People of Norwich urged to Join In and be part of an Olympic legacy

Sports clubs and community groups across Norwich will be throwing their doors open for free this weekend as people of the city are urged to be part of an Olympic legacy.

One of the aims of the London 2012 Games was to inspire a generation and, after 65 medal-winning performances by British athletes, plus countless other inspiring efforts by our own athletes and those from around the world, the nation is filled with new-found enthusiasm for sport.

And now, just a week after the Olympics came to a close, people are being offered the chance to channel that enthusiasm as dozens of sports clubs across the city and surrounding area offer free taster sessions as part of the nationwide Join In Local Sport initiative.

Sports on offer in Norwich include those seen in the Olympics such as hockey, volleyball, table tennis, kayaking and cycling.

There are also a number of non-Olympic sports such as korfball.


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City sports coach Tim Newenham, Great Britain's performance programme manager for shooting, who also coaches athletes at Easton College, said: 'It's a great initiative and Norwich has a very good amount of very successful clubs which are very well equipped to deal with new members and people returning to sport and are very welcoming and friendly.

'All of the Olympic athletes have a great amount of fun from sport and that can't be stressed enough. All the clubs are geared up to make sure people have a great experience. So go along and have a huge amount of fun.'

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

The campaign will mark the first national sporting weekend of its kind to be put on by a host country in the immediate afterglow of the Games.

It has been backed by Team GB medal winners past and present, the Duke of Cambridge as well as prime minister David Cameron and London 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

Mike Hardy, president of Norwich Dragons Hockey Club, which will be holding a session for ladies and girls on Saturday at 2pm until 3.30pm and then a session for men and boys at the same time on Sunday, said: 'We have seen an unprecedented level of interest in the sport of hockey in 2012, thanks to the pre-Olympic initiatives of GB Hockey and the performances by the GB Hockey squads on the 'Smurf Turf'.

'Many adults that played hockey several years ago at school and those that had taken a break from hockey in recent years, have been inspired by the Olympics to dust off their stick and get in touch.

'Norwich Dragons Hockey Club has been running a number of events linked to TV coverage of the Olympic hockey and this weekend's Join in Local Sport initiative provides another great opportunity for anyone that wants to give it a go and come along to their local friendly club and pick up a stick.'

Mark Dare, director of coaching at Wensum Table Tennis Club, based at Catton Grove Primary School, in Weston Road, said: 'The great thing about table tennis is that it's a game people can play from the age of six to 85-plus.

'We've got players who play casually and at a higher level so come and have a go and see if you enjoy it. It's a free of charge and a fantastic opportunity.'

To find out more about the initiative and what is going on in the area where you live, go to www.joininuk.org.

For a guide to some of the quirkier sports on offer, go to www.eveningnews24.co.uk.

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