"Thanks again for the support Talent Backer managed to raise for me as my international race calendar wouldn't be possible without it!"
Thanks again to everyone who supported me through Talent Backer, the funding has meant I've been able to do these races which I wouldn't otherwise have been able to.
Since Hitting My Target....
As with most sporting stories, its a roller coaster ride!
I competed in the British University Biathlon champs in Oxford at the beginning of March, held over 1500m run and 200m swim, and with the quickest swim and 3rd quickest run, managed to win the event.
Unfortunately, only 3 days later I came off my bike and fractured my collarbone, which was a huge blow. I had been confirmed as being selected to represent GB at the world university triathlon champs in Brazil which was one of the main aims the money could help me to achieve, and I was forced to withdraw from the event, which was a great shame.
As a result I haven't yet spent most of the money on a pair of worn out training wheels, as I'm now almost back to full training after rehab from my injury. My planned first race is most likely going to be the British University Standard Distance Championships in early June.
The money I received thanks to Talent Backer will start to really make a difference towards the end of June when it will enable me to travel to Morocco for an ITU African Cup race, and in July and August when I will travel to Europe a couple of times for European Cup events, when travel and race accommodation must be funded by the athletes. Other races I hope to compete in during the season are in the French Grand Prix series for my team, Parthenay, and a couple of domestic elite races in the UK, including Blenheim Palace Triathlon.
Thanks again for the support Talent Backer managed to raise for me as my international race calendar wouldn't be possible without it!
To raise money towards my 2014 international racing programme including (if selected) travelling to Brazil to compete for Great Britain in the World University Triathlon Championships, travelling to compete in a European Cup in order to gain selection to represent Great Britain at the (Elite) U23 European Triathlon Championships, to replace a pair of worn-out bike wheels and to replace my increasingly temperamental Garmin Sports Watch.
I’m 20 years old & was born & brought up in Lancashire, attending Lancaster Royal Grammar School where I gained 11 GCSEs (including 7 A*s) & 4 A-levels (all As). I learned to swim before starting school and since then I’ve competed in many different sports. I joined Lancaster & Morecambe AC at 8, Carnforth Otters ASC at 9, Kent Valley RC Club at 13 & City of Lancaster Triathlon at 15: I’m grateful to many people who have given up their time to coach me, including Mark Smith, Colin Gemson, Jim Stewart, Mick Leck, Terry Bell & Mark Walsh; I also had great support from LRGS during my seven years there.
I’m not an only child and my parents aren’t well-off: I’ve never had the best kit, rather the best we could afford or borrow. I won my first triathlon at 9 on a second-hand mountain bike; by 13, in order to stay competitive, I’d saved up & bought my first road-bike. Since then it’s been an uphill battle for my parents to provide the ever-increasing amount of kit needed for the three-sports-in-one-triathlon, plus as I got older & faster the cost of travelling to race all over the country in the National Series.
My family has been forced to make many sacrifices, but mum always says she doesn’t want me to get to 30 & say “what if”. In 2012 I was lucky to get some funding from Barrie Wells, allowing me to compete outside the UK for the first time in a Junior European Cup in Portugal; in return for the support I was asked to go to some primary schools & talk about triathlon – quite nervous at first but I really enjoyed it and the children seemed to as well!
I’m unbeaten in my age-group in the North West for 6 years & own several course records; I’ve won the NW Junior Series, NW Senior Series, British Junior Super Series, British Universities Sprint Champs & in 2013 was selected to represent GB at elite level for the first time at the U23 European Championships.
I am currently studying for a degree in Sports Science with Physiology at the University of Leeds, where I am a member of the Leeds Triathlon Centre and regularly train with the Olympic Medal winning Brownlee brothers.
It is quite a challenge for me to fit thirty-plus hours of training every week around attending lectures and keeping up to date with my studies, there is no time for the typical student lifestyle, nor to get a part-time job!
I swim every weekday morning before lectures, and cycle and run most days, either on my own or with a group. I also do regular strength and conditioning sessions in the gym. Having represented my swimming and athletics clubs and my school for years at home, I now represent my University in running, swimming, biathlon, duathlon and triathlon.
Up until 2010 I was an 800/1500m runner, (in that year I was Lancashire Champion over 800m, Lancashire Schools Champion over 1500m, North of England Champion over 800m and won bronze at the UK Athletics Championships over 800m). I am now focussing on increasing my run mileage and endurance in order to improve my final discipline: I was able to improve by around 40 seconds on my 5k time and a minute on my 10k time last season over comparable courses since the previous season, and am hoping to progress that further in 2014.
I really need to gain more international racing experience, and to help with this I have signed up to race for a team in the French Triathlon Grand Prix series, which attracts the world’s best triathletes. However, I must also compete in European and World Cup races to start to gain ranking points, but for these events I have to pay my own expenses so the number I can go to is restricted.
It is my ambition, on completion of my degree, to become a full-time professional triathlete and to compete at the highest level in the World Triathlon Series, also to represent Great Britain at major global championships, and win medals.
In order to fulfil these ambitions, I intend to continue training hard and gain as much international experience as possible whilst completing my studies. In the immediate future I hope to hear soon if I have been selected for the World University Championships, if successful this trip alone will cost £1250.
Selected to represent Great Britain at the (elite) Under 23 European Triathlon Championships
British Universities & Colleges Sports (BUCS) Sprint Triathlon Champion (in first year at University)
BUCS Biathlon Silver Medallist
Bala Standard Distance Triathlon winner
Lancashire Sports Awards, Young Achiever of the Year winner
Full Sporting Colours awarded by University of Leeds
British Triathlon National Junior Super Series Champion
Lancaster Duathlon winner
Kendal Sprint Triathlon winner
Lancashire AA Under 20 3000m winner
Nuffield Health Junior Triathlon winner
Coniston Standard Triathlon winner
Milton Keynes Aquathlon winner
North West Triathlon Series Senior winner
North West Triathlon Series Junior winner
Kendal Sprint Triathlon winner
Chester Standard Distance Triathlon (NW Championships) winner
Canary Wharf Super-Sprint Triathlon, 11th place (aged 17 in a senior international field)
Liverpool Standard Distance Triathlon 5th place (aged 17 in a senior international field)
As well as the above, in 2009 I was the Bronze Medallist at the British Triathlon Elite Duathlon in the Youth age category, and in 2008 I was the Bronze Medallist in the GHS National Schoolboy 10 mile cycling time-trial championships. I represented North-West Region at the National Inter-Regional Triathlon Championships in 2007, 2008 & 2009. I represented England North West at the 2010 UK School Games in the 1500m. I have won County titles for both school and club at Cross Country and Athletics, and represented my County at the English Schools and the Inter-Counties on several occasions. I regularly achieved County and Regional times in Freestyle and Butterfly over distances ranging between 50m and 400m.
If I raise my target amount with Talent Backer it will allow me to take the next steps in my journey.
Thank you for taking the time to read about me. I hope you have found my story inspiring.