SPORTS clubs in Okehampton have already started to benefit from the legacy of London 2012, as more people have turned out to take part in sports since the start of the Olympic Games.

Clubs across the area have seen an increase in participation and interest in sports since the Olympic Games started on July 30.

One of the key elements of the London bid for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was a pledge by bid chairman Lord Coe to use the events to inspire two million people across Great Britain to take up sport and physical activity.

This theme of legacy was very much at the forefront of the Games, highlighted by the decision to choose seven young British athletes to light the Olympic cauldron, and the London Games' motto 'Inspire a Generation'.

Stuart Lord from OCRA said: 'We have definitely seen an increase in interest in local sport since the start of the Games.

'We have had lots of calls and contact via our website.

'We ourselves have done a campaign encouraging people inspired by the Olympics and Paralympics to get in touch so we can put them in touch with local sports clubs and get them involved in sport.

'We have seen a big increase in interest among young people, and at our summer holiday clubs we had a lot of interest in handball.

'Kids were loving it. Those lesser-known sports getting a higher profile is a great thing to see.

'The hockey club, running club and a number of other local clubs are starting new 'back to sport' beginner sessions, and there are also new adult clubs being set up in fencing, gymnastics and other sports.

'The area is very rich in sports, and we are very lucky to have access to a wide range of facilities like Roadford Lake, and all the sports facilities in the town.

'We would encourage people to join a new club, or if they want to set up an activity, we encourage them to get in touch.'

Among the local clubs to see an increase in participation is Okehampton Cycling Club.

Much like in Beijing in 2008, Team GB were dominant during the cycling events, winning gold in seven of the ten track cycling events, and Bradley Wiggins claimed victory in the men's time trial at the Games.

Darren Bostock, from Okehampton Cycle Club said: 'Here at Okehampton Cycles we have seen a big rise in interest across all age groups for road bikes in particular, and we been using our expertise to steer people towards bikes that really suit their needs and their local terrain.

'Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish's amazing success in the Tour de France and then the Olympics too as well as the Paralympics athletes' successes have been very inspirational.

'It's been a real rollercoaster this summer with one event after the other, not really giving you time to truly ponder the gravity of what these amazing riders have achieved before they're onto something else.'

Another sporting event hoping to inspire people into taking part in sport is the Tour of Britain, which passes through Okehampton on Saturday September 15.

Among the cyclists passing through the town will be Tour de France winner and Olympic Time Trial champion Bradley Wiggins, and World Road Race champion Mark Cavendish.

Performance Cycles CMI, the under-23 cycling team run by the South West Bike Academy, will attend a number of primary school assemblies across the area in September to encourage pupils to take up cycling or cycle more often.

Performance Cycles CMI Team Manager David Walters said: 'Over the last few years we have presented assemblies to over 50,000 schoolchildren in conjunction with Devon County Council and this year the demand has been exceptional.

'The sport has become a mainstream part of our culture and the interest is growing daily. A few years ago, many would have struggled to name a British rider; now Wiggins, Cavendish, Armitstead and Trott are recognisable names. Now all we have to do is find the next superstar, hopefully from our region.'

To find out more about sport in the area, visit"> or call 01837 54546.