2. Introduction

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Sport is a universal activity. People all over the world participate in sport in one form or another. While certain sports are unique to certain countries because of their geography, climate and culture, the benefits from participating are universal.

Involvement in sport is not restricted to direct active participation, but also includes all those who participate indirectly as coaches, officials, administrators or spectators. Many Canadians participate in sport directly, others indirectly and many in both ways.

This report looks at sport participation by Canadians. It takes into account certain socio-economic variables such as age, sex, income, education and family composition that may influence the level of involvement. It uses historical data from the General Social Survey (GSS) to show the level and rate of participation over time. The report also looks at the kinds of sports Canadians like to play, the influence of parental involvement on their children's participation, the rationale for participation or non participation in sport, and the barriers to sport participation.