The Sunday Post (Dundee)
The unsung GB heroes of the Olympics
WHAT a triumph Rio 2016 has been for Britain. Our athletes did us proud.
They are heroes, their names will go down in history, they will inspire thousands of youngsters to emulate them.
But there is another group, a silent army, who deserve gold medals too.
Every Olympic hero made it to the pinnacle of their sport in small steps. They all started in a small town’s swimming pool, a dusty church hall’s badminton court or a local hockey club’s come-and-try-it session.
Those clubs are run by ordinary men and women, hard-working volunteers.
They won’t be on TV, they won’t appear on any podium.
But they are, in their quiet way, vitally important. There has to be a grassroots where the shoots of promise grow.
Even if a club never produces a champion it is part of the competitive circuit where a winning mentality is forged.
That environment is created by volunteers – mums and dads, grannies and grandads.
Running a sports club takes dedication – and money.
If the charges for facilities are too high then tomorrow’s Olympians will be priced out of the running.
It is vital politicians make sure there are opportunities in their area.