Olympics inspire sporting activities

Pictured is Chris Deighton, one of the staff in the gym at the English Institute of Sport
Pictured is Chris Deighton, one of the staff in the gym at the English Institute of Sport
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The Olympics have inspired more people than ever to take part in sport and exercise, according to Sheffield’s biggest leisure operator.

Sheffield International Venues, which operates facilities including Ponds Forge and the English Institute of Sport, said its attendance figures rose by 600,000 from 4.5 million in 2011/12 to 5.1 million in 2012/13.

During the Olympic and Paralympic year, the company reported a 53 per cent increase in people taking part in key target coached sports activities at its venues with the figure increasing from 72,000 to 110,168 in the last year.

One of the biggest growth sports in the last 12 months is athletics at the English Institute of Sport, where youngsters joining academy sessions more than tripled from 2,920 to 9,662.

Steve Brailey, chief executive of SIV, said: “The figures reflect the passion that Sheffield people have for sport, health and fitness.”

The number of people swimming in Sheffield is higher than average attendances across Yorkshire and the Humber and nationally.

And a record 20,000 people are now members of SIV’s Fitness Unlimited membership scheme, up from 17,000 in 2011/12.