Tens of thousands of people have helped to bring the sporting legacy of the Olympic Games to life in Weymouth over the last two weeks.
A Sport Arena has been created on Weymouth beach to giving people the chance to try out sports such as rowing, rugby union, football, cricket, kayaking, sailing, volleyball and table tennis.
More than 50,000 people have already visited the arena, which is open from 10am to 6pm every day of the Olympic and Paralympics.
Backed by £60,000 investment by Sport England, the project is offering great opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people of all ages to get involved in sport. Every visitor is receiving follow-up information from the sports bodies that are running the sessions to help them find somewhere to carry on playing sport regularly near their home.
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Jennie Price, said:
“As our Olympic sailors are showing how it’s done out in the bay, thousands of young people are finding out how much fun sport can be on the beach and in the water. The phenomenal numbers of people joining in the sport at Weymouth shows the power of the Olympics to inspire people to get involved.”
Dozens of volunteers from local sports clubs across Dorset have been helping to run the sport sessions alongside around 400 Sport Makers, recruited through Sport England’s legacy programme.
Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics said:
“The Sports Arena is legacy in action with thousands of young people trying new sports and receiving information about how they can take it further. It really is inspiring our next generation of Olympians.”
Notes to editors
The arena is co-ordinated by Active Dorset County Sports Partnership with support from Dorset County Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, sports national governing bodies and more than 400 sports volunteers.
Sport England is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life. We will invest over £1 billion of National Lottery and Exchequer funding between 2012 and 2017 in organisations and projects that will:
- Help more people have a sporting habit for life
- Create more opportunities for young people to play sport
- Nurture and develop talent
- Provide the right facilities in the right places
- Support local authorities and unlock local funding
- Ensure real opportunities for communities.
For more information please contact the press office: Peter Dickinson on 020 7273 1800 or Amy Wright on 0207 273 1593