It’s a record!
It has been another year to remember for British sport, with records being broke in every direction by individuals and teams in 2013.
Andy Murray made history as he became the first Brit to clinch the illusive Wimbledon title for more than 70 years, whilst the unstoppable Chris Froome bagged the Tour de France title just 12 months after fellow Brit, Sir Bradley Wiggins, completed an identical feat.
Yet it isn’t only on the main stage where sport is blossoming in the country with latest figures, released by Sport England via the Active People Survey (APS), highlighting a rise in participation across the whole country.
In Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in particular, record figures have been registered with 2.7million people from the demographic, aged 16 or over, playing sport at least once a week.
The figure is a huge rise of 570,200 since the first recordings were taken in October 2006, and 45,000 higher than April 2013, making it the highest number ever recorded by the APS.
Naz Ali, cycle enthusiast and Bradford Council Youth service worker, has seen an ‘amazing increase’ in people taking up his sport of choice and welcomes the latest figures.
“It is obviously great to see so many people from minority backgrounds getting involved as sport really is inclusive to everybody,” he said.
“I work a lot with people from minority backgrounds, be that race, or gender, and the increase we have seen is just as amazing as that of the latest figures published.”
The latest APS figures have also taken into account members of the BME community aged 14-16, a previously unaccounted for age group, meaning in total 2.84million people aged 14 and over take part in sport for at least an hour a week.
Naz Ali, who is based at Toller Youth Café, and works both in his own time and as part of his job to promote cycling amongst young people and local communities added his excitement about the chance to build on these figures.
“The statistics are brilliant for everybody but especially for cycling,” he said. “The sport is now recognised as the most participated in the whole country, overtaking football, and is something that could not have been dreamt of just five years ago.
“In our cycling courses, we have had a large rise in attendees with more than 90 bikes now in our hub for people, who can’t necessarily afford their own bike, to come and have a ride.
“Next year will be another great year for sport, with the Tour [de France] coming to the country, and we are expecting the rise in numbers to just keep going.”