You’ve watched Team GB winning medals at the Rio Olympics. And now you’re pulling on running shoes, taking the plunge in a pool or getting on your bike.

This is the theory: the ‘Olympic legacy’ will see millions of Brits inspired by sporting success to try it themselves. Some youngsters will become the next generation of champions. People with less glamorous aspirations will boost their health.

But will any of this happen? Opinions are mixed in Cumbria.

John Clementson is president and chairman of Border Harriers Athletics Club. Did the club see many new members after London 2012, or any previous Olympics?

“Not one bit,” says John. “We don’t see any Olympic legacy. I’ve been involved for 40 years. It’s always been this way.

“We’re on the periphery. It’s usually the bigger towns where you get an influx. They have better facilities and bigger populations.”

Cumbria had three Olympians in Rio – hammer thrower Nick Miller, 5,000 metre runner Tom Farrell and badminton player Lauren Smith. None made it beyond their qualifying rounds. But John hopes their presence on sport’s biggest stage might still inspire others in the county.

“It might be different when we’ve had three Cumbrians at the Olympics, even though they didn’t set the world alight. It’s the first time we’ve had anything like this. We can only wait and see.”

The popular image sees young people staring at screens rather than taking up sport. John says this is not necessarily true, but that football rather than athletics is usually their first choice.

Attracting new recruits has become harder since Harriers’ home, The Sheepmount, was wrecked by Storm Desmond last December. It remains out of action with an uncertain future.

“The juniors were training on the car park in winter. The seniors were at Kingstown Industrial Estate because there were lights there. We lost about half our juniors. We’re hoping they’ll come back.”

Frank Davidson has been a coach for 30 years, latterly with Carlisle Aspatria Athletics Club. He is hopeful, but not convinced, that the Olympics will generate extra interest. “There’s so much choice these days that you’ll only do it if you really want to do it,” he said.

“People come down and try it once but then they find it’s too hard. If you look at Mo Farah, his training schedule is horrendous. Youngsters would probably rather play football.”

So the next generation of potential Olympians might need a bit of persuasion. And the same can be said of their parents.

Chris Huggon is chair of Carlisle Aquatics, which includes swimmers and water polo players. They train at The Pools on James Street. Chris says: “We do get youngsters coming along and wanting to have a go. One problem with junior sports like swimming is getting the parents to commit the time – getting up three mornings a week at 20 past five to have them in the pool at six.

“From the beginning of September until the weekend before Christmas, there are only two spare weekends [because of competitions]. Some of them are away on Friday night and not back until Sunday.

“If the parents are not willing to jump in the car at all hours of the day and night, it’s very difficult.

“My little fella also plays football. They train for an hour a week and have a match on Saturday. When I tell the other parents what swimming involves they say ‘You’re mad.’”

Of course the biggest amount of dedication is required by those who take part in sport. Not all stay the course. “People watch the Olympics and they’re full of enthusiasm. It inspires them to have a go. But when they realise the time and effort that has to be put in...

“My daughter is 13. She’s ranked third-fastest in a couple of strokes in the north west. It does start to take your life over.”

Team GB’s most successful event in Rio was cycling, which bagged 13 of the nation’s 67 medals.

Chris Irving is chair of Carlisle-based Border City Wheelers. “There’s been talk that the legacy didn’t really happen after London,” he says. “I think in cycling it did. We went up to our highest membership after London – over 200. We had about 20 new members.

“It has waned since. Although membership of British Cycling has increased from 15,000 in 2005 to 125,000 now. We are hopeful for another boost. We’ve got about 50 juniors. That’s as big a number as we’ve had.

“Like any sport you need a fair amount of commitment. We organise a lot of time trials. You’ve got to train quite a lot.

“Some stick with it. Others can drift away with work and family pressures.”

Those who struck gold in Rio certainly stuck with it. But success does not come cheap. The nation’s 67 medals each cost £4.1m in funding over the four-year Olympic cycle. Most of this came from the National Lottery.

The medals cost each Briton £1.09 a year in public funding. Chris feels it’s money well spent, for the athletes and the wider public.

“The exposure that Olympic success gives to cycling means more people on bikes on a daily basis, even for just commuting to work. People are staying healthy and fit. It’s a way of dealing with problems with obesity etc.”

Chris feels there should be more public funding for cycling infrastructure, but not at the expense of elite athletes. “We still need the funding for elite cyclists. That’s what brings it into people’s focus. I hate to be greedy but we need both.”

Richard Johnston is senior manager for operations with Active Cumbria; part of Cumbria County Council. “We have seen the difference that having events such as the Tour of Britain can bring to the county,” he says. “The feel-good factor, not just from a sporting viewpoint but also in bringing communities together, is really important.”

Richard feels our Olympic success will help some lesser-known events. “What I was most impressed with was the breadth of sports that Team GB medalled in.

“If the achievements of the athletes in some of the less high-profile sports can increase the popularity of those sports, maybe we will see an impact in participation rates.”

Yet the Olympic legacy that was supposed to be felt four years ago failed to materialise. “In the immediate aftermath of London 2012, there was an increase in participation levels generally,” says Richard.

“The challenge is maintaining that over a long period of time. I think we need to be more aware of the reasons why people get into being active.

“Large events may be one reason, but there will be many others. These might include things like children being at school full-time, retirement or realising that we need to lose some weight to feel better about ourselves. On the other hand, people do become less active for a number of reasons, such as becoming parents, starting work, being ill or having an injury.

“This is where we as a sector need to be more aware of our customers’ wants and needs, and provide opportunities that are suitable for our target audience.”

So there are all kinds of reasons why people start and stop taking part in sport. But Chris Huggon believes the glint of gold is a powerful motivator. “There’s more public swimming than there ever was. At 6.30 in the morning the public can come into The Pools, and there’s often 20 people there at that time. I think the success of the Olympics does encourage people to get off their backsides and give it a try.”