The UK's Sporting Preferences

Published 1 May 2001

UK SPORT is responsible for seeking the public’s views about sport and sports funding, especially after major events such as the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics.

In December 2000, UK Sport commissioned research company BMRB to talk to a representative sample of over 2,000 members of the UK public about issues such as 'success sports’, Lottery funding and the impact of the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The results, published in April 2001, reflect very positively the impact of the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics on the UK public’s sporting preferences. For example, after the Sydney Games:

  • athletics rivalled football as the main 'success sport'. Athletics received 16% of the aggregated vote, compared to 17% for football. This compares to 13% and 29% respectively in a survey conducted before the Olympics.
  • there was less emphasis placed on the Lottery funding of major spectator sports - football, cricket, rugby and tennis - and more emphasis minority sports such as disability sports, cycling, rowing and badminton.
  • over four fifths (84%) watched the Olympics on television, nearly three-fifths(59%) watched it more than two or three days in each week, and nearly half (45%) watched it 'almost every day'.
  • two-thirds of the UK public would like to see an increase in Government or Lottery funding in sport, just under a quarter thought it should stay the same, and only 6% thought it should decrease.

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Funding Partners
  • Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Official Partners
  • BAE Systems
  • BUPA
  • Sportscover
Official Suppliers
Strategic Partners
  • British Olympic Association
  • Paralympics GB
  • Sport England
  • Sport Northern Ireland
  • Sport Wales
  • Sport Scotland