Minority sports grow after Olympic exposure

GYMNASTICS is the latest sport in Nottinghamshire benefiting from increased exposure at London 2012, following on from handball and kayaking.

Nottinghamshire County Council says there has been a boost in inquiries from people interested in taking up all three sports in the last fortnight.

In particular, the success of Sam Oldham, who is funded through Nottinghamshire County Council’s Shining Stars grant, and clinched bronze in the men’s team gymnastics, is inspiring others.

In terms of more enquiries from local gymnastics clubs for girls, boys and adults, there has been a lot of interest being expressed by boys in particular.

Rachel Clerck, sports development officer for gymnastics at the county council, said: “It is great that so many people of all ages are inspired to take up gymnastics.

“It really is a great sport for all, which is not only about performing somersaults but is great for fitness, improving balance, co-ordination, flexibility and strength.

“It is a sport that takes discipline and a lot of hard work, but as you may have witnessed over the Olympic Games, the end results are fantastic to watch.

“All the media attention has been incredible for the sport and has put it in a great position to increase participation. We also need volunteers, helpers and coaches at the clubs to ensure that we can provide opportunities for everyone who is interested to give them alternative ways of getting involved.”

You can find your local club by using the ‘find a club section’ on the British Gymnastics website, www.british-gymnastics.org, or by contacting Rachel Clerck on 0115 9772298 or via e-mail on rachel.clerck@nottscc.gov.uk.

Handball is another sport to have benefitted from the Olympic buzz as more people decide to take up the sport.

Matt Bloor, sports development Officer at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “The exposure that handball and other minority sports have had thanks to the Olympics Games has been priceless.

“People have been ringing up to find local clubs which offer the sport as they have been inspired by London 2012.”

Handball sessions take place every Thursday from 8-9pm at Gedling Sports Centre.

For more info on volunteering in all sports, visit the Sport Nottinghamshire website www.sportnottinghamshire.co.uk

There are currently 20 adult players who play at the council-funded Gedling Club, which Nottinghamshire County Council supports alongside England Handball.

The Newark sessions are re-starting when the school term begins again with around a dozen children taking part, and the Gedling club has also piloted ladies only sessions and wheelchair handball sessions.

This year, the county council has also set up sessions in Newark with Newark and Sherwood District Council, and it is to hold discussions with partners elsewhere in the county to see what opportunities are available to set up more clubs.

For more details, contact Matthew Bloor, Sports Officer on 0115 9772268 or email matthew.bloor@nottscc.gov.uk or the Sport For All pages of the county council website: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sportforall

Nottinghamshire County Council has already reported it has seen an increase in interest from people wanting to take up kayaking at the National Water Sports Centre, again following London 2012.

Further information on coaching and volunteering in all sports please go to the Sport Nottinghamshire website www.sportnottinghamshire.co.uk