It is no secret that Hampshire is home to some impressive sporting talent.

From footballers to powerlifters there are some seriously impressive sporting legends who have grown up in the county. 

While you might have heard about some of these sporting pros, did you know that they hailed from Hampshire?

Here are nine  of the biggest sports stars that were raised in Hampshire.

Leanne Ganney - Ice hockey player

Daily Echo: Natalie Aldridge (centre) with GB team-mates Leanne Ganney and Chrissy Newman.

GB team-mates Leanne Ganney, Natalie Aldridge and Chrissy Newman.

Ice hockey player Leanne Ganney was born in Basingstoke.

She is currently serving as captain of SDE Hockey in the Swedish Women's Hockey League and the national team of Great Britain (Team GB). 

Ganney has made over 40 appearances with the British senior team, for whom she has served as captain since 2015.

She has won three IIHF World Women's Championship Division II silver medals and three bronze medals.

Melanie Wilson - Rower

Melanie Wilson competes for the GB rowing team. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she competed in the Women's quadruple sculls.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics she won a silver medal in the women's eight. 

Born in Southampton, Wilson spent her early years in Japan and Hong Kong before moving to the UK in 2002 to take an honours degree in Biochemistry and Genetics at the University of Nottingham.

Dani Rowe - Cyclist

Danielle 'Dani' Rowe MBE is a former road and track cyclist, she retired from cycling in December 2018.

Rowe is a three time world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist in the women's team pursuit.

She competed for the winning Great Britain team at the 2011 World Championships, alongside Laura Trott and Wendy Houvenaghel, 2012 alongside Trott and Joanna Rowsell, and 2013 with Trott and Elinor Barker.

James Foad - Rower

Daily Echo:

At the 2012 Olympics in London James Foad was part of the British crew that won the bronze medal in the men's eight.

He was the 2015 European Champion in the men's pair, along with Matt Langridge.

James started rowing at the age of 11 at Itchen Rowing Club, following in his father's footsteps. By the time he was 17 he had won the Junior Sculls Championships for the Hants and Dorset region and was the youngest person to win.

Kathryn Cook - Sprinter

Kathryn Jane Cook MBE from Winchester is regarded  as one of the most successful female sprinters in British athletics history.

She is three-times an Olympic bronze medallist, including at 400 metres in Los Angeles 1984.

Her other individual achievements include winning the 200m at the 1981 Universiade, finishing second in the 100m at the 1981 World Cup, and winning a bronze medal in the 200m at the 1983 World Championships.

She is also three-times a winner of the British Athletics Writers' Association Female Athlete of the Year Award (1980–82). 

Liam Delap - Footballer

Daily Echo:

Manchester City’s Liam Delap celebrates scoring his side’s first goal (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

Manchester City footballer Liam Delap, 17, was born in Winchester.

The number 48 player  joined Manchester City's academy in 2019 from Derby County, impressing from a young age and being capped at several youth levels with England.

He scored a goal and set up two others in the final of the 2020 Under-18 Premier League Cup.

On 24 September 2020, Delap made his first-team debut in a 2–1 home win against AFC Bournemouth in the EFL Cup, scoring his first senior goal in the 18th minute.

After the match, manager Pep Guardiola praised him and confirmed Delap would continue training with the first team.

Danny Ings - Footballer

Daily Echo:

(Mike Hewitt/PA)

Another famous footballer to hail from Winchester is Danny Ings who plays for Premier League club Southampton and the England national team.

Ings started his career in the youth team of Southampton but was released as a schoolboy.

He subsequently joined AFC Bournemouth, progressing through their youth system, while also spending time at Dorchester Town on loan.

In 2011, Ings joined Burnley with whom he won the 2013–14 Championship Player of the Year, and helped them achieve promotion to the Premier League.

Ings joined Southampton on loan in August 2018, with his move made permanent in July 2019 after Southampton decided to take the option to buy him based on a clause in the loan deal.

Lauren Steadman - Athlete

Daily Echo:

Lauren Steadman at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games -  (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Although originally from Peterborough, Lauren Steadman has made a name for herself in Portsmouth at the Northsea and Athletics clubs.

The paralympic athlete specialises in swimming and paratriathlon. 

She competed at both the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing and the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London as a swimmer, before switching to the paratriathlon for the 2016 Games in Rio where she won a silver medal in the Women's PT4.

She completed a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, followed by a master's degree in Business and Management at the University of Portsmouth.

She made it to the semi-final of BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in 2018 with partner AJ Pritchard but was eliminated against Ashley Roberts and Pasha Kovalev in the Dance-Off. She went on to perform in the live version of the show.

She also completed and was 1 of 2 finalists in SAS: Who Dares Wins Celebrities 2020.

Dave Carter - Powerlifter

Former British, European and World Powerlifting champion, competing in the 125kg deadlift and squat categories.

David Thomas Carter was born in Aldershot in Hampshire.

For every year between 1988 and 2007 (except for 1996 and 1998) he held the World Deadlift Record, similarly holding the European Record in the same category for 1976 and 1991 to 2007.

He held 16 British titles, including from 1975 to 1998 (except 1977 to 1979, 1981 and 1987) when he held the British record for the deadlift.

In 1994 with Brian Smith he reformed British powerlifting, setting up the regulated British Powerlifting Organisation (BPO). He is the President of the BPO and the World Powerlifting Federation.

Have you been to watch any of these sports stars? Let us know in the comments.