By Daniel Hunter
Councils across the country are reporting increased visitor numbers to leisure centres, sports pitches, cycle tracks and even beach volleyball courts as residents become enthused by the Olympics.
Facilities used by Team GB members have seen a particular boost in interest, with Tom Daley's training pool, the centres used by gymnasts Kristian Thomas and Max Whitlock, and the National Water Sports Centre, where canoeists Etienne Stott, Tim Baillie, David Florence and Richard Hounslow have trained, all fielding a flood of inquiries from people wanting to get involved.
Councillor Stephen Castle, Chairman of the Local Government Association's 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Task and Finish Group, said:
"Across the country council sports facilities are being inundated with people enthused by the Olympics wanting to get involved with sport. There are queues at swimming baths, leisure centres, gymnasiums and even beach volleyball courts.
"Interest in sport always spikes during major events, but the scale of enthusiasm and wide variety of sports people are wanting to get involved in is really inspiring.
"A key measure of the success of the 2012 Games will be if sporting participation increases in the years ahead. Councils have a key role to play in this and will be working hard to ensure the huge potential to get more people involved in sport and make our communities healthier isn't wasted.
"Sports governing bodies, councils, local sports clubs and community groups need to seize this fantastic sporting fervour and work well together to make sure we keep people enthused about sport once the closing ceremony's a distant memory."
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