Ipswich: Olympic legacy is still alive and kicking in the town

Andy Wood, right

Andy Wood, right

IT is more than six months since the Olympic Games drew to a close but sports chiefs in Ipswich say the legacy of the event is still being felt in Ipswich.

New figures have revealed more than 600 people are now registered to take part in park runs in the town in addition to five new routes being installed.

Bosses at gymnastics and fitness centres are also reporting increases in the number of people signing up to different activities.

The news follows research by the Local Government Association which has suggested the Olympic legacy is still being felt with growing numbers of people taking part in sport and physical exercise.

Andy Wood, head coach at Pipers Vale Gymnastics Club, said: “Our classes are still full and we have plenty of people on the waiting list so we are still on a role.”

At the end of 2012, it was revealed that 2.2% more Suffolk adults were taking part in sport at least once a week compared to 2011.

Bryony Rudkin, the borough council’s leisure portfolio holder, believes events such as the Tour of Britain coming through Ipswich has inspired a new generation of sportsmen and women.

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Mrs Rudkin added: “Ipswich is enjoying an Olympic sport and fitness legacy, with more people taking advantage of a wide range of activities.”

The new research has also shown there is a growing number of people taking up paralympic sports.

David Finn, leisure services manager with disability charity Optua, said: “Undoubtedly there has been an increase in people wanting to take part in sport – there does seem to be quite an interest.

“We have been involved in helping promote and raise the profile of disability sport for a number of years so it is exactly what we started out to do – it is really positive.

“There is still work to do but we are making progress.”

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