Sport Australia has released a Bush Walking – State of Play Report summarising results from its nationwide AusPlay phone surveys between January 2016 and December 2018. Their aim is to help identify trends and opportunities to maximise participation and engagement.
The report re-confirms that adult (15+) participation in bushwalking in WA, at 4.1% (~94,000), continues to lag significantly behind participation rates for most of the other states and territories.
In BWA’s view, it should be unacceptable that bushwalking in WA remains so far behind a state such as SA where participation is 6.3%, despite WA providing at least equally attractive natural environments for walkers.
Sport Australia has previously highlighted the huge predicted “health and social costs over the next 10 years if people don’t get moving” (Aug. 2018). Bushwalking / hiking needs urgently increased promotion and support within the State, and West Australians need greater access to diverse opportunities and environments that encourage them to walk more. BWA anticipates that WA’s Bushwalking and Trail Running Strategy, currently being finalised, will be a key positive step forward.
(Posted: 6 June 2019)