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County has every Olympic sport covered
SPORTS enthusiasts can try their hand at every Olympic sport, thanks to Oxfordshire clubs.
Today we reveal all 36 Olympic sports are on offer thanks to organisations in the county as Olympic fever grips the nation.
Oxfordshire has also scooped more than £707,000 in Olympic legacy grants through Sport England, with an even greater Olympic economic boost predicted.
Sports clubs have been overwhelmed and fitness equipment has been flying off the shelves in Oxfordshire since the start of London 2012 – and in some cases even earlier.
The Oxonian Cycling Club has seen what organisers say has been a “huge” amount of interest, with a 14 per cent increase in membership since May – from 131 to 149 members.
Oxonian club secretary Dennis McSweeney said: “We put this down to the Halford tour series coming to Oxford and the success of the British riders in the Tour de France. We have had an increase in inquiries since the Olympics started.
“To cater for the increased interest we have introduced some taster rides for beginners and young people with our own qualified coaches to give advice on cycling and getting into cycle racing.”
Kurt Grossmann, a sales assistant at Beeline Road Bicycles, in Oxford’s Cowley Road, said: “It has gone absolutely crazy.
“Sales went up a bit after Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France, but in the past few weeks they have gone absolutely crazy, everyone has just wanted to start cycling.”
Wallingford Rowing Club trained four Olympic rowers who went to Beijing in 2008, as well as Lindsey Maguire, 30, who came fifth in the women’s eight race this year.
Club captain Caroline Greves said the 300-member club had seen a tenfold increase in membership inquiries in the past two weeks – from an average of six a week to 60.
She said: “Wallingford is a great place for it, and a lot of that is due to it having the longest stretch of non-tidal water in the country which you need to train hard.
“There is just enough of the summer left if people want to get in touch. They can still do the first bit of training before the weather turns.”
South Oxfordshire District Council has run a three-day taster summer hockey session in Abingdon from Tuesday to Thursday last week which was oversubscribed.
Because there was so much interest, a weekly hockey club will now run in the town from next month.
Anna Capel-Davies, the council’s shared participation officer, said: “It went really well. It was very popular. We were able to take 22 people but we had others making inquiries.”
Victoria Knowles-Lacks, organiser of women’s-only Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club, inspired about 70 people with Olympic fever during a “have-a-go” shooting day at Enstone Shooting Club on Saturday. She said: “The youngest was 14, the oldest was 65, and the majority had never shot before.”
Isis Canoe Club, based at the 22nd Sea Scout Hut at Donnington Bridge, has been oversubscribed as usual.
Chairman and coaching director Simon Terry said: “We have got a waiting list of about 40 people, but we have had another eight applications in the last month.
“Team GB won gold and silver in the men’s double slalom and everyone just seems happier and more positive.”
And residents of Stanton St John have teamed up with South Oxfordshire District Council to offer a weekend of Olympic sports at their village festival over the upcoming bank holiday weekend.
- SPORTS clubs in Oxfordshire are set to receive £707,000 in Olympic legacy grants through Sport England’s Places People Play scheme.
These include Chadlington Sports Club, near Chipping Norton, which got £25,183 to refurbish changing rooms, and Didcot FC which was pledged £150,000 for an artificial, all-weather pitch.
Bidding is now open for community and volunteer groups to apply for Sport England Inspired Facilities grants before September 14.
South Oxfordshire District Council will install the £400,000 artificial pitch for Didcot FC, which will help players train during the winter.
Abingdon Rowing Club has been given £50,000 from Sport England to upgrade a gym at the ‘shed’ HQ.
The club needs ex-rowers from within the community to volunteer to help coach potential future medallists.
- The Oxford Archers have been welcoming archers of all levels and all bow styles for 60 years. Shooting sessions are at the club’s outdoor venue of St Peter’s Field at Oxford Rugby Club in North Hinksey on Wednesday and Friday evenings, from 6pm until dusk, and Sunday afternoons from 1pm. See oxford-archers.org
- The Oxfordshire Athletics Association has a comprehensive database of county clubs including the Eynsham Road Runners, the White Horse Harriers in Wantage and the Cherwell Runners and Joggers. See oxonaa.org.uk
- For those who balk at ball games, there are badminton clubs from Abingdon to Windrush, and they are all listed at odbl.org.uk/Clubs.aspx
- The Oxford Hoops play their home games at St Gregory the Great School in Cowley, and the Oxford Academy in Littlemore. Anyone interested in signing up should telephone 07827 331593.
- Beach Volleyball
- Sadly, Oxfordshire does not currently possess a volleyball training beach, but Oxford Volleyball Club welcomes complete beginners as well as offering technical training to the more experienced. See oxfordvolleyball.co.uk
- Oxford Boxing Academy’s website claims boxing is the ultimate sport for countering stress. They hold weekly training sessions for boys and girls and fight nights at the Kassam Stadium. See oxfordboxingacademy.com
- Canoe – sprint
- Isis Canoe Club is based at the 22nd Sea Scout Hut next to Donnington Bridge. Although it does not offer opportunities specifically for children, they have a 35 person-strong section, Isis Source, for family paddling where parents and their children come and learn together. Anyone over the age of 18 may join the adult section. See isiscanoecluboxford.co.uk
- Canoe – slalom
- See above.
- Cycling – BMX
- Bikers can start at one of Oxfordshire’s many skateparks, including Grove, Abingdon and Blackbird Leys.
- Cycling – Mountain Bike
- To start training, hook up with the Witney Mountain Bike Club, whose members cycle around West Oxfordshire regularly. See witneymbc.wordpress.com
- Cycling – Road
- The Oxonian Cycling Club has seen such an increase in interest in the past two weeks it is starting two new taster rides for beginners. For more information see oxoniancc.co.uk
- Cycling – Track
- The Oxonian Cycling Club also practises track cycling. The nearest cycling track is Reading Palmer Park, one of the oldest cycling tracks in the country. For more information visit oxoniancc.co.uk
- Woodstock outdoor pool run children’s diving lessons throughout the summer. To sign up see gll.org/
- Asti Equestrian in Goosey, near Faringdon, offers horse riding tuition, livery services, and saddlery services catering to all standards of horse rider as well as holding regular events. See asti-equestrian.co.uk
- Oxford Fencing Club holds its next taster session on September 14. If you want to get involved, email email@example.com
- Oxfordshire FA has 249 affiliated clubs and 932 teams in the county. To find your nearest, see oxfordshirefa.com/findaclub and enter your postcode, or call 01993 778371. Oxfordshire FA holds details of girls’ clubs, boys’ clubs and disabled clubs too.
- Gymnastics – artistic
- The Oxford School of Gymnastics offers classes for male and female gymnasts of all ages and abilities, and now has several British champions among its gymnasts and coaches. See oxfordschoolofgymnastics.com
- Gymnastics – rhythmic
- See above.
- The only public handball team in Oxfordshire is the Wantage and Grove Lions. They hold charity fundraising events to help organisations and individuals in the community. For more see wantageandgrovelionsclub.co.uk or call 01865 820366.
- Abingdon Hockey Club’s three- day taster course this week was oversubscribed, but there are plans for a weekly club in the autumn. To take part see whitehorse.gov.uk or call 01235 540379.
- The Oxfordshire judo website lists 20 clubs from Wantage to Charlbury, including school and after-school clubs. For more information see oxfordshirejudoclubs.co.uk
- Modern Pentathalon
- This event combines the skills of the equestrian, fencing, shooting, and swimming events, as well as running. For more details on how to train for long-distance running, see oxonaa.org.uk or find your local society, such as the Kidlington Running Club at kidlingtonrunning.org.uk or the White Horse Harriers at whitehorseharriers.org
- Wallingford Rowing Club has been producing Olympians since 1960, and Britain’s youngest ever Olympian Ken Lester is still a regular at the club, although he is now more of a spectator. The club has a high-performance team accepting athletes already well on their way to success, but also welcomes those who have never rowed before. Call 07775 504 248.
- Oxford Sailing Club offers training in windsurfing and sailing at Farmoor Reservoir near Eynsham. Olympian Bryony Shaw learnt to windsurf there before moving to Weymouth to train more intensively. See oxfordsailingclub.com
- Oxfordshire Shooting School in Enstone held a women’s-only shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club have-a-go day on Saturday, a fun and informal beginners’ and novice shooting competition and social. This session was followed by an open shoot for men and women. Call Victoria Knowles-Lacks on 07742 793977 to find out more about learning shooting.
- Oxford, Thame and Witney & District swimming clubs all train regularly and offer synchronised swimming lessons. See oxfordswim.com
- Synchronised swimming
- See above
- Table Tennis
- Oxford and District Table Tennis Association offers weekly clubs during the season (September to April), at Ferry Sports Centre off Marston Ferry Road in Oxford. They also organise a four-division league for clubs. See odtta.org.uk
- Oxfordshire Taekwondo provides school training in Didcot, Wantage and Grove, and there is also the Headington branch of the Taekwondo Association of Great Britain. See oxfordshiretkd.co.uk/ or headingtontagb.com
- Oxfordshire Lawn Tennis Association, based in Abingdon, has summer camps and Thame Tennis Club offers weekly sessions from professional trainers. See tennisoxfordshire.co.uk and thametennisclub.org.uk
- Higher Energy Trampoline Club serves West Oxfordshire, North Oxfordshire and the city, and invites people to book a trial session. See higher-energy-trampolineclub.com. Heights Trampoline Club operates in Abingdon, Didcot and Wallingford, see heightsclub.co.uk, and Jumpers Trampolining Club meets every Wednesday evening at Wheatley Park Sports Centre, Holton.
- Email OxfordTri at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Beach volleyball training is hampered in Oxfordshire by the lack of beaches, but the Oxford Volleyball Club offers “social” training sessions, as well as more advance technical training around Oxford. See oxfordvolleyball.co.uk
- Water Polo
- Oxford Water Polo Club has senior men’s and ladies’ teams, and holds weekly training sessions at Radley College just south of Oxford on Mondays from 8.30pm to 10pm. See oxfordwaterpolo.co.uk
- You couldn’t do much better for a personal trainer in Oxfordshire than grandfather Steve Ellwood from Wantage, who won the national Dragan Challenge weightlifting competition this year for the second year running. Call Mr Ellwood on 01235 769177.
- Oxford Wrestling Club welcomes boys and girls aged five to 14, and practises at the Oxford High School wrestling room on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information email email@example.com