The Olympic Games are officialy here, with the opening ceremony this coming Friday.

Eleven thousand elite athletes will converge in Tokyo for the 32nd Summer Olympic Games.

Each of them will have put in tens of thousands of hours in practice and shed blood, sweat and tears to get there.

But as you marvel at the rippling abs and razor-sharp mental strength of these sporting Titans, pause to consider where their careers started.

Most will trace their success back to a local sporting club that introduced them to the joys of competition and fostered their prodigious talent.

In the UK, there are 151,000 sports clubs. The majority get by on shoestring budgets and the goodwill of volunteers; many are the lifeblood of communities.

So, as we cheer on Team GB, let’s also pay credit to some of our local grassroots clubs nurturing the Olympians of tomorrow.

Here are three local Olympic stars past and present, who got their start at a local club.

Louis Smith

Louis was the first British gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics since 1928 and has been the only one to win in three consecutive games.

A member of the Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, we’re sure he has inspired and still inspires many local gymnasts in the area.

Ethan Vernon

From BMX to track racing. Cyclist Ethan will be representing Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics having been selected for the track cycling Team Pursuit event.

Now 20 years of age, he has previously competed at the Commonwealth Games back in 2018 when he was just 17 and still a student at Bedford School.

Revée Walcott-Nolan

Athlete Revée will join Team GB in the 1500 metre event.

The runner was inspired by her grandmother who took he to her first cross country race at the age of 12. Atteneding Bedford Girls School, she then went on to join the athletics club and took up the sport seriously at university, later becoming a national champion in both the 800m and 1500m.

Good luck to all representing Team GB.

Enjoy The Olympic Games 2020.

Barry & Laura