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GB's optimistic Olympic hockey players head to Rio

GB Hockey stars, and married couple, Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh will take part in their fourth Olympics in Rio next month.

The pair - who recently announced they're to leave Reading Hockey Club - are also expected to call an end to their international careers after the games.

The women's squad fly out to Rio this week - and our reporter, Mel Bloor, has been to see how preparations have been going at their training base near Marlow.

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Brighton competitors getting ready for LGBT games

Credit: Pride Diversity Games

People in Brighton are getting ready for the Pride Diversity Games.

The LGBT sporting weekend is organised by Brighton Pride in association with BLAGSS (Brighton LGBT Sports Society), TransCanSport, the Sussex County FA and Sussex County Cricket Club.

The action begins on Saturday 23rd July with three major sporting tournaments taking place around the area.

Beefy beats Shane in Ashes Golf match

Two cricketing legends having been taking each other on. On the golf course. Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne flew around the country - to play a hole near to each of the eighteen county cricket grounds. Including Hampshire, Kent and Sussex. With the pair raising money for the Beefy Foundation. Of course it's all about the charity. But - England did beat Australia 3-1!

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Roy of the Royals

Roy Beerens signs 3 yr deal Credit: Reading FC

Reading Football Club have signed Dutch winger Roy Beerens from Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

The 28-year-old has signed a 3 year deal for an undisclosed fee. The Royals say he joined Reading ahead of a number of other clubs interested in his signature.

Manager Jaap Stam: “Roy has a lot of qualities – he is a winger that can play on either the left or the right, and technically he is very strong. He has pace, he can score goals and create chances for others.

“I think he is going to be a player the fans will enjoy watching. We want players who are comfortable on the ball, can use possession and create things. So when the opportunity to sign him arose, Brian Tevreden began talks with his agent immediately and now we’re very happy that Roy is joining us.”

Beerens began his career at PSV Eindhoven, representing the Eredivisie giants in his teenage years before a loan spell at NEC Nijmegen in 2007. Beerens moved to Heerenveen where he really rose to prominence during four years in Friesland.

There he won the Dutch Cup, featuring in the final which was won after a penalty shootout against Twente in Rotterdam in 2009. He also formed part of a side which took on the likes of AC Milan, Sporting Lisbon and Hertha Berlin in the Europa League.

Beerens also broke onto the international scene whilst in Heerenveen, first representing the Netherlands in the 2008 Olympics. In Beijing, he played alongside the likes of Ryan Babel, Jonathan De Guzman, Roy Makaay and former Royal Royston Drenthe in the Dutch side which bowed out in extra time to Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero’s Argentina.

A regular under-21 for Holland, Beerens went on to make two appearances for the senior Dutch side – debuting in a friendly 1-1 draw with the Ukraine in 2010 before replacing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in a defeat to Germany in Hamburg a year later.

In 2011, the fleet-footed midfielder signed for AZ Alkmaar and more Europa League experience came in the form of meetings with Valencia, Anderlecht, Udinese and Benfica amongst many others. And Beerens won his second Dutch Cup in 2013, helping his newest team overcome the challenge of his former side, PSV Eindhoven, with a 2-1 win in the Final.

In 2014, he left his native Holland to sign a contract with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin, scoring four goals in 26 starts whilst playing his football in the German capital.

He will now link up with Jaap Stam’s squad next week, upon their return from a training camp in Oosterbeek.

Hampshire floorball team to take part in I Am Team GB

The Rio Olympics is set to inspire the next generation of gifted athletes. But what if you are not quite so talented? How can you still be involved?

We may just have the answer - the nation's biggest sports day.

Called I Am Team GB, it's backed by our Olympic team, the National Lottery and ITV and will take place on August 27th with all kinds of free activities across the country.

And you will have no excuse for watching the telly - ITV is switching off its screens for an hour to encourage its viewers to join in.

Andrew Pate has been talking to floorball players in Farnborough, who are among many others taking part:

Andrew spoke to Olympic Gold Medalist Greg Rutherford and Farnborough floorball player Sam Adler.

Find activities near you, here.

I Am Team GB: Get involved in biggest ever sports day

On Saturday 27 August 2016 our Olympic heroes will be helping create the nation’s biggest sports day and everyone is invited to take part.

There will be thousands of free events across the country Credit: PA

Called I Am Team GB and brought to you by ITV and The National Lottery there will be free events throughout the Meridian region.

There are lots of ways to get involved. Here are just a few examples:

To find out about events happening near you, head to I Am Team GB

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