|Can Wiggins inspire a healthier Wigan?
Alison Griffin (centre) with some of the 167 residents who take part in the Health on Wheels programme.
Team GB’s heroics in the cycling are surely set to inspire a generation of future Olympians.
But one group in Wigan and Leigh are hoping the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton, now household names, will also inspire a healthier generation.
Active Living, part of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, has seen the number of people taking part in their free Health on Wheels off-road cycling sessions increase by nearly 10 per cent during the Olympics.
Before the games an average 137 people per week were attending the sessions but since the Olympics started it’s surged to 167.
Alison Griffin, Active Living Officer, said: “Team GB’s heroics at the Olympics and Bradley Wiggans historic win in the Tour de France has generated a massive interest in cycling which is just fantastic.
“It’s an excellent way to maintain a healthy heart, it can help to mobilize joints without placing stress or strain on them and it is a great social activity.
“Our switchboard has literally lit up in the last two weeks with enquiries and we’ve seen nearly a 10 per cent rise in people taking part in our cycling sessions.”
For those inspired to get back on their bike Active Living has a number of free, off-road Beginners Cycling rides for adults of all ages as part of their Health on Wheels programme. Cycles are available to use or people can bring their own.
New female only cycling sessions called Heels & Wheels will also start at Pennington Hall Park, Leigh later this month.
Nicky Williams, 37, from Standish, started on the Beginners Cycling sessions a few weeks ago.
She said: “The cycling teams success in the Olympics has created a massive buzz. I hadn’t ridden for years so the beginners cycling sessions were perfect.
“It’s great, I love cycling and am now thinking of buying my own bike.”
For more information on Active Living’s off-road Health on Wheels Programme call 01942 488 481 or visit www.getactivewiganandleigh.co.uk