How Sam Ward went from car sales to the Olympics

Sam Ward and Geoff Prince at Arthur Prince, Volkswagen dealership on Belton Road, Loughborough

GB men's athlete Sam Ward flies out to Rio today for the 2016 Olympics, and he has a great story of balancing a working life with the demands of hockey.

Ward worked at Arthur Prince Volkswager car dealership in his native East Midlands for four years, before becoming a contracted GB athlete at our base in Bisham Abbey.

Speaking to the Loughborough Echo, Sam said, “It was tough working long days and then going training. I did it the hard way - I didn’t play in any junior international tournaments.

“It was very hard to train as much as you should to reach the top level. It was just a case of cracking on and doing as much as you could in club hockey, having not played for a university.

“I went to a few training camps and after that it was just playing club hockey for the next two years, before I was offered a contract for the England squad."

And with Rio around the corner, he couldn't be any more excited. “Even at the Team GB kit launch it still hadn’t sunk in, I just can’t wait to be on that plane to Rio.

“It is going to be tough, but I have played against every side in our group and we have beaten most of them before, so if we work hard and play as well as we know we can I’ll keep everything crossed we can get through.”