (NRL) is the premier Rugby League competition in Australia and is also considered the best in the World by many, with Australia being a dominant force in international competitions such as the Rugby League World Cup.
There are strong junior competitions across Australia with very good player pathways in place for juniors that show talent and want to someday make a career from Rugby League. Find a Rugby League Sports Camp.
Swimming is by far Australia’s most popular sport in term of participation, especially amongst children, with almost half (48.8%) of all children aged 6-13 taking part in some form of formal swimming. With Australia being surrounded by coastline and our national obsession for the beach many parents start their kids out swimming for water safety and fun when they are very young, which often leads to kids continuing through their primary school years.
At the elite level Australia has a long and proud history of success at Olympics and international competitions punching well above our weight in term of the number of medals for our population.
Soccer is now the number one team sport played by young boys in Australia. Over the last decade soccer’s popularity has exploded due to the international success of the Socceroos and the strengthening of our national competition, the A-league.
As the World Game, soccer (or football as it’s known in most countries) continues to grow as Australia becomes even more multicultural and it moves from being a game followed by select groups of Australian’s to a mainstream powerhouse in its own right. Find a Soccer Camp.
Research shows that basketball is played by over one million Australian’s with over 30% of young boys participating in formal competition. The success of Australian players in the America’s NBA (National Basketball League) has no doubt added to this sport’s continued growth.
The real pioneers of Australian basketball such as Luc Longley, Chris Anstey, Andrew Gaze and Lauren Jackson put Australia in the world basketball map and this has been continued in more recent years by players such as Andrew Bogut, Patty Mills, Ben Simmons and Andrew Dellavedova.
The fast paced, high energy and high skilled nature of the game make it one of the great spectator sports and a lot of fun to play for boys of all ages. Find a Basketball Camp.
Tennis has always been a very popular sport in Australia with many people, young and old, enjoying a hit down at the local tennis courts, especially when the Australian Open hits our shores in January each year.
The popularity of tennis in Australia has long been supported by international success in previous years and no matter where you are in Australia you don’t have to look very far before you find an empty tennis court where you can dust of the racquet and have a game.
These days around one million Australians still enjoy a game of tennis whether that be recreational or as part of a club and this number is split equally between boys and girls, and adults and kids. Find a Tennis Sports Camp.
Cricket is another sport that Australia just loves. A national pastime, we have long been a dominant force on the international stage and cricket is always a part of the primary school sports curriculum. These days cricket comes in many forms including tests, one-dayers and twenty twenty.
There are strong local junior competitions with over 600,000 kids taking part each year and most of these are made up of young boys.
It really just wouldn’t be summer in Australia without cricket on the TV or a game of backyard cricket on Christmas day. Find a Cricket Sports Camp.
Rugby Union is another popular sport amongst young boys. Although it receives less coverage than the other Australian football codes it still has a very strong grassroots competition especially amongst private boys’ schools.
The Wallabies, Australia’s national team, are also very popular amongst all Australian sporting fans and when we play against the All-Blacks every Australian becomes a die-hard Rugby Union fan. Find Rugby Union Sports Camps.
The success of Australia’s Hockeyroos in Olympics gone by has helped hockey become hugely popular amongst young boys in Australia. This is another sport that is often played in schools and has many local youth competitions that cater to boys of all ages.
Requiring great fitness and hand-eye coordination hockey is an ideal sport for both fitness and fun. Find Hockey Sports Camps.
Karate/ Martial Arts
Karate has become a hugely popular sport for boys of all ages. Teaching self defence, discipline and skill, boys who take up karate gain a lot of benefits that will help throughout all aspects of life. There are many types of martial arts aside from karate, although karate remains the #1 martial art in Australia for young boys. Find Karate Sports Camps.