Couple cheer on Olympic grandson

Brian and Margaret Sanders with a photo of grandson Arnie Dickins
Brian and Margaret Sanders with a photo of grandson Arnie Dickins

A couple from Wellingborough will cheer on their grandson when he competes in this summer’s London Olympic Games.

Brian and Margaret Sanders are beaming with pride after their 20-year-old grandson Arnie Dickins qualified for the Australian judo team.

He’s representing the Aussies after moving down under with his parents and sister Daina, 22, six years ago.

The family lived in Wellingborough and Higham Ferrers before emigrating to Queensland when Arnie was 14.

Mr Sanders, 78, said: “We are very proud of him. He has always had the outlook on life that whatever he was going to do he would do his best.

“We have got tickets to go and watch him at the Olympics. It will be a fabulous experience. He is hoping to win the gold medal – but that’s Arnie. He wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less.”

Arnie, who is currently ranked as number 18 in the world, will be hoping to ‘terminate’ the opposition when he steps on to the mat in London this July.

His route to the games saw him win the Oceania Continental Championships.

Such is his dedication to the martial art that he has given up his job as a computer technician to concentrate on preparing for the games, and he trains six days a week.

The former Ferrers Specialist Arts College pupil plans to visit his grandparents when he arrives in England. Mr Sanders, who used to own Tempo Shoes factory in Kettering, added: “We are looking forward to welcoming him back to Wellingborough.”

Arnie, who took up judo aged four, said: “Judo is my life and my one dream is to win at the Olympics.”