Golden gymnast Max Whitlock. Picture: Team GB Instagram.

It’s been a summer that will have a sporting impact for years to come.

Following hot on the heels of England men’s team in lifting the morale of the nation for almost all of Euro 2020, Great Britain’s Olympians have been shining in Tokyo.

Perhaps even more importantly than our country’s footballers, the men and women of Team GB can inspire a generation in an entirely different way.

Football gets more than enough coverage as our national sporting pastime but Tokyo 2020 has shone the spotlight on a whole host of sports that some children may never have thought about doing or, in some cases, even knew existed.

Enjoying any action can obviously pique immediate and future interest but it is watching the efforts and stunning success of others that can act as the real motivating influence. 

Team GB’s stars are becoming today’s heroes in the way Denise Lewis, Sir Steve Redgrave, Jonathan Edwards and many others did for those of us who are 30 or older. 

It doesn’t matter what Games it is, medals are won and idols are born wearing the famous white, blue and red.

Silver medal-winning weightlifter Emily Campbell. Picture: Team GB Instagram.

This summer’s action has propelled heroes such as swimmer Adam Peaty to absolutely legendary status. It has thrust others like Emily Campbell – the first British woman to win an Olympic weightlifting medal – into the limelight after grabbing silver.

Maybe at the 2036 Games, another female will be having a medal put round her neck after being enticed into weightlifting by Campbell’s achievements.

Will St James’ be full as a result of our excellence in the pool? Can West Norfolk Athletics Club expect an influx of Team GB wannabes?

The knock-on effect from a feast of sport like the Olympics can be absolutely massive – but it’s the impact on the minority sports, rather than say football or golf, which feel less treasured at the Games, where it is most felt.

Every four years, or five in this case, we all feast on more of Max Whitlock and his ilk’s gymnastics, Sky Brown’s BMX, as well as hockey, judo, fencing and diving in a few weeks than we did for the 48-plus months previously combined. We become experts, we live the highs, we endure the lows and we watch on amazed at the talent and dedication of our sporting stars of all shapes, sizes, genders and talents.

That interest only needs to make a handful of youngsters try their hand at something new and then we can all benefit collectively as a result of GB’s efforts in Asia.


A Classic afternoon at Silverstone

It’s been a while. March 5, 2020 BC (Before Coronavirus) was the last time I worked at a live event, namely our evening with Lee Sharpe.

Our Gav with Ayrton Simmons.

But on Saturday I was finally back on a stage doing something I love for Maze, on behalf of Adrian Flux.

As headline sponsor at The Classic 2021 at Silverstone, Flux needed someone to host four 20-30 minute Q&A sessions and I didn’t need a second invitation.

It was great to interview modern sports car racer Richard Bradley, the godfather of Formula Junior Duncan Rabagliati, British F3 talent Ayrton Simmons and engineering genius Ray Mallock. 

But it was also lovely to make a first visit to the home of British motorsport on a weekend when it was packed with people and beautiful classic cars.

Silverstone, like a lot of iconic sporting venues, has an air of magic around it – which is exactly how I felt about getting back on the mic. 

Here’s hoping the wait until the next time isn’t half as long.


Dig deep in memory of Ed Sisto

Who doesn’t love entering a raffle for a chance of winning some great prizes?

Or bidding on an auction in the hope of getting their hands on a piece of sporting memorabilia? 

Well, the good news is that there’s still time, just, to do that for a truly deserving cause.

A six-a-side charity football tournament is being held in Necton tomorrow in memory of Ed Sisto. He tragically died from cancer at 35.

I met Ed quite a few times through one of his best friends Steve Girdlestone and his loss has hit a lot of people hard. He left a partner and young son and, as a dad of two young boys myself, it makes the whole upsetting situation even more heartbreaking.

It’s almost impossible to try to find any positives about a situation like this but that’s what his friends and family are trying to do this weekend when they look to raise funds, have fun and celebrate his life. All proceeds will be going to the British Liver Trust.

The raffle has some epic prizes: Man United tickets, Smart TV, free rounds of golf and much more. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ed-sisto-raffle to buy tickets.

There’s also a silent auction – yep Ed supported United! It’s for a Man United shirt and ball, both signed by the whole 2020/21 squad with a certificate of authenticity of proof. Email stevieg1986@hotmail.com to submit an offer.