HC Deb 12 April 1978 vol 947 cc455-6W
Mr. Hardy

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many individuals are actively participating in sports and physical recreational activity in England and Wales; and if this shows an increased trend.

Mr. Denis Howell

There can be no precise answer to this question because so much sport and recreation is entirely informal. However, the Central Council for Physical Recreation has estimated that over 4 million people are affiliated members of governing bodies of sport, and that there may be over 12 million regularly participating in organised sport. Since no full statistics can be collected, I cannot be categoric in assuring my hon. Friend that participation in sport shows an increasing trend, but I should be very surprised indeed if this were not the case.