Rack cycling at Hampshire County Council’s velodrome has seen a surge in bookings in the last month following Team GB’s success at the Rio Olympics.
Velodrome bookings at the Council’s Calshot Activities Centre, in the New Forest, have risen by 68% between July and August, with most introductory courses booked up until Christmas. Use of Calshot’s climbing wall has also increased after climbing was recently added to the list of sports for Tokyo 2020.
Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Andrew Gibson, said: “Rio 2016 has been a truly inspiring Olympics and it’s great to see lots of young people and adults now trying out new sports at our Outdoor Centres.
“We’ve seen a huge spike with booking requests for track cycling which shows how the Olympics have motivated everyone to get active and have fun in sport, no matter their age or fitness.
“Hampshire has a proud sporting legacy which is continually underpinned by the County Council’s commitment in identifying and nurturing the next generation of promising athletes through the Hampshire Talented Athlete Scheme (HTAS). Two 2016 Olympians from Hampshire – hockey gold medallist Alex Danson and 5000 metre runner Stephanie Twell – received support from the scheme.”
HTAS provides financial, training and nutritional support to the county’s most promising athletes from county to international level and the scheme is co-ordinated by Sport Hampshire and the Isle of Wight on behalf of the County Council.
As a county, Hampshire won two Gold and two Silver medals at the Rio Olympics, beating the likes of Turkey, the Czech Republic and Romania in the overall country medal table.
Councillor Gibson continued: “The Rio spirit will continue as we wish our five HTAS Paralympians the very best of luck at the forthcoming Paralympics.”
The five HTAS Paralympians are:
• Alice Tai – New Forest, Swimming
• David Smith – Eastleigh, Boccia
• Georgie Hermitage – East Hampshire, Athletics (100m, 400m)
• Mikey Jones – New Forest, Swimming
• Olivia Breen – East Hampshire, Athletics (100m, long jump, 4x100m relay)
If you’re feeling inspired, Hampshire Outdoor Centres have a wide range of activities available for all ages this autumn.