Point of order Chutney.
You dismiss the 4am Swimming - sorry but that is a really key part STILL. My mate (who let me Glamp at his pad at Pilton) moved to that area because his two daughters had been tagged by “Team GB” at the age of 6 down here at Swimming Galas in Dubai.
They were watched and assessed as they went to the pool every morning and competed in Galas for theeir school then Dubai acriss the region. Eventually they moved back to UK because they had huge potential.
They STILL get up at 3:45 (even during Glasto) they don’t even get anything towards their Petrol Costs.
The girls graduated to the National Squad this summer and have since been off at events and camps across Europe. Yes they have the best Sports Science, Nutritionists etc but? Mum still has to drive them to the pool, she still had to drive them to Luton, Stanstead and Gatwick Airports (and collect them at silly o’clock) and drive back to Somerset.
All of this BEFORE the age of 15 and one bad day or injury and it is all for nothing.
Yes they may earn allowances prize money etc once they get to the Adult Groups, but I can assure you back here when they were driving to Muscat at 2am (a 4 hour drive) there were over 60 Parents shelling ouot their own money, replicate that number by every City in the UK and the ones that actually get to the top (The Cream) are probably less than 1% of the thousands who put in the early mornings.
Oh and then we get to the Bike Riders. Reading all the FB Stava updates of mates with their kids out on the tracks at 4am in 38C heat and 90% Humidity, looking to follow the same path. ALL at their own cost.
Jeez, the economy gets way more than the 240 odd mil costs just from sales of Petrol, Cars, Pool Fees, Kit, Equipment etc. Do you have ANY idea how much even a basic Race Bike costs for a kid?
(Thank Fark mine did Skateboarding!) (Oh and yes one may get involved in Tokyo on the Design Side so yes I have a vested interest now)