Cricket? Yoga? Swimming? These Are The Country's Favourite Sports By Region

A survey has revealed what sports are really Britain's most popular
15:02, 12 Jan 2020

Think the UK’s most popular sport is football? Think again.

A survey by Decathlon has revealed that when it comes to participation, the Brits simply love just going for a dip, with swimming coming out on top.

It was found to be most popular in Scotland with 27% of the population partaking - just over a quarter of the nation. It’s quite appropriate then that that’s where Duncan Scott, the silver-medal winning swimmer at the 2016 Olympics and the man who famously gave drugs cheat Sun Yang the cold shoulder at the 2019 World Aquatics Championship, hails from.

Football does, however, get it’s due. Fans from Liverpool and Manchester can stop fighting over who can claim to be the rightful home of the beautiful game. 

Is it in fact Wales! The nation may have only ever been to two international tournaments in their history heading into 2020, but 18% of the country love lacing up their boots and having a good kick-around.

Those in the North-West meanwhile love tuna, pasta, chicken for the protein as they are the real gym bunnies, with a mammoth 34% of people in the region hitting the health clubs.

No surprise that citizens in the South-West love saddling up on their little ponies, with horse-riding most popular in the area. One out of ten love to go on a good canter on their steeds.

With traffic notoriously crap in the capital, you can see why residents in London opt for a run, 39% of them in fact, the highest in the country. No doubt a few of them will be preparing for the famous marathon in April.


The full results of the sporting capitals read:

Running - London, 39%

Gym - North West, 34%

Swimming - Scotland, 27%

Football - Wales, 18%

Hiking - Yorkshire, 17%

Cycling - North East, 16%

Rugby - Northern Ireland, 16%

Yoga/Pilates - South East, 12%

Racket Sports (Tennis, Squash, Badminton) - West Midlands, 11%

Horse Riding - South West, 10%

The results are provided by Decathlon, who commissioned the survey which interviewed 7600 adults from across the Great British Isles to track the participation of the nation in a variety of sports.

Chris Allen, Sports Manager at Decathlon commented on the data: “It’s interesting to see how geographical and cultural relevancies are seemingly influencing the sports that people in certain areas of the UK are the most interested in.

“It’s only natural that if better facilities are on offer, people are more likely to take up a sport, or practise more regularly. But ultimately, many sports can be played without an official facility or centre – at Decathlon, we encourage people to make the most of the space they have to take up exercise and play sport. Pilates and yoga are easily practiced in a quiet corner of the home. Gym fitness, too, can be improvised in the home, while rugby and football can be played in the garden or yard.”

On that note, this Manchester-based writer is off to the gym.

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