Councils across the country are reporting increased visitor numbers to leisure centres, sports pitches, cycle tracks and even beach volleyball courts as residents become enthused by the Olympics.
Facilities used by Team GB members have seen a particular boost in interest, with Tom Daley's training pool, the centres used by gymnasts Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock, and the National Water Sports Centre, where canoeists Etienne Stott, Tim Baillie, David Florence and Richard Hounslow have trained, all fielding a flood of inquiries from people wanting to get involved.
Councillor Stephen Castle, Chairman of the Local Government Association's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Task and Finish Group, said:
"Across the country council sports facilities are being inundated with people enthused by the Olympics wanting to get involved with sport. There are queues at swimming baths, leisure centres, gymnasiums and even beach volleyball courts.
"Interest in sport always spikes during major events, but the scale of enthusiasm and wide variety of sports people are wanting to get involved in is really inspiring.
"A key measure of the success of the 2012 Games will be if sporting participation increases in the years ahead. Councils have a key role to play in this and will be working hard to ensure the huge potential to get more people involved in sport and make our communities healthier isn't wasted.
"Sports governing bodies, councils, local sports clubs and community groups need to seize this fantastic sporting fervour and work well together to make sure we keep people enthused about sport once the closing ceremony's a distant memory."
Max Whitlock, who won bronze as part of Team GB's gymnastic team, trains at the Basildon Sporting Village, a new centre funded by Basildon Council and Essex County Council. Since his win, its phones have been ringing off the hook with people wanting to get involved, with more than 50 messages left one evening by people inquiring about the club.
Earls Gymnastics Club in Dudley, where bronze medal-winning gymnast Kristian Thomas trains, has received an increased number of calls from people interested in gymnastics. It's also hosting events as part of Dudley Council's summer activezone programme which offers residents the chance to have a go at a range of sports.
Southend Swimming and Diving Centre, where Tom Daley and the Team GB divers have been training, has received a flood of calls from people wanting to take up diving. The council's beach volleyball net at Southchurch beach has had people queuing up for a go.
The National Water Sports Centre, which is managed by Nottinghamshire County Council, has seen a sharp rise in inquires about canoeing and kayaking over recent days. This has increased following Team GB's gold and silver medal wins in canoe slalom at Lee Valley watercourse yesterday.
Brighton and Hove City Council's beach volleyball court has had people queuing up to have a game, while the nearby beach volleyball centre is adding extra leagues and coaching sessions to cope with demand.
In Carmarthenshire, home to hurdler Dai Greene, the council's five leisure facilities, velodrome and cycle paths have seen a sharp increase in users. Millennium Coastal Park, managed by Carmarthenshire Council, has been taking exceptional numbers of riders with whole families out on their bicycles. Bicycles at the cycle hire at Llanelli North Dock Visitor's Centre and at Pembrey Country Park Ski Pembrey Centre are in high demand.
Author: LGA Media Office
Contact: Ben Knowles, Local Government Association Media Office, Telephone: 020 7664 3333
11 September 2012