Lord Coe hails rise in sports activity

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Lord Coe has described a poll showing that fewer than one in five people take part in more sport following the Olympics as a “good start”.

The Locog chairman and Olympic legacy ambassador was speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live following a survey of more than 1,000 people.

The poll also found that just 16 per cent of women and 10 per cent of those aged over 55 were inspired to participate in more sporting activities by London 2012.

Lord Coe said: “It’s pretty encouraging. I think that 24 weeks into a 10-year programme, to have 20 per cent uptake in any campaign is pretty good.

“It chimes in large part with some of the research we have done ourselves, showing that 70 per cent of people say their children are now significantly more positive about sport.”

He added that the BBC study, conducted by ComRes for the Victoria Derbyshire programme, did not include young people.

“Young people are, I know, making a beeline to local clubs,” Lord Coe said. “This is in itself raising other issues, such as long waiting lists at clubs.”

He added that sport was not the only factor relevant to the Olympic legacy, citing the introduction of an extra 1,000 hotel rooms in London with disabled access as a result of the Paralympics as an example.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman: “We want to encourage people to have a sporting habit for life and that’s why we are investing over £1bn of public money in youth and community sport.”