Photo gallery: Families inspired by Olympic successes enjoy new sports

A post-Olympic buzz was heard across Norfolk this weekend, with people trying their hand at new sports.

Inspired by the success of the nation's athletes at London 2012, sports clubs and community groups threw their doors open for free Olympic sport taster sessions, as part of a nationwide campaign called Join In Local Sport.

Sports on offer included hockey, volleyball, table tennis, kayaking and cycling.

Norwich Canoe Club was packed with keen beginners when it ran a session on Saturday morning at Whitlingham.

Around 70 people turned up to try their hand at canoeing and kayaking. Louise Linnell from the club said: 'We have never run anything like it before. I didn't expect so many to turn up.


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'So many of them said they had seen Team GB win a gold and wanted to give it a go. They were very keen. We had a massive range of people.'

There were also non-Olympic sports such as rugby union and korfball and leisure activities including yoga.

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Mike Hardy, president of Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, which held two sessions for beginners over the weekend said: 'We had a lot of interest from people inspired by what they saw on the television over the Olympics.

'Being a home nation, the Olympic Games generated more interest than normal and having the GB men's and women's hockey teams do well inspired more people.

'They can see the link between these players playing club hockey, then finding themselves at national league level and being selected for the national squad. It brings it home more.'

Mr Hardy said over the Olympics around 50 people had inquired about joining the club, while 25 new players came to the weekend sessions.

Nationally, the nationwide grassroots scheme saw than 5,000 events happen across the UK as part of building the sporting and volunteering legacy from London 2012.

The campaign was backed by Team GB medal winners past and present including Anthony Ogogo, as well as the Duke of Cambridge, prime minister David Cameron and London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

Across the east of England, some 422 sports clubs and community groups held free taster sessions.

VC Norwich hosted a bicycle ride from The Forum, while Wymondham Martial Arts Centre, Wensum Table Tennis Club, Great Yarmouth & District Athletic Club, Waveney Gymnastics Club, Great Yarmouth and Waveney Fencing Club, all held events.

tom.bristow@archant.co.uk

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