Ipswich: Olympic gold is giving us the feel-good factor

AS Team GB celebrate more coveted gold medals the fever is spreading, lifting the mood of the town and encouraging people to follow in the footsteps of their favourite Olympic athletes.

As we approach the halfway point of the London 2012 Olympic Games, people across Ipswich are getting into the spirit, trying their hands at new sports.

And despite areas of London being empty during peak times because of the spectacular, it is hoped Ipswich will buck the trend, with people enjoying everything the county town has to offer.

Andy Yorke, general manager at Ipswich Sports Club in Henley Road, said it was encouraging to see so many people enquiring as a result of the games.

He said: “We have had more people coming in and asking about sports and it is great to see people getting involved in sports which they might not normally have known about.

“We specialise in tennis and squash and I think people are seeing their heroes such as Andy Murray and Elena Baltacha and are wanting to get involved.

“We would also like to see squash included in the next Olympic Games.”

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And an Ipswich Town spokesman added: “You only have to look at Twitter to see how the players have been caught up in Olympics fever. The players and staff are backing the GB team all the way.”

Bryony Rudkin, borough councillor responsible for sport, said: “We are really, really thrilled about the success of Team GB and we are looking forward to welcoming more users to our sports facilities, especially our swimming pools.

“I’m certain that Wiggo-mania will encourage a huge turn out for the Sky Ride and the start of the Tour of Britain on the Waterfront.”

Meanwhile, shop owners and traders are hoping the 2012 fever will encourage more people to come out in force and support the local economy.

Paul Clement, chief executive of Ipswich Central, said: “With the Olympics having only just begun, there are no concrete facts to demonstrate the impact it’s having on Ipswich.

“We will have to assess that after it has played out.

“We feel confident that if Team GB do well, it will hopefully create a feelgood factor in the town and indeed the entire country.”

Do you think the Olympic Games is having a good effect on the county? Tell us your views.

For more Olympic news and results see the London Calling under the main header.