© Else Beekman
According to the official statistics of sports federations, published annually by the highest sporting body, El Consejo Superior de Deportes, there are fewer than four million registered athletes. This big difference happens because it doesn’t take into account the number of people who regularly visit the gym, go for a run, or play a game of paddleboard with friends.
Top Ten Recorded Sports
Given the number of official practitioners registered with the sports federations concerned, the top ten sports in Spain looked like this in 2019:
- Football: 1,095,000
- Basketball: 285,000
- Pursuit: 335,000
- Golf: 269,000
- Mountaineering / mountaineering: 248,000
- Judo: 108,000,000
- Handball: 100,000
- Athletics: 94,000
- Volleyball: 85,000
- Fall: 75,000
On your own
Athletes who choose to play the sport on their own, and there are a lot of them in Spain, are not included in the official statistics above and are not included in the top ten. However it should. Those who walk or drive regularly on the street will see that the number of runners and cyclists has increased in recent years.
Unorganized popular sports. Football, cycling and swing
Nearly five million Spaniards run regularly; This is five times the number of registered soccer players with the Football Association. That’s a huge number, as evidenced by the number of running events that take place on weekends across the country, on the streets of large cities as well as in small towns. Cycling is another popular sport that is not included in the statistics. The most important report on cycling, the bicycle measure in Spain, shows that nearly nine million Spaniards ride at least a week. This means there are much more cyclists than registered footballers. Cycling is often a weekend sport. Some cyclists prefer the road, others prefer the mountains. Besides running and cycling, swing game is also popular. Although this racquet sport ranks 10th in the list above, with 75,000 scoring with the federation, an estimated 2 million Spaniards regularly play the baseball. Not surprisingly, there would be so much more. In recent years, a large number of jobs have been created in Spain, often on private land. A good incentive for many Spaniards, who had not previously taken part in the sport, to start this racquet sport.
The real winner
What sport really ranks first in Spain? Is this football, jogging, cycling, or a paddle? This is still difficult to determine, because unorganized athletes are not recorded and the number of athletes cannot be determined. In the absolute sense, running will be at the top of the list. Football, the king of sports, comes second. The numbers of athletes and the choice of sport provide insight into society. Fortunately, the real gain is that every day there is more exercise and less sitting.