More parents should promote the benefits of being active

Don't worry children, it won't hurt a bit...

CLIVE SMITH: Third World War fears from the internet generation

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Not only was it raining almost constantly, but this time last year there was only the tiniest inkling of what a fantastic 12 months of sport was to come.

Andy Murray had come second at Wimbledon, Bradley Wiggins had won the Tour de France and Chris Froome was proving just how fast he could be on two wheels.

There was a sense of a country holding its breath as we awaited an opening ceremony orchestrated by, of all things, a film director.

We thought that, like the weather, it might be a bit of a damp squib.

But look how wrong we were! I still have the poster up in my office of The Times’ front page featuring Jessica Ennis’s heptathlon gold win, Greg Rutherford’s long jump gold, Mo Farah’s outstanding 10,000m win, the two golds from the men’s four and the women’s double skulls in the rowing, Ben Ainslie’s gold in the men’s skiff sailing, the women’s team pursuit cycling gold and, of course, Murray’s gold medal in the tennis.

And that was just one weekend.

It still gives me goosebumps thinking about it – being glued to the television, yelling at the radio, scaring the cat when I jumped off my seat cheering.

It was immense. I was already training for the Great South Run at the time, but I was inspired to train harder and go for my own gold – the achievement of actually finishing the thing in a decent time.

My legacy is that I’ve kept running and am able to be pretty boring on the subject.

But it’s not just me. Last week a report was issued that said the Games made the UK around £9.9bn – roughly £1bn more than was spent on hosting them.

But that’s only in one year. The report said it could go up to as much as £40bn by 2020, not to mention the increasing numbers of people now playing sport.

I just hope it continues and, locally, we get our own batch of sporting heroes for the future.

Judy Murray, mother of Andy, was in Gosport last week promoting tennis to youngsters.

Hats off to her. More parents here should be promoting being active, then maybe Pompey will have a clutch of gold post boxes following future Oympics.