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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
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Britain's performance at the Athens Olympics has led to a quarter of the population demonstrating an interest in playing more sport, says a report.

A survey by Sport England revealed the feats of Team GB, which won 30 medals, has influenced 26% of the population.

Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 bid, said: "Sport drives so much of what we are as a nation.

"This research demonstrates what is a great strength for London's bid - the UK's passion for sport."

More than one in 10 of those questioned said the Athens display had inspired them to be more involved in sport, while a further 15% said they were interested in doing more sport as a result.

We look forward to seeing more people getting off the couch and onto the track
Roger Draper
Sport England, chief executive

Roger Draper, chief executive of Sport England, said: "This research confirms what we already believed - that major international sporting events have a significant impact on boosting the public's positive perceptions about sport.

"We can clearly see the positive impact through people now taking up sport and others planning to do so in the near future.

"Following the positive results of this survey we look forward to seeing more people getting off the couch and onto the track."

In addition, according to feedback from 11 of the governing bodies that represent leading Olympic sports, the impact on levels of participation in sport would be even greater if London was to win the bid to host the 2012 Games.



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