Did Olympics really boost sportsmen and women numbers?

2011 Census to reveal how pro sports person figures have changed over the decade
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The number of professional sports men and women in the UK will be among the subjects revealed in the UK’s census, taken next month.

Ten years ago 11,404 people in England and Wales were employed as professional sports players, with the greatest concentration of pro sports players in Leeds, with 204.

Since the 2001 census the Beijing 2008 Olympics – where the British team recorded its best medal tally in a century – resulted in a perceived increase in sporting activity, something expected to increase still further for the London 2012 Olympics next year.

Sport England figures place the number of people participating in sport at least three times a week in 2010 at 6,938,000.

According to the Census official blurb: “The increase of grassroots participation and the successes of the UK’s national teams may influence others to believe it’s possible to forge a career in sports, but have the UK’s ranks of professional sports men and women grown just in time for the 2012 Olympics? The 2011 Census will reveal some of the answers.

2011 Census Statistical Design Manager Peter Stokes said: “The results from the 2011 Census will provide a fascinating insight into the world of professional sport.

“We ask confidential questions about employment – what people do in their main job – so that we can highlight trends for planners, for example, if more space is needed for leisure or sports related facilities.”

The results of the 2011 Census are also expected to impact on future UK transport policy.


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