RECORD numbers of people in the region are now playing sport, official figures show.

According to Sport England, 760,000 men and women in the North-East are taking part every week - an increase of 60,000 on last year.

Nationally, 15.5 million people aged 16 and over are now playing sport at least once a week - up 750,000 on a year ago and 1.57 million more than when London won the Olympic and Paralympic bid.

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Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport and Tourism, said: “One of the key legacy ambitions from London 2012 was to get more people playing sport - something that no other host city has managed to do.

“These are excellent figures and show that we are making good progress.”

Participation in two thirds of the sports measured by the Active People Survey had risen over the past year, with athletics, judo, hockey, netball and swimming among those growing in popularity.

Cricket was among the grassroots sports that suffered during the wettest summer for a century.

Young people aged between 16 and 25 were found to be the most active.