Despite a recent UK-wide survey reporting that only 17% of parents of children under 18 think support for sport has improved under the current government, participation in running events appears to be increasing in the country. Entries for races such as Great North Run, London Marathon and Great Scottish Run grew last year and the trend looks set to continue in 2013.
The 2013 Great North Run experienced a significantly higher number of entries than last year and the Great Scottish Run and BUPA Great Women's 10K are reporting an 'encouraging' number of entries for this year's events. One Scottish city reports that attendance at their sport facilities was up 8% to almost six million last year with a notable increase in membership of their sports facilities access scheme. They believe the Olympic legacy and anticipation for next year's Commonwealth Games has also played a role in piquing people's interest in athletics.
Human Race, which organises 60 events annually with more than 70,000 competitors, recently surveyed 1500 people on the Olympics legacy. More than 76% felt more inspired to participate and 87.7% thought performances of athletes such as Jessica Ennis and Victoria Pendleton will inspire more female participation. The race organisers reported a post-Olympic entry spike with their first event of 2013, the Iceman duathlon and trail race, attracting 789, up from 630 last year. So as well as inspiring a generation, the games seem to have inspired a nation.