Gold medal rush inspires more interest in sport
Published 18 Aug 2012 07:30 0 Comments
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Andrew Willis, a member of Bracknell and Wokingham Swimming Club, made the Olympic final of the 200m breaststroke
THE London 2012 Olympic motto was 'Inspire a Generation' and sports clubs in our area have seen an increase in interest from people wanting to take up sport.
An impressive range of medals for Team GB has led to clubs in Bracknell and Wokingham receiving inquiries in sports both old and new.
Bracknell Hockey Club pre-empted this Olympic fever with its eight-week 'back to hockey' course.
Libby Mound, captain of the playing committee, said: "We've had a lot of interest since the Olympics started, with a particular flurry in the last week, and it's picking up more and more.
"People have emailed us specifically mentioning that they watched hockey in the Olympics, with about half the people who have spoken to us never having played hockey before.
"Even though the hockey season hasn't started yet, people are making enquiries, and we're hoping to be able to form a new ladies' team.
"We're holding an open day on Saturday, September 1, so anyone who's interested should come along'.
Team GB gained an impressive five medals in boxing, including a gold from Nicola Adams at the first Olympic bouts to feature women.
Andy Exler, chairman of Bracknell Boxing Club said the club had seen a pick up in interest.
Mr Exler said: "There's particularly been an increase in women wanting to get involved, with the Olympics really spurring people on; we've seen more than our average female interest. We're expecting many more inquiries.
"Boxing's a tough sport but we ease people into it, catering to both men and women of all ages, so come along and give it a go."
Women also shone in taekwondo, with GB's Jade Jones taking the gold. However, Bracknell Taekwondo School found that it was in the run-up to the Olympics that they noticed a new spurt of enthusiasm.
Instructor Ben Oxtoby said: "It's been buzzing before the Games, with people calling up saying they've heard it's in the Olympics and they want to get involved before.
"Whether this will continue now the Olympics have finished, it's too soon to say."
Bracknell and Wokingham Swimming Club already has its own Olympian, after member Andrew Willis qualified for the men's 200m breaststroke final at the London Games.
Ceri Rance, co-ordinator of the club's swimming academy, said: "We've definitely had a significant increase in interest, with everyone showing a really positive reaction to the Olympics.
"Kids really love being involved and swimming really compliments other sports as well, so it's been really great."
Cycling has long been one of Great Britain's most lucrative sports in the medal tables, with nine medals gained on the road and in the velodrome.
Berkshire Cycles in Crowthorne has experienced a renewed interest in buying bikes, particularly in road bikes, an indication perhaps of the "Bradley Wiggins effect". Wiggins won gold in the time trial following his victory in the Tour de France.