New survey shows councils have secured sporting legacy post-London 2012
A lasting legacy, which is helping to transform grassroots sport, has been created by councils following the London Olympics, a new survey reveals.
With the Rio Olympics well underway, councils have seen a spike in sports such as diving and other watersports, cycling and running, a snapshot survey of 16 councils by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows.
Plymouth, for example – where Olympic diver Tom Daley trained before winning bronze at London 2012 - has seen a surge in diving.
St Albans has invested in three new leisure centres. Sports activity among residents there has soared by almost 50 per cent in three years after the Games.
Liverpool is playing host to its own mini ‘Olympic Games' this summer. The city's Chavasse Park has been transformed into a miniature Olympic Village with a range of different sports for young people to try. Usain Bolts-to-be are heading to the running track where they can race with their friends and even clock their own record-breaking times. Other sports include long jump and triple jump, cycling, and table tennis.
Meanwhile, St Helens has created an annual multi-sports festival, run in partnership with local clubs, that attracts over 5,000 visitors. The council has also given a £3 million upgrade to a former employer sports ground it was gifted. This is due to be finished next year and is expected to attract over 100,000 visitors annually.
Braintree, in partnership with other Essex and London boroughs, hosted the third stage of the 2014 Tour de France, attracting 250,000 spectators and boosting the local economy by £400,000.
In Suffolk, a Get Healthy Get Active programme has ensured over 3,500 inactive people have taken up community sport. The council has also been instrumental in attracting Tour of Britain and the Women's Tour road cycling events and organising the Great East Swim, an open swimming event in a reservoir near Ipswich. These have generated over £6 million for the local economy from people participating or spectating.
Councillor Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
"With the Olympics well underway, now is the time to reflect on the sporting legacy which has been left since London 2012. Councils have been at the forefront of ensuring that the feel good factor from one of the most successful Games ever has been translated into a tangible and lasting transformation of grassroots sports and participation.
"Councils have been upgrading leisure facilities, organising their own mini ‘Olympics' and ensuring major sporting events, such as the Tour de France, boost local economies – benefiting shops, hotels and businesses as well as getting people fit.
"The scale of enthusiasm and wide variety of sports that people of all abilities are getting involved in is really inspiring.
"Councils have played a key role in the 2012 legacy as it's their services people often rely on as they find private facilities prohibitively expensive. It's essential governing bodies of sport, councils, local sports clubs and community groups keep working well together to maintain this enthusiasm and make getting involved in sport as easy as possible for communities everywhere."
Plymouth: The £46.5 million build houses world class aquatic facilities including a 10 lane, 50 metre competition swimming pool and diving pool with diving boards at 3 metres, 5 metres, 7.5 metres and 10 metres, video playback facility and bubble release technology for reducing diver impact.
St Albans: Major new Harpenden leisure facilities are on the cards
Liverpool is playing host to its own ‘Olympic Games' this summer as the city gears up for Rio.
St Helens sports festival
Tour de France boosts Essex sport
Suffolk: Our Get Healthy Get Into Sport programme is one of the best in the country
12 December 2016
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