With at least a temporary reprieve from Covid hibernation, it felt strangely deja-vu-like meeting our many defence friends and colleagues at DSEI over the last week. However, there was a noticeable difference; less stands, more space and fewer delegations —— a sort of comparison of a packed Friday shop at Tesco to the serenity of Waitrose! (other supermarkets are available!).

It was indeed a great experience and the icing on the cake was the joint ATOS/ Team Army reception to celebrate the wonderful achievements of our olympians and paralympians, past and present. Following the Olympics and Paralympics, so magnificently staged in Tokyo with all the unique challenges, what better excuse to throw a party and applaud the sporting excellence of our men and women and Team GB, many of whom have been helped in a small way through support from the Team Army Sports Foundation.

Major General Jon Cole, as chairman of the charity was able to set the tone of the evening emphasising how this kind of support is the building block that underpins defence’s contribution to delivering social value. This was closely followed by Lamont putting each of the fabulous athletes on the spot though Q&A on the stage and of course it was all enjoyed with some wonderful food and refreshments on the Sunborn Yacht hotel moored outside the ExCel centre.

What a great evening to celebrate our stars, only days after the nation has again been both inspired and overawed by Emma Raducanu’s sporting achievement in New York. We were lucky to have own sporting ‘royalty’, proudly with their medal bling on display and sharing their individual stories of their roads to world-class success. Thanks for a memorable evening and we wish our sporting heroes further accolades as Beijing and Paris fast approach and again we can look forward to toasting their achievements.