Chris Rendall, of Ridgway School, asks :-

What sport do the most people die from?

Leanne Robertson, a statistician with the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation, responded.

The most dangerous are those associated with water.

For the year to June 1994 there were 59 fatalities in New Zealand while people were engaged in sport and recreation. Of these, 32, over half of all sport and recreation fatalities, were associated with the water.

I have posted you a full list of the number of fatal and non-fatal injuries for that year. As you can see fishing (12 deaths), swimming (9), boating (6) and underwater diving (5) top the list. Water is unforgiving and if someone becomes unconcious in it they drown. Hence it is most important to learn to swim, to take care when fishing from rocks, to only go out in well-equipped boats, to swim between the flags at a surf beach, to supervise young children when near water, to wear a life-jacket when in boats and to check the weather forecast prior to going out in a boat.

What appear to be the most dangerous sports (bungy jumping, parachuting and hang-gliding) produce few fatalities and injuries, partly because they are usually well-regulated and partly because few people participate.

The sports producing the most injuries are rugby (5399), rugby league (1343), netball (1224), soccer (1082), swimming (959), cricket (936) and skiing (934). These are the popular sports and it would be interesting to sort out the number of injuries per 1000 participants. This would be a more accurate measure of the relative danger of different sports and recreations.