Olympics: One year on in Fylde

Fylde coast sports enthusiasts including Brian Porter (below) and Sarah Oxley (bottom) have reflected on the legacy of the London Games, a year after the opening ceremony.
Fylde coast sports enthusiasts including Brian Porter (below) and Sarah Oxley (bottom) have reflected on the legacy of the London Games, a year after the opening ceremony.
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It is one year since the world was left stunned by Danny Boyle’s spectacular Olympic opening ceremony in London.

In the month that followed, the nation was taken on a wild ride as British athletes from across the sporting spectrum chased their dreams of glory in hues of gold, silver and bronze.

Games Maker Brian Porter from Freckleton with gold medallists Greg Rutherford (left) and Mo Farah

Games Maker Brian Porter from Freckleton with gold medallists Greg Rutherford (left) and Mo Farah

It was, said organisers, the greatest Games – and the springboard for a legacy of sporting excellent in Britain.

But 12 months on what has been the lasting legacy of London 2012?

And has it inspired future generations on the Fylde coast to go from the Golden Mile to gold medal winners?

Brian Porter, 49, from Freckleton, carried the Olympic torch near Fairhaven Lake and worked as a games maker in London.

Sarah Oxley

Sarah Oxley

He met athletes Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford the night they won their gold medals.

Mr Porter said: “We are here 12 months on and it’s as fresh as ever for me – the most exciting time of our lives.

“I think there are more people getting involved in sport than before the games. There’s definitely an interest in having a go now.

“More and more people are participating. I also think people are taking part in volunteering – those are the two things I’ve seen.”

Organisers said one of the biggest impacts the Games had was to get people watching minority sports.

Sarah Oxley, who runs Gym Mania, in Fleetwood, says many of the gymnasts who were stars of the Olympics have become households names as a result, leading to greater awareness of the sport.

She said the club is now thriving as a result, with membership at full capacity.

She added: “The biggest thing is the impact of gymnast stars being on mainstream TV shows now.

“It’s taken it in a new dimension, into the limelight, so anybody can have a go at it.”

However, Sarah says the Government now needs to do more to keep up the momentum before the next Olympics, in Rio 2016.

She said: “At around 12 to 18 months it’s when clubs are going to need to be back doing advertising campaigns.

“The Government needs to focus on to sport because it takes a long time to produce future stars.”

Wyre Council’s leisure and tourism member Coun Lynne Bowen said the games has had a big impact in the borough.

She said: “I think there are a lot more people taking part now in sport. Cycling for one has increased 10-fold, whether it is people in groups or individually.

“People have realised they have got to keep fitter.

“I would add that volunteering has increased too – people want to get involved and help out.”

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