17 June 2011

Boris tackles sports participation

Boris Johnson today launched a Rugby Football Union initiative to get more adults involved in the game.

As part of his drive to get Londoners from every corner of the capital more active and boost sporting participation in the run up to and after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Mayor is investing £115,000 from the Mayor's 2012 Sports Legacy Fund to provide free Touch Rugby sessions in the workplace

The Mayor used the 'O2 Touch' event at Tower Bridge to share his determination to increase participation in the sport by encouraging people to try touch rugby. Figures show that the number of adults playing the game at least once a week has dropped from 230,000 in 2009 to 177,900 at the most recent update.

Boris Johnson said, "It is essential that we deliver a Games that everyone can get involved in and feel a part of. Once again through this fund we are harnessing the benefits and opportunities from the Games reaching out to every corner of our capital and beyond.

"Touch Rugby is a fantastic sport that exercises every part of the body. It also encourages competitiveness on the field, as well as teamwork and enjoyment, but without the mud and weekend commitment. With the Rugby World Cup returning to England in 2015 there's no better time have a go at this great variation on the traditional game on your doorstep."

Through his PlaySport London initiative Boris Johnson has spent £15.5million to boost sports participation at every level in London before, during and after the Olympics. These include participation programmes, the Mayor’s skills and training programme and Freesport. They will complement facilities already provided by local authorities, national government bodies, and individual clubs and community groups already established.

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