By Daniel Hunter
Sports bodies which offer the best opportunities for Londoners to take up sport will benefit from the next round of the Mayor's sports legacy fund, Boris Johnson announced today (Monday).
Sports projects already funded by the Mayor across the capital are reporting increased interest in sport following the incredible success of the 2012 Games, with Londoners looking to get involved in a range of sports, from rowing and running to boxing and women's football.
The Mayor is committed to getting more people of all ages into sport and his Sports Legacy Fund has already invested more than £40 million in grass roots sports across the capital. He has pledged a further £7 million to improve the capital's sports facilities, help its clubs to train more coaches and offer more sports sessions to increase sports participation in London.
Already 76 sports facilities have received funding, doubling user capacity in the city, and more than 15,000 coaches have been trained in a range of sports. On top of this 34 sports projects are also benefiting from extra investment allowing them to expand and the capital's mobile pools programme is helping 12,000 people learn to swim.
Following Team GB's incredible success in rowing during this summer's Olympic and Paralympic Games the Ahoy (sailing and rowing) centre in Greenwich has experienced a 15 per cent increase in enquiries and clubs in the Run! athletics programme say they have experienced at least a 25 per cent increase in membership interest since the Games.
These organisations are already working to capitalise on the upsurge, with Ahoy! planning to train its sailing instructors to become rowing instructors too and establishing an apprenticeship scheme to build new rowing cutters at the centre.The new funding will enable further sporting legacy programmes to benefit from investment across London, and the Mayor's sports team will identify specific organisations where investment will make its biggest mark to help deliver sporting legacy.
Today the Mayor joined double Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah to meet young people engaged in sport at the Black Prince Trust sports hub in south London which he funds from his sports legacy programme.
"Well ahead of the Games we began laying the groundwork for a fantastic sporting legacy, by preparing our clubs, teams and coaches for an influx of Londoners inspired to try their hand at new activities," the Mayor of London Boris Johnson said.
"As a result, the capital’s grassroots sports clubs are in a great position to turn the golden summer we all enjoyed into a lifetime of participation by people of all ages and abilities. I’m determined to help clubs build on the enthusiasm generated by the Games and with the next phase of carefully targeted funding I am even more confident we can not only inspire a new generation of sporting champions, but also make London a fitter and healthier city."
Kate Hoey MP, the Mayor's Sports Commissioner said: "The country made a commitment to deliver a sporting legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The investment from the Mayor is helping to make that a reality in London. The Sport for Social Change Network, which is funded by the Mayor's Sports Legacy Fund and Nike, is an excellent example of this and provides exactly the sort of grassroots sport activities that can have such a positive effect on the lives of young people."
Brian Dickens, Director of the Sport for Social Change Network which operates from the Black Prince Trust sports hub, said: "This has been an amazing summer and there is no doubt that the Games have been an inspiration to the kids involved with the SSCN. We have seen a real increase in interest across the board - and there's been a particular surge in girls wanting to get involved in boxing. Through the support of the Mayor, Nike and other partners we are now working to capture this enthusiasm and turn it into increased participation."
Join us on