Olympic heroes inspired children to learn a new sport at a “lively and diverse” open day at a leisure centre.

Swimmers Steve Parry and Cassie Patten joined hundreds of residents at Harrow Leisure Centre, in Christchurch Avenue, for a day of sporting activities.

The event celebrated the completion of the £1.7million improvement works to the centre.

Olympic bronze medalist Steve Parry, who won a medal in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, said: “Sport is what brings the community together. These events have all been inspired by 2012 and that’s fantastic to see. There’s been a lively atmosphere today, it's been very diverse.

“Leisure centres should be at the heart of the community. This place is wonderful, it’s like a tardis, there’s so much on offer.

“I hope today has helped inspire children to take up a new sport.”

Workshops from Bollywood dancing and trampolining and squash and gym sessions were held throughout the day.

Children were also given the chance to take part in swimming workshops with GB Water Polo players Adam Schofield and Fran Leighton.

Cassie Patten, who won the 10k open water swimming event in Beijing in 2008, said: “I’m now training to be a PE teacher because I believe sport is so important for children.

“We must try and keep the Olympic legacy alive. The special thing about it all is seeing how excited children get about sport now - we must hold on to that.”