Hockey player Anne Panter, who won a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympics as part of Team GB, paid tribute to her former Kettering club.
She was at Kettering Sports Club on Sunday (August 11) to unveil a plaque in the clubhouse, provided by Sports England, recognising that it was the place her long journey to the winners’ podium began.
Anne, a former Wellingborough School pupil, joined the club’s hockey section when she was 13, moving to Leicester Ladies five years later.
Sports England asked all the 2012 medal winners to select the place where their Olympic dream began and Anne picked Kettering Sports Club.
She said: “I started playing hockey when I was at school and then came to Kettering Sports Club.
“Leicester Ladies really got the best from me as I was with them when I took part in the Olympics, so I picked this club as a way of thanking everyone who supported me when it all began.
“It’s important to remember where it all started and it’s lovely to be back.”
Anne paid tribute to a stalwart of the hockey section, Jan Randle, and all the volunteers associated with Kettering Sports Club who give their time and energy every week to make it a success and encourage members.
She said: “Jan has done so much for the club over the years. It’s just incredible. All the hours that I put in training are nothing compared to the hours Jan and others associated with the club give up, not for their benefit, but to help others.
“I hope the plaque with inspire other young people.”
President of the club Tony Heath welcomed members and guests to the ceremony, including Kettering MP Philip Hollobone.
He said: “The plaque is one of just 140 in the country and we are proud that we helped Anne on her Olympic journey.
“Ours is a friendly, open and safe club and our members include generations of the same family.
“I have been involved in the hockey section for 45 years and my son and grandchildren are involved too.”
As well as the unveiling ceremony, there was a barbecue at the club, off Lake Avenue, and visitors had the chance to try out all the sports on offer.