15 August 2016

Backing sports stars the length and breadth of Britain

  • 14 towns boasted more than one Olympic medal winner in 2012, up from eight in 2008.
  • London leads the medal league table with 13 in 2012, followed by Glasgow with five
  • Cyclists bring home the nation's biggest haul
  • Pride of Sport nominations are launched today

With local communities all over the country glued to their televisions and shouting their support for Team GB in Rio, new research from TSB reveals the towns and cities which have produced the most medal winners.

Medal winners

The research shows that medallists come from towns and cities right across Britain.  At London 2012, 114 British competitors received a medal in individual and team events and they were born in 70 different cities, towns and villages across the country.  In 2008 there were 70 medallists from 46 communities. However, whilst some know the joy of an Olympian born in their community climbing the podium to collect a medal, others have a special bond with competitors who live and train in their area.

While the medallist map of the UK shows a wide spread of success it also reveals a few clusters in the birthplaces of the winners.

Cities bringing back the bounty

London leads the list of birthplaces of Olympic medal winners for the past two Games. In 2012, 13 of the 114 medal winners were born in the capital, or 11%. This included three gold medallists - cyclist Joanna Rowsell and equestrians Charlotte Dujardin and Ben Maher.

In 2008 13% of medal winners were London-born, nine of the 70.  This included gold medals for track star Christine Ohuruogu, cyclist Rebecca Romero, boxer James DeGale and rower Mark Hunter.

The leading role played by London is to be expected given the size of the population, around 15% of the population of the UK.  But other cities can hold their heads high.  Cardiff was the birthplace of four 2012 medal winners, and three in 2008 with team golds in each games for cyclist Geraint Thomas and rower Tom James. 

Edinburgh-born cycling legend, Chris Hoy also won gold in both Beijing and London.  He was one of the Scottish capital's two medal winners in 2008, and one of four in 2012, including three who struck gold, matching much larger London as a birthplace of champions.  

Britain's other great cities also played their part in producing great Olympians.  Five sons and daughters of Glasgow climbed the podium at London in 2012, including tennis gold for Andy Murray.  Southampton, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Aberdeen all produced multiple winners. 

Towns coming up trumps

Whilst bigger cities naturally dominate the medal haul, smaller areas of the country also make their mark. In 2012, Boston, Cheltenham, Guildford, Harlow and Hitchin all gave the nation more than one medal winner. In 2008 Oxford, Chertsey, Lymington, Newmarket and Plymouth did the same.  

This could be due to a focus on a particular sport.  Lymington on the Hampshire coast is a renowned sailing port so perhaps the water is in the blood of gold medallist Pippa Wilson and silver medallist Nick Rogers - both born in the town and sailing winners in Beijing. 

Zac Purchase and Alex Gregory were both born in Cheltenham and went on to medal glory in rowing in London 2012. Boston in Lincolnshire is birthplace to a brace of bronze medallists - Hannah Macleod and Crista Cullen from the 2012 women's hockey team. 

Pedalling to Glory

The largest medal haul was for Team GB cyclists at London 2012 producing 14 medallists, 12 of them winning gold.  It was truly representative of Great Britain with medal winners from Scotland, Wales, North and South of England, as well as the Isle of Man and three overseas-born cyclists - including Nairobi-born Chris Frome and Sir Bradley Wiggins, who lives in Lancashire, grew up in London, but was born in the Belgian city of Ghent. 

It demonstrates that Olympic success is something that the whole nation can contribute to and share. 

Nominate your Pride of Sport

With sport high on the agenda, today, TSB and Trinity Mirror announce the launch of nominations for Pride of Sport. Trinity Mirror and TSB will work together to boost support for the awards which celebrate the nation's local sporting heroes and champions grass roots sports - recognising amazing people across all walks of life who have gone the extra mile to help others - whether that's playing, coaching or volunteering.

To celebrate the partnership TSB has forged with Pride of Britain, the bank has announced a new award - the TSB Community Partnership Award and is calling for entries. This award is aimed at celebrating the very special people, whether an individual or group, who have worked together in partnership as a force for good in their local community, improving the lives of people around them through sport. This could be anything from supporting young people to help them thrive, to bringing communities together to make a difference.

To nominate, people can either visit the website www.prideofsportawards.co.uk/nominate  or pop in to their local TSB branch where TSB Partners are on hand to help. 

Paul Pester, Chief Executive Officer, TSB said: "Sport is something to be shared, which is why the TSB Community Partnership Award will recognise an individual or a group of people who have worked together in partnership improving the lives of people around them through sport."

"For many, sport is about being the best, but it's also about bringing out the best in people. That includes the people behind the scenes - the endless hours coaching and supporting, cheering people on, washing kit, or ferrying children to practice. These people are the unsung heroes of grass roots sport and deserve to be celebrated. That's why TSB is proud to work in partnership with the Daily Mirror's Pride of Sport to raise awareness of grass roots sport and encourage more people to be more active."

David Walker Sports Editor of The Mirror,said: "Sport has the inspirational power to transform lives. It's fitting that the Pride of Sport Awards for 2016 are being launched during the Olympic Games because events in Brazil epitomise the pursuit of excellence that drives on so many competitors, their families and their coaches.

"But the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards in partnership with TSB are not aimed at simply handing out more honours to the truly great athletes. We're searching for those people working at grassroots level who offer examples of commitment, tenacity and support to sportsmen and women who may never be household names. 

"They may be running, or assisting, at junior clubs. They may be making it possible for the disabled to fulfil their ambitions on the sports field. We know there are wonderful stories of true heroism out there.

"With the support of our partners at TSB we intend to salute the very best, unsung heroes working in grassroots sport. Please help us to find them."

Celebrating Pride across Britain

From 15 August TSB will hit the road with Trinity Mirror visiting towns and cities across the country to celebrate the Pride of Britain partnership and drum up nominations for both Pride of Britain and Pride of Sport.  To ensure that every corner of Britain is scoured to find the very best stories of courage, dedication and selflessness, the Pride of Britain Double Decker bus will drive the length of the country, covering over 600 miles from Edinburgh to London and visiting nine of the nation's cities to discover all of the ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. 

TSB branches in each of the nine cities will host a specially designed PridePod with local people invited to visit the branch to shout about who they are most proud of in their local community. Once in the X-factor style pod, people can create videos about the people that they are proud of or take snaps which they can send to themselves, others or share on social media. The Pride Tour dates are as follows:

15 August - Edinburgh

16 August - Newcastle

17 August - Leeds

18 August - Manchester

19 August - Liverpool

22 August - Birmingham

23 August - Cardiff

24 August - Bristol

25 August - London

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Notes to editors

TSB research based on a One Poll survey of a representative UK sample of 2,000 UK adults between 11 April and 13 April 2016.


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The Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards, in partnership with TSB, recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes of sport, from grassroots coaches to inspirational athletes, awe-inspiring young people and incredible fundraisers.


For 17 years, Pride of Britain has celebrated the nation's unsung heroes - Brits of all ages and all walks of life who make a real difference to local communities and to the lives of so many. These heroes range from children whose courage is awe-inspiring to members of the armed forces and emergency services going way above and beyond the call of duty. Last year, close to five million people tuned in to watch The Pride of Britain Awards honour the achievements of these remarkable people. 

The Pride of Britain Awards ceremony will be held on 31 October 2016, and televised on ITV. The Pride of Sport Award ceremony will be held on 7 December.