Physical leisure and sports activities are extensively promoted to encourage healthy living and wellbeing among young people. This paper explores the everyday recreational activities of Australian rural youth and their involvement in community events, both as beneficiaries of what the community has to offer in sports and leisure pursuits and as active participants influencing the community's youth agenda. A survey was undertaken in 2003, of 751 school-age youths in two Australian rural communities. The research elucidated youths' leisure activities, utilisation of available community activities, social cohesion and social network systems. Utilisation of leisure facilities, preferences for leisure activities and retention rates within the chosen leisure activity, all showed significant gender differences.