Becky’s success will be the spark

MANSFIELD’S double Olympic gold medallist Becky Adlington’s stunning success in Beijing will help ignite the enthusiasm for London 2012 across Notts.

That’s the view of the region’s swimming director Roger Glithero who says that this year is the county’s golden opportunity to lay down sporting legacies for years to come.

Hundreds of Notts sports clubs and associations are being invited to take part in two key events later this month being organised by Nottinghamshire County Council and Sport Nottinghamshire to prepare them for managing the expected rush of enthusiasm in sport after London 2012.

The county council has produced an Olympics toolkit with some key hints and guidance for clubs and associations to follow.

The toolkit will be unveiled at the meetings and includes key information about funding streams, maximising Olympics initiatives such as Sport Makers volunteering, the Torch Relay, the Gold Challenge and Sportivate, plus information on key contacts and support available.

Roger Glithero, Director of the East Midlands Amateur Swimming Association said: “Nottinghamshire’s model for supporting the development of swimming from a young age works.

“This was evident with the fantastic success in Beijing.

“Its approach to supporting swimmers from a young age, clubs working together and a squad system paid dividends and it is a shining example about what is possible.

“The success of swimming at the Olympics undoubtably raised the profile of the sport – for example, swimming enjoys more television airtime because of the achievements of athletes such as Rebecca Adlington, in the same way divers such as Tom Daley have helped to raise interest and television airtime in diving.

“Rebecca’s local connections to Nottinghamshire and Mansfield can also only help to add to the interest around London 2012 in the county in swimming and other sports.”

Around 400 clubs and associations are being invited to two key events later this month. The events are:

North Notts-based clubs – January 25, John Fretwell Sports Centre, in Mansfield, from 6.30pm to 9pm.

South Notts-based clubs – January 30, Nottingham Racecourse, from 6.30pm to 9pm.

Anna Quick, Sports Development Officer (Clubs and Organisations), from Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “There is no crystal ball to be able to determine which particular sports will capture the imagination of the public in Nottinghamshire.

“We had the heroics of Mansfield’s Rebecca Adlington in the 2008 Olympics and there could be interest in many different sports long after the Games, depending on what interests the public.

“The aim of the toolkit is to signpost the support and advice available to help all of our clubs and associations to manage Olympics and Paralympics fever and beyond.”

Simon Starr, Director of Sport Nottinghamshire, said: “Nottinghamshire County Council is a key partner in helping spread the message and supporting clubs to prepare for the potential impact and enthusiasm of the Olympics.”

The toolkit will be launched in January and will be available on the Nottinghamshire County Council website: www.nottscc.gov.ukor the Sport Nottinghamshire partnership website: www.sportnottinghamshire.co.uk.