Athletics: People inspired by Olympics, says Yate coach

Coach Charlie Lodge with Lucy Pritchard trying shot put at Filton

Coach Charlie Lodge with Lucy Pritchard trying shot put at Filton

First published in Sport

YATE and District coaching secretary Mark Lodge believes the Olympics and Paralympics in London will inspire more people to take up athletics.

The club supported a Come and Try event, run by South Gloucestershire Council at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus last week, where people with physical or sensory impairments from 11-years-old upwards were given a chance to take part in a variety of sports, such as athletics, football and wheelchair basketball.

Lodge, who works with top disabled athletes in his other role as a link coach for England Athletics, ran the athletics sessions and several participants expressed an interest in joining clubs like Yate.

He said: “It’s just a case of giving them direction, whether they’re at club level or can be fast-tracked to the Paralympics.

“It’s not just Yate that benefits. As long as we can get them into a club that’s great.

“If it wasn’t for the Olympics this year we probably wouldn’t be doing these Come and Try events.”

Josh Evans became the first Yate and District athlete to run at the Olympic Stadium earlier this year.

He represented Team Bristol in the 400m race at the UK School Games, which acted as a test event for London 2012.

The club has also seen many former members go onto higher levels, and sprinter Ryan Scott is a reserve for Great Britain’s 4x100m relay team at the Olympics having been part of the England team that won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

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