Suffolk: Sports classes sell out as residents get in to Olympic spirit

MOVE over Team GB – Suffolk is getting serious about sport.

While Great Britain celebrates breaking records and winning gold medals, people in the county are using the London 2012 ‘bounce’ to get active.

Officials at Ipswich Borough Council say sports centres across the town have been packed to capacity and beyond, a surge they believe is largely due to the inspiring success of Team GB.

Borough sport and leisure manager Tim Snook said: “The adult spinning classes at Whitton have been packed, and the basketball school holiday activities are particularly popular.

“I think casual swimming is going to be increasing, and there are more people out on bikes.”

Sports activities and participation at Maidenhall Sports Centre, Gainsborough Sports Centre, and Northgate Sports Centre has noticeably increased, said Mr Snook, who said the efforts of our professional athletes has even given him more get-up-and-go.

“I saw ladies’ hockey last week and it just made me feel that I want to be really fit and need to work a bit harder.

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“I’ve been out on my bike and doing some sit ups and press ups.”

In the past two weeks, Crown Pools has seen an average of 800 people go through the turnstiles every day, and with the opening of the newly-refurbished competition pool yesterday, bosses are expecting a surge of adult swimmers to return to the pool.

And with Team GB displaying their talents in various sports again today, Mr Snook has no doubt their efforts are re-igniting the fire within Brits everywhere.

“It has inspired people to get fit and take part in sport or come back to something they used to do,

“I think it’s that feel good feeling that’s making people want to be healthy and enjoyed sport,” he said.

Although roller skating is not an Olympic sport, this too has proven popular at Northgate Sports Centre during the summer.

Councillor Bryony Rudkin, borough culture and sport portfolio-holder, added: “We also have introduced a Games Challenge, whereby children can get free sport and medals for completing five activities.

“We are determined to inspire a generation by offering a wide range of sports at affordable prices.”