West Yorkshire Sport helps build on increased interest in sport with My Turn campaign #MyTurnWY
Published on: 18th August 2012
The Olympic Games have been an massive success, with 90% of the population tuning in to watch the medals roll in. With West Yorkshire coming 7th in the national table, interest in sport has seen the number of people looking for local sport clubs and activities double, Nigel Harrison, CEO of West Yorkshire Sport said:
"Since the Games started we had thousands of people inspired by the Brownlees, Armitstead and Adams using the club search on our website to find their local clubs, twice as many as the previous month. Our 'MY Turn' campaign pages have also seen an increase in traffic as people look for fun ways to get active.
"Sport England and the network of County Sports Partnerships including West Yorkshire Sport are ready to harness the excitement of the Games to continue this growth and the early signs are good. We have been building the groundwork for the legacy for three years, increasing the number of volunteers, recruiting and upskilling coaches, raising standards in clubs, supporting talented athletes and building the communication channels that help people find the sports they want.
"With the Paralympic Games starting in a week we expect another boost in the medal tally from our athletes like swimmer Claire Cashmore and wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft. We expect another wave of interest from people who will watch these amazing athletes and say to themselves 'If they can do it, what is stopping me?'.
"We are especially looking forward to watching world champion and record holding Hannah Cockroft race. Hannah has come through our supporting talented athlete scheme STARS and following tyre problems at the world championships in Australia last winter we pledged our support so she will be racing on two sets of special racing tyres, red of course to match the red shoes of the TEAM GB uniform (as she races barefoot).
"There's a long way to go on the legacy journey and everyone in sport now needs to work harder than ever to keep the momentum going. Every year inactivity costs as much as staging the entire games - not to mention the human cost, so we have to get this right. But we're on the right road with participation rates across Yorkshire increasing since the bid was won in 2005 in the face of huge competition for our leisure time and the value of volunteers is widely recognised and respected. Its now up to the people of West Yorkshire to make the decision and say 'Its My Turn'."
West Yorkshire Sport are delivering a number of exciting national projects all of which are contributing to help increase participation in sport. The County Sports Partnership has been working with a wide range of partners to deliver Sport England's Places People Play programmes across the county during the last 18 months with significant success. These programmes are funded through investment from the National Lottery.
* Sportivate is designed to increase the numbers of people aged 14-25 who take part in regular sport.
* Sport Makers is encouraging people aged 16 and over to devote 10 hours or more to volunteering and making sport happen.
* School Games is the Government's school sport Legacy Programme, which was launched this year and has already provided opportunities for thousands of young people in West Yorkshire.
* Community Games is supporting local events inspired by the games with resources and funding.
* WY STARS (Supporting Talented Athlete Recognition Scheme) has helped talented athletes like Paralympic hopeful Hannah Cockroft access training facilities
* Volunteers in Sport and Coaching West Yorkshire are Inspire marked projects designed to help clubs and communities deliver more grassroots sport with more and better trained volunteers and coaches.
* Working with national governing bodies of sport, new ways have been developed for people wanting to get into everything from from running to rounders, both as participants and setting up groups for others to join.
The website has a new section WYSPort.co.uk/MyTurn making it easy for for people to find local sports and activities with something for everybody at all levels of ability.
The dividend for grassroots sport began before the Games as the number of people playing sport every week went over 15 million for the first time - an increase driven by a stronger focus on giving consumers what they want from sport, backed by significant investment. And now the intense spotlight on the magnificent members of Team GB is encouraging even more people to get involved.
In cycling, for whom Lizzie Armitstead got the first medal for Team GB, more than 1,000 people have signed up as members of British Cycling in just two weeks. British Cycling are holding a number of Olympic themed cycling activities during and after the Games.
All of the sports Sport England fund have plans in place to keep hold of these new participants by giving them a good experience.
Alongside the work of the individual sports, Sport England's Places People Play legacy programme is bringing legacy benefits to every corner of England. Already, over 850 sports clubs, facilities and playing fields have benefitted from £70 million of this National Lottery investment. All will carry the London 2012 Inspire mark - celebrating the link to the Games.
Sport England believe it is important to help a new generation to discover the right sport and are investing in the programmes to spot and then nurture those with the talent to emulate the likes of the Brownlee Brothers and Nicola Adams.
Around a quarter of Sport England's investment since London won the bid in 2005 has gone into supporting talented young athletes. As well as supporting talent identification and coaching, Sport England have invested in over 50 high performance centres around the country, including EIS Sheffield where Jess Ennis trains. The national centre at Lilleshall has received £16 million of investment, helping elite athletes based there such as Louis Smith and Beth Tweddle prepare for their medal-winning performances.
West Yorkshire Sport believe that continuing to strengthen the ties between community sports clubs and schools is critical both to finding future Olympians and helping more young people develop a sporting habit for life. Under the Sport England strategy every English secondary school will be offered a community sport club on its site with a direct link to one or more sports. Having a community club within the school and linked to local sports clubs makes it easier for young people to choose to get involved in sport beyond the school curriculum and then make the move into their local club.
To find out what's on offer in your local area go to www.wysport.co.uk/myturn