Oct 4 2012 by Caitlin Black, Harrow Observer
LEISURE centres have been swamped by people who want to try a sport – the first indications of a positive London Olympics legacy.
The number of visits to Harrow Leisure Centre, Hatch End Swimming Pool and Roger Bannister Sports Centre were 20,000 higher in August than during the same month last year.
The lead general manager of the leisure centre, Duncan Cogger, said: “We have seen an increase in numerous sporting and fitness related activities since the Olympic and Paralympic games.
“On one evening, we had 14 young girls arrive to try out pole vaulting. The interest in different sporting activities has been very encouraging for coaches and everyone else at the centres.”
Harrow School of Gymnastics, based behind Harrow Leisure Centre in Christchurch Avenue, now has a waiting list of 150, with youngsters looking to emulate Olympic heroes like Beth Tweddle and Louis Smith.
Extra numbers have also been taking to the pools, squash courts, football pitches and the track.
This August there were more than 5,500 extra people trying their hand at swimming, 4,500 taking on indoor sports and more than 1,000 playing outdoor games.
Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for community and cultural services, councillor David Perry, said: “Harrow Council has been committed to creating an Olympic legacy here, and it’s great to see such a big increase in the usage of our local sports facilities.”