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Brits splash out on sports

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28/06/2006

With World Cup fever hitting the nation, Brits are set to get off their couches and spend nearly £5bn emulating the star players. Andrew Partridge reports

Brits will spend £4.65bn this year on sports and fitness with the average person spending £206, according to new research.

The research from Barclays Insurance shows that sports participation traditionally surges in the summer as participants are inspired by televised major sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon and the Open Golf championship.

The most popular sports that people take part in throughout the entire year are swimming, keeping fit, cycling and pool and snooker.

Yet Mark Till, marketing director for Barclays Insurance, warns that normally sedentary Brits should not get active too suddenly: “Many of us spend most of our sporting life sat on the couch watching sport on the TV, but at this time of the year we dip in our pockets to buy new equipment, join clubs and then expect to see a brilliant return for our investment. However, broken equipment and pulled muscles are more often the outcome.”

For this reason, he urges people to consider taking out insurance. He says: “We, and other insurers, offer a special sports insurance package to supplement our household insurance. This provides extended cover for sports equipment including theft and accidental damage during use and even covers customers against the costs of an unusable club membership should they suffer an injury that prevents them from taking part in club activities.

“It might not stop a tennis racket getting broken in a McEnroe moment or a Rooneyesque broken metatarsal, but it will cover you for the outcome.”

According to the research, the top spenders on sports equipment are the men of Bolton who spend 11% of their total card spending on sport. The women of Blackley, Manchester are the top female spenders.

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