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Sports clubs gearing up for more interest following Olympics

Sports club in the Black Country are gearing up for a boost in interest following the Olympics.

LAST PIC / DAVID HAMILTON PIC / SHROPSHIRE STAR PIC 29/4/21 At the foot of the Wrekin, encouraging people to raise money for Compton Care, Hugh Porter, as he gets ready for Round the Wrekin 2021..

Each time a major tournament is held, like the Olympics or Commonwealth Games, more people turn their attention to activities seen on the television.

Cycling is one of the sports that sports clubs in the Black Country are expecting to see a boost in.

And the region may get an extra boost with the arrival of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham next year.

David Viner, chairman of Halesowen Cycling Club, said: "Following the Olympics in London, there was a definite increase in members in sport, certainly in cycling and I think athletics as well.

"Obviously, as the years go by, that decreases again.

"Definitely the Olympic games and the Commonwealth games should see an increase in cycling and athletics.

"At the moment, we have about 190 members. After the Olympics in London, we went up to 250.

"I definitely would think there would be another increase again."

Patron of the cycling club, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Hugh Porter MBE, added: "The euphoria of seeing the Olympic games on television and the British success in cycling, - despite the fact we are always trying to equal what we have done in previous Olympics, even though we have scored gold medals across disciplines, like BMX, mountain bike and the velodrome - I am sure that will be a stimulus for youngsters to look at that and think I want to emulate those and I'm going to do it.

"From my point of view, I think that will help in that direction."

Boxer Ben Whittaker, from silver, won silver at the Olympics.

An avid enthusiast of that sport, Paul Gough, who is chairman of Priory Boxing Club in Dudley, always welcomes the arrival of the Olympics.

He said: "I think the Olympics motivates people to get into sport, 100 per cent.

"I mean now you will se a surge, like a fad on skateboarding and cycling, not so much swimming, you will probably see a bit of swimming. Things like skateboarding and biking definitely."

He is hoping to launch plans in the future to set-up a new facility within Dudley, at Meadow Road learning centre, that would enable youngsters to practice sports like BMX and skateboarding, which have featured in these latest Olympics.

He said: "You have got the youth club and the big building connected to it, which is the learning centre.

"We are looking at taking over that. The adventure playground what used to be there, obviously it is overgrown and derelict now, it is not being used for anything.

"We are looking at taking over there. We could have an adventure playground again or a BMX track on there, and a big cycling track going all the way around.

"Or we could have a skatepark on there or we can have an activity area with a climbing wall.

"There is a few things that we can put there."

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