Olympic legacy sees more taking part in sport

Record numbers in the East Midlands are playing sport with 1.3 million taking part every week - an increase of 70,000 on last year.

Across the country, figures released by Sport England show 15.5 million people aged 16 and over are playing sport at least once a week. That’s 750,000 more than a year ago and 1.57 million more than when London won the Olympic and Paralympic bid.

The strongest growth has been among women, with an increase of more than half a million in the past year helping to cut the gender gap in sport.

The number taking part has risen sharply in the period since the London 2012 Games got underway with strong increases in sports such as cycling and sailing.

Participation by disabled people has been rising steadily since 2005, but still lags far behind that for non-disabled people. Sport England this week announced a £10.2 million National Lottery investment to tackle this challenge.

Sport England’s chief executive, Jennie Price, said: “These results show we are on the right track. I’m particularly pleased that many more women are taking up sports from netball and cycling to running.

“Sport needs to work even harder to attract and keep young people, so the investment in individual sports we will be announcing before Christmas will be strongly focused on getting more 16-to-25-year-olds playing sport.”