Wales is the football capital of the UK, while London boasts the most avid runners. That is according to a new poll from Decathlon, which has published a sports map of the UK, revealing where the true homes of different popular sports are. The survey of more than 7,600 Brits in the Decathlon Activity Index 2019 reveals that London was found to be the UK’s running capital, with 39 per cent of residents claiming to regularly participate in the sport. This may be due to the many free paths and parks on their doorsteps.
Gym fitness was found to be the most popular (34 per cent) in the north west of England, home to the second largest gym in Europe, Wilmslow’s Total Fitness health club.
The UK’s favourite sport, swimming, was most popular in Scotland, home to Duncan Scott, who recently won at the 2018 European swimming championships and most famously at the 2016 Olympic Games. More than one in every four (27 per cent) of Scots regularly take part in the sport, while Wales was the football capital of the UK, with 18 per cent of local residents taking part on a regular basis.
Yorkshire, the home of four of Britain’s finest national trails, was revealed as the hiking capital of the UK, with almost one in five (17 per cent) of residents regularly making the most of their beautiful surroundings.
Chris Allen, Sports Manager and Decathlon, commented: “It’s only natural that if better facilities are on offer, people are more likely to take up a sport, or practice 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 or football can be played in the garden.”