Britons drive 83 million miles a year to take part in sport

Posted on August 11th, 2011 by James Luckhurst

Britons drive 83 million miles a year to take part in sportNew research shows that we drive 83 million miles every year just to participate in sport, with horse-riders travelling the furthest per person (more than 3,000 miles a year). Footballers spend a combined nine million miles in the car every year driving to play, while racquet sport players travel only slightly less (8.25 million miles). Ironically, gym goers sit in their cars for seven million miles a year – the average journey to a gym is 4.2 miles, taken two to three times a week.

The poll gave details of the lengths horse-riders go to in order to enjoy their pastime. On average, they drive to their stables two to three times per week and cover an average of 27 miles each time. This equates to 260 miles per month, or 3,125 miles a year just to ride their horse.

It’s rowers who have to drive the second furthest after horse-riders to get in a boat (24 miles), with cricketers driving just slightly less (21.5 miles each time).

Although horse-riders do the most driving per person, it’s Sunday league footballers who contribute to the highest combined mileage. 1.8 million amateur footballers spend a total of nine (8.75) million miles in their cars each year driving to play matches.

And while their commitment to fitness is shown by their regular workouts, those visiting the gym account for 6.9 million miles in the car, as people take the easy option there and back. The average journey for fitness fanatics to their local gym is only 4.2 miles – but it’s taken two to three times a week. If this distance was run instead of driven it would account for roughly 40 minutes of exercise per time.

David White, of Kwik Fit, who commissioned the poll, said: “We all know that commuting accounts for millions of miles per year, but our look into sports has given us a fascinating insight. “Horses obviously require a lot of attention and that’s perhaps why riders travel the furthest out of all sportspeople. It’s also a message to mums and dads who want to buy a horse for their child – that they have to be prepared to do a lot of driving!

“It’s slightly ironic that walking, running and cycling all appear in the top ten of total distances travelled. But sometimes a journey to a particularly scenic spot would be unreachable for a walker, runner or cyclist without their car.”