WARREN HAYDEN: My daughters beat me in our Olympics Games

It has been great watching the Olympic action in Rio over the past two weeks and it was something I'd been looking forward to for months.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 6:05 am
Great Britain's Jason Kenny after winning the gold medal in the Men's Keirin Final poses with fiancee Laura Trott who won gold in the Women's Omnium. Warren and his daughterrs held their own Olympics PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo

To be honest, I still can’t believe four years has passed since London 2012, where did the time go?

As well as enjoying the sport on show I also find it absolutely inspirational watching these people who have worked hard with, I suspect, a gruelling training schedule and a not so exciting diet to help get them ready to perform on the world stage.

It’s another great example to show my children anything is possible if you work hard and don’t give up.

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Warren's daughter has learnt how to record Spongebob Squarepants

I’m looking forward to the Paralympics, which take place next month, just as much and I hope to watch with my daughters to show them that nothing in life should hold you back from achieving your dreams.

But over the past few weeks we’ve been enjoying our own little mini Olympics.

In the garden we are now the proud owners of a swing ball set.

If you’re not familiar with swing ball, it’s a tennis ball attached by tether to a pole.

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Two players, holding their bats, stand around the pole hitting the tennis ball to one another.

I have to admit, I wasn’t very good at first. There is nothing more humiliating than when the tennis ball is making its way towards you at speed and you lift your bat to strike the ball with all the energy you can muster, but you miss and, embarrassingly, the ball goes flying past your eyes. And that happened on more than one occasion, but I have since improved.

I’ve been surprised at how good my daughters are at swing ball.

You might be surprised to hear it has been them winning the imaginary Olympic gold medals on many occasions, and I’ve had to settle for silver.

The only problem we’ve encountered with swing ball is our dog, a Springer Spaniel called Ralph, thinks the tennis ball belongs to him and tries to join in.

Like the real Olympics, our version has more than one venue and we’ve left the garden and made our way to the local park.

This is where my daughters have been competing in that well-known sport where it’s all about upper body strength and a good grip with your hands, yes, the monkey bars.

They both became queen of the jungle as they swung from bar to bar and reached the end with a satisfied look on their face.

All this hard work left me with two very tired daughters who didn’t take much convincing to go to sleep when it came to bed time.

And we’ve got two very happy parents who managed to watch some of the real Olympics in Rio on the television in peace and quiet.