New research by Allianz Australia has revealed over 17 million Australians gearing up to celebrate the holidays with the iconic tradition of backyard sports.
More than half of all Australians (54%) consider backyard sports as one of their favourite things to do during summer. After two years of closed state borders, it is exactly the activity for Aussies to feel closer together as a family – as 62% admitted backyard sports did – and more connected after years of lockdown (21%).
For one in two Australians, backyard sports means cricket, although a considerable number also enjoy a game or two of touch footy (13%), an indoor sport during bad weather (17%), or even an invented sport (29%).
Backyard sports season also spells out trouble, however, with one in five Aussies admitting to having fallen out with a friend or relative over a game, most (69%) of which stemmed from players changing the rules, what positions people would play (31%), and unsurprisingly, damage to property (20%).
In fact, Allianz Australia found that the tradition was a source of worry for one in four Australians, with the same number admitting they’ve had a mishap in past backyard sports seasons which caused damage to their homes costing $100 to $250 on average.
Allianz claims data also showed that accidental damage claims increased by a quarter since pre-pandemic times. The most common damages from backyard sports were:
- Broken windows (60%)
- Broken fences (19%)
- The neighbour’s property (19%)
Despite how quickly backyard sports damage could ruin a family experience, research found many Australians lacking cover for these accidental mishaps.
“At Allianz, we want to make sure all Australians are backyard-sports-ready this season, so we’re encouraging Aussies to conduct a policy health check – a simple call to understand what is and isn’t covered under their existing policy – before the all-important games begin,” said Allianz Australia general manager of direct, David Parsons.
The insurer also partnered with national sports icon Mat Rogers to encourage Aussies to make the most of their time together this backyard sports season.
“[Nothing] is more sacred than the backyard sports stadium,” Rogers said. “Spending time together with family and friends after a rough few years is so important to help us reset and reconnect. Nothing brings my family together like a game of backyard cricket or footy, and by having the pitch set up in the right direction to avoid any breakages … and snacks and hydration at the ready, we’re prepared to have the most fun this summer.”
Here are Rogers’ tips to get backyard-sports-ready:
- Check your angles. When setting up goals or wickets, you’ll want to check that windows and fragile home contents aren’t in the line of fire.
- Gear up. With the recent bouts of extreme weather Australia has gone through, kneepads and inflatables exposed to the elements may have gone mouldy.
- Ready rain or shine. Extra hats, sunnies, and sunscreen are a must, but throw in some rain gear too in case the weather turns and keep your favourite boardgames on hand.
- Sort out crowd control. Set up an area where small people can be part of the fun safe from flying balls or bats.
- Provide hydration and energy. A team wins or loses on its stomach.
- Prepare your mascot. Last but not least, ensure your team mascot is ready for game time!
Any tips you’d like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.