It has been hard not to be impressed with Team GB’s Olympic success. Just about every day over the last couple of weeks we were able to celebrate a new medal across a range of sports.
We’ve ended the Games second in the medals table behind only the USA. That is a stunning achievement. It is not just the number of medals that gave me cause to be proud but the sheer breadth of sports that we ended up on the podium for.
Whether it is trap shooting, show jumping, cycling, swimming, gymnastic or athletics and I could go on, it seems that we can hold our own with the best in the world.
I really hope that as a result of watching the greatest sportsmen and women on the planet showing us what elite performance is like that some people feel inspired to get involved in a sport. Whether that is with a desire to become an Olympian or just to get in shape doesn’t matter.
Of course we have two excellent sports centres in the borough with fine swimming pools, not Olympic sized I grant you but a great place to swim nonetheless. These are good places to start out on a path to sporting success.
There is also the renowned Dale Youth Boxing Club, newly reopened in improved facilities at Grenfell Tower – Dale Youth can of course actually boast an old boy with a gold medal winner in James De Gale. I met the coaches there when I attended the reopening and they really know their stuff. They would be keen to say Dale Youth is open to people of all abilities and even those who don’t want to box but are keen to work out in the surroundings of a boxing gym.
Some people may not be aware that there are two first-class kayaking facilities in the north and south of the borough. The Canalside Centre in North Kensington offers coaching in canoeing, kayaking and climbing for young people and also runs courses for adults.
If you’re in the south of the borough and fancy taking to the Thames then there is the Cremorne Riverside Centre. This provides an opportunity for the young, and not so young to get out on the river under expert supervision. I can give a personal recommendation to the coaches’ skills as I’ve been in a kayak on the Thames with them and very enjoyable it was too.
Sometimes I don’t know where the time goes. It’s hard to believe that four years have passed since London hosted the Olympic Games and did an absolutely fantastic job of it. We now enter the build up to Tokyo 2020 and athletes will be setting themselves goals to make sure that they go for gold in Japan. Perhaps even those of us with more modest talent and ambitions could set ourselves targets as well to see just if we can be fitter the next time the Olympic Games come around.