The London 2012 effect has particularly assisted sports with previously low profiles, for example sitting volleyball. Neither British side got beyond the quarter-finals, but there was huge interest in the sport, especially the participation of Martine Wright, who lost her legs in the London bombings of 2005. Volleyball England said it has seen “overwhelming” interest, with three new clubs planned and the modern day popularity barometer of Facebook page “likes” for the sport rising from 850 to 7,000-plus.
It is a similar story for the Paralympic-specific pursuit of boccia, a bowls-like sport with various formats catering to a great range of impairments, where British athletes won two medals. “There’s definitely been an increase in general interest and the number of people wanting to play boccia since the Paralympics,” said Rachel Crack from Boccia England. “The success we got with a couple of medals has seems to have really put Boccia on people’s radar.”
And whether its boccia or one of the other disciplines, surely more than one of the British stars of the Rio 2016 Paralaympics will have been inspired to take up sport by London’s triumphant summer.