Leisure Sport Participation in Cyprus

Nicos Kartakoullis, Evan Webb, George Karlis, Stavros Pouloukas and Christina Loizou

Year: 2015 Volume: 20 Issue: c

Pages: 40-57

Abstract: This study contributes to the limited existing research on the participation patterns of Cypriots in leisure and sports. Leisure and sport are viewed collectively while adapting the notion put forth by The Council of Europe (2007) defining leisure sports as sports activities aimed at the preservation and improvement of physical condition, health and fun. The purpose of this paper is to examine the leisure sport participation patterns of Cypriots, specifically: (1) participation patterns in leisure sports, (2) reasons for participating in leisure sports, (3) cost and participation in leisure sport, (4) leisure sport spectatorship, and (5) vacationing and leisure sport experiences. Data was commissioned and collected by the Centre for Leisure, Tourism and Sports (University of Nicosia) for the Cyprus Sport Organisation. A telephone-survey of 1000 Cypriots, men and women, aged 15+, from coast-to-coast in Cyprus using stratified random sampling was employed. The sample was weighted by gender, age, district and region of residence. The results indicate that: (1) almost half of the Cypriot population participates in leisure sports, (2) participation in leisure sports decreases with age, (3) participation in leisure sports tends to be driven by health benefits, (4) most Cypriots participate in leisure sport at no cost, (5) television is the most common means reported for spectatorship, and (6) some Cypriots plan their vacations around leisure sport experiences. The results indicate the relevant importance of the leisure sport culture in Cyprus while also reflecting on age and cost related factors that may influence participation in leisure sports.