William Eichler 15 August 2016

Councils are locking in Olympic’s ‘sporting legacy’, survey finds

Local authorities are securing the sporting legacy of the 2012 Olympics by helping to transform sport at the grassroots level, survey reveals.

A snapshot survey of 16 councils by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed councils have seen a spike in sports since 2012.

Plymouth, one of the survey’s respondents and the place where Olympic diver Tom Daley trained, reported a surge in diving, and St Albans also said sporting activity among its residents had increased by 50% in the last three years.

Liverpool is playing host to its own mini ‘Olympic Games' this summer and St Helens has created an annual multi-sports festival that attracts over 5,000 visitors.

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.

‘With the Olympics well underway, now is the time to reflect on the sporting legacy which has been left since London 2012,’ Cllr Ian Stephens, chair of the LGA's culture, tourism and sport board, said.

‘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 played a key role in the 2012 legacy as it's their services people often rely on as they find private facilities prohibitively expensive,’ he added.

‘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.’

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