The Olympic dream is on for Greg Bridet after he was crowned 2012 News Sports Awards sportsman of the year.
Bridet marked a memorable 12 months by taking the prestigious title on a gala evening at Ferneham Hall.
The Heart of Portsmouth ace underlined his fast-emerging class by reaching the ABA Finals after winning the ABA Senior Novice Championships.
But the successes just keep coming for the heavyweight talent, after being earmarked by Team GB bosses as someone who can go on to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
He has now been invited on to their development squad to fast-track his progress.
And the call has this week arrived from his country after Bridet was selected to box for England against Sweden.
It’s reward for the hard work the HOP ace has put in after injuries and setbacks tested his resolve to continue the noble art.
And that recognition has ‘overwhelmed’ the hugely-talented boxer.
Bridet said: ‘It’s an honour to be recognised and I didn’t expect it. It’s incredible. It’s a massive honour. I’m overwhelmed to be part of this and to be recognised by The News for my efforts.
‘It shows the hard work is paying off. The injuries and things you have to cope with shape who you are.
‘With the challenges and defeats come strength to be better and improve. I’m motivated to push on.
‘The coaches at Heart of Portsmouth have been a massive influence.
‘It’s a team. I get out there and do it on the night but the team build me up.
‘The hard work has only just begun when it comes to the next Olympic Games.
‘But I’m going to keep pushing on – so it’s onwards and upwards.’
Bridet edged Widley’s Team GB hockey star Richard Smith to the title of sportsman of the year.
Smith was recognised for his ever-present role in the side who made it to the semi-finals of the Games in London.
The former Purbrook Park School pupil is now on the brink of a 100th cap for his country after starting out at City of Portsmouth.