People across Merseyside are being invited to open days at their local sports clubs this weekend to harness the enthusiasm generated by the Olympic Games.

More than 5,000 sports events are taking place across the country as part of ‘Join In Local Sport’ – an independent charity funded by the government.

The charity has been operating for the last few months with the specific aim of getting as many people as possible to turn up, take part and join in at their local sports facilities this weekend (18 and 19 August).

Among the events taking place in Merseyside are Flat Green Bowling open days at Southport Bowling Club from 11am on Saturday and Sunday, and free entry to the Lifestyles Centres in Liverpool all weekend.

People in Merseyside can find out what’s happened near them at www.joininuk.org.

Thousands of sports clubs have signed up to the ‘Join In’ campaign and will hold open days at locations all over the country this weekend. People will be able to try out more than three dozen sports, from athletics to swimming, canoeing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey and karate.

The initiative is being backed by Team GB medal winners past and present, HRH the Duke of Cambridge as well as Prime Minister David Cameron and London 2012 Chairman Lord Coe.

 Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

“We backed ‘Join In Local Sport’ with £2 million so that we can get thousands of people down to their local sports clubs this weekend to find out what sporting opportunities are available in their local area.

“We want to use the Games to inspire a new generation of sports people but we also want to inspire a new generation of volunteers, which is why I am urging people to go down to their local sports club to find out how they can get involved.”

David Moorcroft, former 5,000 metre world record holder and Director of Sport at ‘Join In’, said:

“No host country has ever done what we are trying to do with the ‘Join In’ weekend and that is to capture this magic moment for all time.

“The ‘Join In’ weekend is a great opportunity to harness the enthusiasm generated by the Games, for sport and for volunteering, and channel it through local sports clubs – which is where every great champion starts out.”

Christine Ohuruogu MBE, 400 metres gold medallist at the Beijing Games and silver medallist at the London 2012 Olympics, said:

“Let’s all take advantage of the spirit of London 2012 by joining in this weekend and going back to where it all begins at your local sports clubs.”

Lord Coe, Chair of London 2012 and personal supporter of ‘Join In’, said:

“We are really happy to support the ‘Join In’ project. It’s a great idea that means that thousands of people across the UK can turn up and take part in local sports just after the Olympic Games finishes.

“Millions will have been inspired by what they have witnessed over the summer and I hope this creates opportunities in every community for people to join in at their local sports clubs.”

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