The Australian Sports Commission has completed a Market Segmentation Study to explore and identify the specific needs, motivations and barriers to sport participation for children (aged 5 to 13 years). The study identified six consumer segments among the Australian children’s population.

Segments of existing club members:

SOCIAL LOYALISTS: They make up a quarter of the population aged 5 to 13 years. They are highly engaged with sport and love being part of a sports team. Clubs are a big part of their lives and identities, and they enjoy all aspects of club participation (physical, social and self- improvement). The decision to join is typically a joint decision with parents, many of whom are already club members.

SPORT DRIVEN: The Sport Driven make up one in 10 Australians aged 5 to 13 years. They are more likely to be found in metropolitan Australia and over- represented by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) individuals (one in 5 are CALD). They are highly engaged with sport and show a relatively high interest in doing more sport if they have information on how to go about it. Their membership with clubs is typically supported by their parents.

APATHETIC CLUBBERS: Apathetic Clubbers make up one in 6 Australians aged 5 to 13 years. They are slightly more likely to be from higher income families (over $70k per annum). Despite their relatively active participation in sport (recreational and competitive), only a small minority consider sport to be a main hobby or interest, reflecting their apathetic attitude to sport. They are more likely to feel they don’t like sport or that is too competitive and no longer fun.

THRIFTY ENTHUSIASTS: The Thrifty Enthusiasts make up around one in 20 Australians aged 5 to 13 years and are the smallest of the non-club member segments. They are very positive about physical activity and sport in terms of the physical, mental, social self-improvement benefits, and don’t personally have any barriers to sport participation. While don’t do physical activity with a club, most do organized physical activity through organizations, schools or courses.

PONDERERS: Ponderers make up one in 5 Australian children aged 5 to 13 years. They are generally less active in sport than other children, and are less likely to do organized activities however most do participate in physical activity for exercise and recreation. While Ponderers don’t need to be convinced about the benefits of sport, they do have some reservations about clubs being too authoritative and competitive – in turn taking the fun out of sport.

SPORT RESISTANT: The Sport Resistant make up 1 in 5 Australians aged 5 to 13 years. They are more likely to be female and from households with low to medium incomes. The Sport Resistant simply don’t understand what other people get out of sport and physical activity and have little appreciation of the social benefits that other children usually value in sport. For them sport isn’t fun and is too competitive. Their attitudes are more likely shaped by their parents, who demonstrate more negative perceptions.

Each segment has its own set of challenges and opportunities and clubs should consider how they can attract and retain children as members of their club.

SOURCE: Australian Sports Commission Market Segmentation for Sport Participation: Children