South London has a proud record of training some of the world’s best elite athletes. And as some of them prepare to do the nation proud at the Rio Olympics this summer, we looked at the local clubs where they learned their trade.


Not surprisingly, given that one of the world’s most famous rivers runs through our fair city, south London has produced some top class rowers.

Mark Aldred, making his Olympic debut racing in the lightweight four, and Jess Eddie, heading into her third Olympic Games, both ply their trade at London Rowing Club in Putney. The club is 160 years old and has a proud history. Go to

Thirty-year-old Charlotte Taylor only took up rowing in 2010 to meet friends when she moved to London. The Putney Town Rowing Club member is now set to represent Team GB in the lightweight double scull with Kat Copeland in Rio.

Putney Town’s Learn 2 Row scheme also taught Twickenham’s medal prospect John Collins – who is now based in Henley – how to row. Go to

Surbiton's 6ft6in Moe Sbihi was a bronze medallist at London 2012 be looking to add to that prize and his European title and three World championships this summer in the heavyweight four. He rows at Molesey Boat Club, which also runs adult and junior learn to row courses. Go to


Open water is a little harder to come by in London, but we’ve still got the facilities to train world class athletes. Nicola Groves will be going for gold with partner Ben Saxton and learnt her trade at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club in West Molesey. Go to


One thing is for sure, south London trains some ruddy quick runners. Both the most exciting young sprinting male and female prospects, Adam Gemili and Dina Asher-Smith, run for Bromley and Blackheath Harriers. The club is also home to Team GB’s marathon competition at London 2012, Sutton-based Scott Overall and hurdling hopeful Serita Soloman. Go to

The second-fastest Brit of all time, and 2014 European 100m champion, James Dasaolu runs at Croydon Harriers, as does Thornton Heath 400m World Championship silver medallist Martyn Rooney. Go to

Hither Green’s Commonwealth gold medal winner over 400m Conrad Williams is a member of Kent Athletics Club. Go to

And while he may not be heading to Rio, there is no doubting that Sutton and District Athletics Club’s Harry Aikines-Aryeetey is blooming fast. Find out more about the club at


Wimbledon Hockey Club’s men are the reigning Premier Division Champions so it is no surprise they also supply Team GB with some of its stars. Alastair Brogdon has more than 100 caps, including bronze at the Commonwealth Games and World League and in both tournaments was playing alongside fellow Wimbledon star Michael Hoare.

They are joined in the squad by teammate Ian Sloan. Wimbledon Hockey Club runs courses for people wanting to get back into the sport or learn it. Go to

When it comes to the ladies, Surbiton Hockey Club is in a similar position, with three of their players in Team GB. Georgie Twigg has a Commonwealth silver and bronze to her name as well as an Olympic bronze while Giselle Ansley and Hollie Webb were part of the Commonwealth silver winning side in 2014.

Surbiton Hockey Club has nine ladies’ and ten men’s teams as well as a juniors section. Go to


The list of Olympic boxers who have gone on to be superstars is huge and this year Great Britain has two hopefuls hailing from south London. Light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi trains for South Norwood and Victory ABC.

Hopes are high for Earlsfield ABC superheavyweight boxer Joe Joyce, who is the current Commonwealth champion and the winner at the 2015 European Games in Baku and intends to turn pro if successful. Go to


Could Carshalton’s Joanna Rowsell-Shand bag another gold medal in Rio. She already has one Olympic and one Commonwealth Games gold in her cabinet, plus scores of other UCI world cup and world championship titles. She was spotted at school and is a former member of Sutton Cycling Club, which welcomes new members. Go to


One of the success stories of London 2012, Gemma Gibbons clinched a silver medal four years ago and learnt all about her sport at Greenwich Metro Club, where she regularly returns. The club encourages new members from the age of five upwards. Go to


Former two-time British Olympian and world silver medallist Ellen Gandy grew up in Bromley before moving to Australia (for whom she now swims) in her teens. She was a promising swimmer from a very young age and was a member at Beckenham Swimming Club. Go to

Like our What's On page on Facebook for entertainment news, interviews, reviews and features from across south London.