#Southend has the facilities to produce the next generation of Olympic champions
3rd August 2012
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Well, after a fantastic Opening Ceremony, steeped in patriotism and tradition, and maybe a slightly shaky start to the sporting proceedings, Team GB is now racing up the medals table and we are finding ourselves fascinated by sports we barely knew existed before now (when I say we, I mean I – but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who had never seen canoe slalom before?)  


Track and field events start today, with Jessica Ennis finally beginning her Olympic heptathlon challenge after injury cruelly forced her out of the 2008 Beijing games. 


And tonight, Rebecca Adlington is aiming to become the first British swimmer to successfully defend an Olympic title, adding gold to the bronze she won over 400m last weekend. And of course Tom Daley and the Team GB diving squad will be back in action next week having trained at our local world class Swimming and Diving Centre. 


So if you're feeling inspired and want to emulate your sporting heroes, you're in luck, as Southend boasts some of the country's finest sporting facilities.


Southend Athletics Club is situated on the grounds of Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre, on the site of the £13.5 Swimming & Diving Centre, Garons Park. The site offers some of the best facilities in the UK for potential future Olympians both on the track and in the water.


Or perhaps you fancy yourself as the next Knight on a bike, following in the footsteps (pedals?) of the world record breaking Sir Chris Hoy. Southend Wheelers offers youth riding, racing and leisure cycling for those of you with big ambitions. 


If you're more about the thrill of mountain biking  Southend 'Muckers' meet every Saturday, welcoming all ages and abilities who wish to join in the off road mountain bike experience. Free, fun and good for you, details can be found on our Events page. 


Success came from the barrel of a gun for Peter Wilson, a name not many were familiar with outside his sport until yesterday when he brought home more gold for Team GB. I'm still not quite sure what 'double trap' shooting is, but if your interest or indeed knowledge stretches further than mine, Southend Rifle and Pistol Club has airgun, small-bore target, gallery rifle, pistol and full-bore sections. 


Fancy a bow and arrow as your weapon of choice? Dominated by the Asian contingent but with Team GB putting forward some fine contenders, the archery competition has proved to be surprisingly popular. Southend and District Archery Club, one of the oldest members of Essex County Archery Association welcome both experienced and those new to archery, running regular training courses as well as one to one mentoring. 


Gemma Gibbons achieved Britain's first judo medal in twelve years, beating the current world champion en route to taking the silver. If you fancy a grapple Southend Judo Club is a friendly Judo Club that welcomes all and was voted Southend Club of the Year 2011 and Sport Essex Coach of the Year 2011 or follow the link to the Akitas judo club, run at Southend Leisure centre, in our Local Guide.


And of course, here in Southend we are perfectly located to train up some contenders in our already hugely successful rowing and canoeing teams.  


Southend Marine Activities Centre on Thorpe Bay Beach is a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre. Various courses and activities can be undertaken, including sailing, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, jet-skiing, powerboat driving and banana boat rides. Taster ‘Try-A-Sport’ sessions are also available.


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