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  • Writer's pictureChris Herbert

Boosting Sports Participation

Eurostat Insights and Lakeshore Recreation's Role in Saugeen Shores

Understanding Sports Habits: Key Insights from Eurostat’s 2020 Study and Their Relevance to Ontario

The Eurostat 2020 Sport Participation Study offers a deep dive into the sports habits of Europeans, revealing valuable trends and insights that are relevant to understanding and improving sports participation in Ontario:

Overall Participation

  • In Europe, 44% of the population aged 15 and above participated in sports at least once a week in 2019. Men were more active (47%) than women (42%).

  • Local Relevance: Understanding these trends can help us recognize similar patterns in Ontario and tailor our local programs to encourage more regular participation in sports.

Gender Bias

  • In Europe, there is a clear gender bias in various sports. Men dominate sports like ice hockey, cricket, and cycling, while women are more involved in netball, figure skating, yoga, and aerobic classes.

  • Local Relevance: By acknowledging these biases, Ontario can work to create more inclusive sports programs that appeal equally to men and women, addressing any existing gender disparities in participation.

Age-Related Trends

  • Participation in sports declines with age in Europe. The highest participation rate is among those aged 15-24 (65%), and the lowest among those aged 65 and above (31%).

  • Local Relevance: These trends highlight the importance of creating age-specific programs in Ontario to maintain high participation rates across all age groups.

Income Influence

  • Higher income groups in Europe are more likely to engage in sports (55%) compared to lower income groups (37%). Among young people (aged 15-29), income disparity has less impact on high levels of aerobic activity.

  • Local Relevance: Recognizing the impact of income on sports participation can help Ontario develop affordable sports programs and initiatives to reduce economic barriers.

Socio-Economic Factors

  • Factors such as educational attainment, social standing, awareness of health benefits, and availability of free time influence sports participation rates in Europe.

  • Local Relevance: Understanding these factors can guide Ontario in creating targeted campaigns and programs that address these socio-economic influences, promoting greater participation in sports.

Squash Participation

  • In Europe, squash is working to diversify its player base by attracting younger participants and women. The sport is inclusive, appealing to different demographics, including varied age groups, genders, and economic backgrounds.

  • Local Relevance: By adopting similar strategies, Ontario can boost squash participation, making it an inclusive and popular sport within the province.

These findings underscore the diverse and inclusive nature of sports like squash and pickleball, highlighting socio-economic factors affecting sports participation. Applying these insights locally can help Ontario, and particularly initiatives like those at Lakeshore Recreation, create effective programs that engage more people in an active lifestyle.

Lakeshore Recreation: Promoting an Active Lifestyle in Saugeen Shores

Lakeshore Recreation is a beacon of health and wellness in Saugeen Shores, providing residents with ample opportunities to stay active and engaged through various sports, particularly squash and pickleball.

Squash Programs

  • Lakeshore Recreation offers a robust squash program catering to all age groups and skill levels. With a focus on new and existing player development, leagues, ladders, and both competitive and fun squash activities and events, squash enthusiasts can enjoy the game while improving their fitness and skills.

  • Special initiatives focus on introducing squash to younger participants and women, aligning with the broader goal of diversifying the player base. Regular tournaments and leagues foster a competitive yet friendly environment, encouraging consistent participation.


Pickleball Initiatives

  • Pickleball has quickly become a favorite at Lakeshore Recreation. Known for its accessibility and low impact, pickleball attracts a wide range of players, from young children to seniors.

  • Saugeen Shores Pickleball Club Partnership: Lakeshore Recreation has partnered with the Saugeen Shores Pickleball Club to provide a comprehensive pickleball program. This collaboration ensures that residents have access to high-quality facilities, coaching, and community events. The partnership fosters an inclusive environment where players of all ages and skill levels can enjoy the sport.

  • The facility hosts numerous pickleball clinics, social play sessions, and competitive events, ensuring that everyone, regardless of skill level, can enjoy the sport. The inclusive nature of pickleball makes it an excellent choice for families and individuals looking to stay active.


Community Engagement

  • Lakeshore Recreation plays a pivotal role in promoting community health through various outreach programs and partnerships with local schools and organizations. These efforts aim to educate residents on the benefits of regular physical activity and provide accessible opportunities for participation.

  • Lakeshore Women’s Triathlon: Lakeshore Recreation supports events like the Lakeshore Women’s Triathlon, which encourages women of all ages and fitness levels to participate in a fun and challenging event. This support highlights their commitment to fostering an active lifestyle within the community.

  • Fitness classes, wellness workshops and fitness challenges are regularly organized to cater to the diverse needs of the Saugeen Shores community. This holistic approach ensures that everyone has the chance to lead a healthy, active lifestyle with Lakeshore's support.


The Eurostat 2020 Sport Participation Study highlights significant trends and challenges in sports participation across Europe, emphasizing the need for inclusivity and accessibility.

These insights are directly relevant to Ontario, where local initiatives like Lakeshore Recreation in Saugeen Shores are successfully promoting an active lifestyle.

By offering comprehensive programs and fostering a supportive community, Lakeshore Recreation, in partnership with the Saugeen Shores Pickleball Club, along with the dedicated efforts of the Lakeshore team, squash volunteer squad, and members, helps residents of all ages and backgrounds stay active, healthy, and engaged.

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