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London 2012 inspires a generation

OLYMPIC PLUS: London 2012 has been a sporting catalyst

THE LONDON 2012 Olympic Games has been the catalyst for more people from the Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities taking up sport.

A record number of people of BME origin now play sport each week according to official statistics published today (December 12) by Sport England.

The Active People Survey is an annual, in-depth measure of the nation’s sporting habits and is the biggest of its kind in Europe. The results, which cover October 2012-October 2013, show that the number of people of BME origin playing sport once a week, aged 16 and over, has increased by 67,000 over the last year.

This brings the total number to its highest recorded figure of 2.7 million, 570,000 more than in 2005 when London won the bid to host the Games. This represents 37.2 per cent of the BME population and compares with 35.4 per cent of the white British population.

For the first time, the Active People Survey for 2012/13 (APS7) includes data on 14 and 15 year olds. Including this new age group brings the total population of people of BME origin playing sport once a week to 2.84 million.

The United Kingdom is the first host nation to have delivered a sustained increase in the number of people playing sport after the Games and data shows the continuing positive impact of London 2012 on people’s sporting habits.

In particular the data reveals that gym activities are the most popular regular sport for people from BME origin. The biggest increases in participation for this demographic are in fitness and conditioning, cycling and badminton.

The number of people (16 years and over) playing sport regularly in England remains at 15.5 million, an increase of over 1.5 million since London won the bid to host the Games. This means the number of people playing sport regularly in England remains higher than at any time before the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

A record number of disabled people now play sport each week. This has increased by 62,000 over the last year, bringing the total number to a record 1.66 million.

The number of men and women playing sport, aged 16 and over, has increased over the last six months (151,000 and 55,000 respectively), showing that the nation has bounced back into playing sport after the coldest March for 50 years.

The highest ever number of people aged 26 years old and over now play sport once a week.

Jennie Price, Chief Executive of Sport England, said: “This shows that more people are continuing to play sport and the growth we saw in 2012 was not just a post-Olympic bounce. I am particularly pleased to see record numbers of people of BME origin playing sport.”

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