City of gold: 2012 Olympics inspire more in Manchester to take up sport than anywhere else in UK

Manchester has won gold after it was revealed that more Mancunians have taken up sport since the 2012 Olympic Games than any other major city in Great Britain.

According to new figures from Sport England’s national Active People Survey, Manchester has seen an increase of people participating in sporting activities by 4%, more than any other city in the country.

The Active People Survey also showed that 41.2% Mancunians took part in at least 30 minutes of sport or active recreation per between October 2012 and 2013.

Manchester residents currently stand well above the national average of 35.7%, which also increased by 0.2% on the last year’s figures. 

Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Rosa Battle said: “The findings of The Active People Survey are great news for Manchester prove what we’ve always known – we’re a city that lives and breathes sport. 

“The 2012 Olympic Games were undoubtedly inspirational.”

Councillor Battle also mentioned the long-lasting effects of other sporting competitions. She said: “Sport can help a city. Large events such as the 2002 Commonwealth Games can bring very real benefits to both Manchester and its residents.” 

Manchester is also running ahead of the North West’s average participation rate of 35.9% and that of Greater Manchester as a whole at 36.3%.

Club memberships in the city have also experienced the highest ever jump with an increase from 15% to 27.5% since the previous survey.

Participation in organised sport also increased by 6.8% on last year’s figures to 35%. 

Community Site Manager of the City of Manchester Institute for Gymnastics told MM: “We’ve definitely seen an increase in budding gymnasts. There was a lot of new interest immediately after the 2012 Olympics – especially with Team GB doing so well.

“We’re still continuing to see a steady increase even now over 18 months later.”

Volunteering in sport has also seen an increase of 0.9% to 5.2%. 

Councillor Battle looks forward to Manchester continuing to sprint ahead of other major British cities. “With our world class sporting venues and community facilities accessible to everyone, our packed 2014 sports programme and the help of local sports clubs and organisations, I’m sure we can continue to increase participation in sport.”

The upcoming Great City Games on Saturday May 17 will give also Manchester another great reason to get into sport and watch some Olympic medallist in action for a new lease of inspiration.

Attending athletes include Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford and Paralympic silver medallist Stefanie Reid. 

Image courtesy of jwmoz, via Flickr, with thanks.

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