The sun was shining here in Woodbridge today, as it always seems to do for the town's 10k running race. A hugely popular event attracting around 700 participants for two loops of a surprisingly hilly course, it is known for the fantastic support given by residents and businesses along the way.

There was a powerful sense of community the other week, too, when around 50,000 people joined together on the streets of Ipswich to celebrate the football team being promoted to the Premiership.

Whether or not we're active or competitive ourselves, sport can transcend differences and bring us all together to celebrate excellence and achievement. It can capture our attention and imagination, and lift our spirits as we recognise courage and determination, often against all the odds.

It brings many life lessons too - dignity in defeat (and in victory), self belief, respect and courtesy to the opposition, perseverance and sacrifice in reaching the goal. We'll see all this, of course, in the ultimate competition, the Olympics held later this summer in Paris. 

So it's fabulous to be able to welcome Olympian and 400m recordholder Iwan Thomas to the Riverside in Woodbridge in July to find out more about his experience, the lessons he's learned, and the story of his life and career. He'll be introducing his autobiography at this event which has just been confirmed - click here or scroll down for more details. 

Of all sportspeople, I think I find athletes the most fascinating. Their lifestyle, diet and training seems punishing and isolated, and all-consuming for a race or event that can last seconds. How do they cope when their dreams are dashed by injury? What do they do when they reach the natural end of their career and need to channel their energy, passion and obsession elsewhere? Iwan will tell us all about it.

Thank you for reading.