According to official figures which were released by Sport England last week, there are now 2.49 million people taking part in athletics in England each week.
The number of people aged over 14 who take part in athletics - including running - on a weekly basis has risen by five percent in the year to April 2016 according to Sport England’s Active People Survey.
Compared to recent figures, there are now over one million more people taking part in the sport each week compared to a decade ago. The latest figures for those aged 16 and over taking part on a weekly basis has also rose to 2.35 million.
Over the same timespan, the number of women taking part in running and athletics has now more than doubled while over the last twelve months, the number of pensioners, disabled people and those from lower socio-economic groups taking part has also increased markedly.
Head of Running Participation at England Athletics Matt Birkett said: “Running is physical activity at its simplest. It’s sport in its purest sense and a form of exercise in which anyone can be involved. It is this natural simplicity, as well as the obvious benefits to an individual’s health and well-being, that attracts such a wide variety of people to take up and continue running."
“A diverse network of voluntary, commercial, charitable, and public sector organisations, and a huge number of volunteers, play an essential role in driving this sustained growth in participation by providing a wide variety of opportunities to get involved and stay involved. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helps make the sport so attractive and accessible."
“Although we are delighted to see more and more people experiencing the benefits that athletics and running offers, we remain committed to working in partnership with others to build opportunities that make the sport even more accessible and inclusive.”
Looking at figures across all sports, the Active People Survey shows that 15.83 million people over the age of 16 played sport on a regular basis in England in the last year.
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