London 2012 Olympic boost for Reading sports clubsBy Mike Pyle
August 15, 2012
Sports clubs around Reading have felt the ‘Olympics effect’, but say ‘legacy’ aspirations will need funding.
Some already have membership waiting lists or are struggling to find volunteers and equipment.
After Great Britain’s success in the track cycling people have rushed to clubs who use Reading’s velodrome at Palmer Park Stadium in East Reading.
Chris Mcleod of Palmer Park Velo, which runs classes and races at the Wokingham Road track, said: “We’ve had a consistent increase in members since Beijing [in 2008] but there has been a spike in the last two weeks. We have more than 100 members, but we’ve had 20 more or so come to us in the last couple of weeks.
“Lots of parents have come to us asking how their children can get involved.
“The problem is, we’re self funded and now we’re looking to make funding applications for grants because we need to do things like replace bicycles as some are 20 to 25 years old. We just need more resources to cope if we’re getting more people wanting to take it up.
“I’d never say don’t come down, though – that would be mad, we’ll always find a way.”
Reading Velodrome Racing also runs a league on the track.
Spokesman Gordon Sherratt added: “We’ve had a lot of enquiries – I’ve had loads of emails from people asking how they can start on the track after seeing it in the Olympics.
“The problem is we don’t have lots of time. We’re all volunteers, there’s no grants so where the legacy comes into it I don’t know.”
Gareth Bevan of Reading Berkshire Spikeopaths Volleyball Club, who worked at the Olympics as a Games Maker, said: “We’re hoping to pick up new members after the Olympics. I think the whole ‘inspire a nation’ thing will have an effect.”
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