Legacy of London 2012

LASTING REMINDER -- the Olympic Stadium in London
LASTING REMINDER -- the Olympic Stadium in London

HUCKNALL youngsters should look on the town’s Olympic athlete, Andy Turner, as a role model.

That is the view of Hucknall Conservative MP Mark Spencer, speaking after Team GB’s magnificent successes at London 2012.

Turner, known as ‘Trackburner’, was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 110m hurdles at the Olympics.

But Mr Spencer said this disappointment should not detract from the achievement of a local lad — who once lived on Nottingham Road, Hucknall — showing the ‘dedication and devotion’ needed to be selected for the Olympics.

“I hope young people will follow the example he has set and that the next Andy Turner will be found out of Hucknall,” he added.

Mr Spencer said the impetus which the Olympics had given for more investment in sporting provision showed what a ‘disastrous’ decision it was for homes to be built on Hucknall’s Wigwam Lane playing fields.

He added that schools had a part to play in getting children to take more interest in sport, as well as parents — such as getting them to desert their games consoles and go outside when the sun was shining.

Bulwell Labour MP Graham Allen said: “The Olympics have been a terrific success and I hope the euphoria and spirit can be sustained with participation in sport at grassroots level.”

He added that archery being an Olympic sport was a chance to promote Nottingham’s legendary hero, Robin Hood.

In fact, the Dispatch district has a thriving archery club — Hucknall’s Rolls-Royce Bowmen of Sherwood.

The success of brothers Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, who won gold and bronze in the Olympic triathlon, has a resonance in Hucknall.

For it came soon after the town staged its first triathlon on Sunday June 17.

This started at the leisure centre on Linby Road with a 400-metre pool swim, followed by an 18.7-kilometre bike ride on a route around the town and then a five-kilometre run.

Given a big thumbs-up by competitors, the triathlon was organised by multi-sports club Team Balanced Performance.

Club spokesman Chris Aulton, of Jenny Burton Way, Hucknall, said: “I am sure the Olympics will be an inspiration to us. We are planning to repeat the triathlon next summer.”

Ashfield District Council deputy leader Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, said: “The Olympics was a splendid event and you hear youngsters on the street talking about it. There is plenty of motivation for young people to take up sport themselves.”