April 28, 2019
"The sporting future of Greenwich looks very strong"
The annual Greenwich Starting Blocks Trust (GSB) athletes’ awards event was held on 10th April at The Now Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula. Attended by over 30 of the young, GSB-supported athletes and their families, together with GSB Trustees and sponsors; the event was a celebration of the astounding sporting talent that exists in Greenwich, and in such a huge variety of sports.
Launched in 2007 after the award of the 2012 Olympics to London; Greenwich Starting Blocks (GSB) has been supporting young, talented Greenwich-based athletes for 12 years. Incredibly the forthcoming Olympics in Tokyo in 2020 will be our fourth Olympics, having begun life with a very small cohort of aspiring athletes, who competed in Beijing in 2008.
Since those early days in 2007, GSB athletes have now achieved Olympic, Paralympic, Commonwealth, World, European and National medal-winning success and, last Sunday, we added Boat Race winner’s medal to that list when GSB-supported rower Callum Sullivan was part of the victorious Cambridge crew that won the 165th Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race. This was then closely followed by Zoe Smith, a former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist who GSB have supported since 2007, taking the bronze medal in the women’s -64kg category in the European Weightlifting Championships in Batumi, Georgia.
At the awards event at The Now Gallery, the audience heard about the huge achievements of our next generation of athletes in a variety of sports, including boxing, wheelchair tennis, Race Walking, Gymnastics, Ice Hockey, Cricket, 100m hurdles, 100m sprint, Duathlon, Rowing and Artistic Roller Skating.
After the award presentations, two of our GSB Ambassador Athletes, fencing’s JJ Webb and double Olympian Montell Douglas, made inspiring speeches about their challenges, what motivates them and the qualities you needed to be an elite athlete.
Speaking about the success of the Athletes’ Awards evening, Peter Bundey, the Chair of Greenwich Starting Blocks Trust said, ‘’we are delighted to be supporting such a talented set of Greenwich athletes. The GSB class of 2019 has over 100 athletes across 23 sports with National and International champions as well as athletes looking towards Tokyo 2020. The sporting future in Greenwich is looking very strong."
We’ll leave the final words to JJ Webb who, when asked what advice he would give to the young athletes in the room, JJ said, "the best advice I can give is to always keep in mind why you love the sport, when it’s going very well and importantly when it’s going rough."