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Olympian Roger Black on his perfect Surrey weekend

PUBLISHED: 09:20 12 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:26 12 July 2014

At the weekend, Roger can often be found helping out at events organised by local charity Surrey Care Trust of which he is a patron

At the weekend, Roger can often be found helping out at events organised by local charity Surrey Care Trust of which he is a patron

(C) Roger Black / Surrey Care Trust

A busy family man, Roger Black enjoys nothing more than spending time with his wife and eight-year-old twin boys. And it’s no surprise that the former Olympic athlete loves being active and getting out in the fresh air near his home in Shalford

Most of my weekends are spent with my wife Julia and our eight-year-old twin boys. We always try and get outside. The boys don’t have clubs at the weekend so we get out on our bikes or go for walks.

For instance, we often cycle down the disused railway line in Bramley – we are lucky to have one of the best cycleways in the country on our doorstep.

We go out for a lot of walks too. It’s really important to me that we get outside as much as possible. We love going for strolls in Chantry Woods, which are close to where we live. It is a real mixture of woodland and meadows and the views are stunning. It’s spectacular at the moment as the bluebells are out and they look and smell amazing.

The twins are typical eight-year-old boys. They sometimes need a bit of persuasion to get out the front door. But once they are out, they always really enjoy themselves. They love climbing trees and playing in the mud. It’s what boys do.

Spending time with our friends and their families is really important to us. We enjoy seeing people and make time for doing this at the weekend as a family. We are lucky that my mum and my wife’s family all live close by.

Many of our friends have moved from London to Guildford, but my wife and I are born and bred here. We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. We have lived in different places in the area but only gone as far as Farnham. We really like living in Guildford.

My wife is a theatre director at the Yvonne Arnaud in Guildford and she often works at weekends. We spend lots of time at the theatre. She is working on James and the Giant Peach at the moment, which I am really looking forward to seeing. I think my favourite performance I ever saw there was Peter Pan.

Theatre is a great escape. I am very busy during the week, often doing a lot of corporate speaking and training programmes with a bit of TV work in-between. It’s nice to get immersed in another world sometimes.


Sundays strolls

Sundays are our favourite day. We often go out for Sunday lunch. We love The Three Horseshoes in Thursley. My favourite is the roast lamb.

It’s in a great position, just sitting on the edge of Thursley National Nature Reserve. What’s great is that you can really work up an appetite by going for a long walk beforehand and then enjoy some great quality food. We always get a very warm welcome as a family.

If we’re not in The Three Horseshoes, we might be having lunch at our local pub, The Seahorse, on the edge of Shalford Park. It’s the perfect setting to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And to meet friends.

Another thing I might be doing at the weekend is attending one of the events for the Surrey Care Trust, a local charity based in Guildford, for whom I am a patron. I supported their Santa Dash this year at Shalford Park. It made sense; it was on my doorstep. And the boys really enjoyed it.

It’s great to know that my support can have an impact on local people. They work with those facing hardship to build their confidence and develop important life and work skills. The charity’s aim is to ensure that the people we support go on to make a positive contribution to society. It’s good to be part of something that can actually make a difference to all of us.

Whatever I am doing, the weekend is my time to be with my family. I was really busy during the period of the Olympics, and time together is important. I am just a normal dad, whose weekend is about building happy memories for my kids.



My Surrey Weekend is a long-running, monthly guest column in Surrey Life magazine. Never miss out by taking advantage of the latest subscription offer @

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