GB Triathlete aiming to turn Elite this year. World Championships coming up in Canada. Missed chance at Europeans due to injury
I qualified for the World Championships in Canada but decided not to compete due to insufficient funds. Instead, I decided to concentrate on the European Championships in Kitzbuhel earlier this month. Unfortunately injury caused me to miss my opportunity so I would like a second chance at the World Championship but again lack of funds is stopping me competing.
I have always had a passion for sport and much to my parent’s frustration I wanted to try everything – some I loved and some not so much!
Swimming - I became part of the County swimming team at the age of 10 until I left primary school specialising in backstroke. I had great fun and was part of a fantastic and supportive team. Unfortunately I wished I hadn’t given this up to focus on Rugby at secondary school, as I am sure this would have helped me now. Rugby was great; my team were like family to me. More seriously competing for Canterbury RFC through to senior level was the most fantastic experience. Competitions; through to the quarterfinals in the Daily Mail Cup & Rosslyn Park 7’s with Simon Langton Grammar and Kent Cup, South East Cup plus Kent Sevens for Canterbury RFC.
I was fortunate enough to be given a second hand bike for my 14th birthday, which I loved and rode into the ground! I think this is where my love for cycling and racing began. It wasn’t until I was 16 that I competed in my first Triathlon when a friend of mine mentioned that the hardest thing he had ever done was a triathlon – me being me, I laughed and told him nothing could be harder than sprinting up and down a rugby pitch in slippery mud! Unbeknown to me I was entered into a local triathlon race by that friend – I took on the challenge and wow it was hard! I then joined Ashford Tri Club and competed locally in races in Kent, I was hooked!!
2013 kicked off my triathlon career by qualifying for GB Age Group World Championships in London. With school still being my focus training had to fit in but I managed to go from nothing to GB Athlete in one season. I, along with others, then realised I had a certain talent for the sport so I decided after A Levels to concentrate on training full time.
My race at the Europeans didn’t quite go according to plan as I came off my bike in training the day before! A trip to A&E left me with four stitches in my left knee and multiple cuts and grazes on my back and arms along with an instruction from the consultant not to race. Despite this, I raced! The day was generally awful! Horrendous weather but I finished and came 19th out of a field of 34 – this being the most painful and emotional experience of my life and one that I hope never to repeat.
I have been very lucky to have invaluable support from family, friends and coaches, without whom none of this would have been possible. Mr. T @ Ocean Lake Tri has turned me into a fish and has currently knocked 2 mins of my 750m swim time bringing it down to consistent sub10 min pace and only getting faster! I found Folkestone Velo over the winter who welcomed me with open arms and supported me throughout the hard winters training on long grueling rides! They have had to drag me along from time to time but it has only made me stronger and more determined, thank you guys! Injury has slowed me down with progressing with running but thanks to help from various sports therapists I have now overcome these ailments and become stronger and faster – Run Forest, Run is my motto!
The sport of triathlon isn’t cheap especially when travelling abroad is concerned. Sponsors have helped me as much as they can with equipment and sports therapy but the majority of funding is down to me plus the support of my parents. I do work two part time jobs to help support myself but this is currently not enough. I hope one day to make triathlon a full time career at an elite level!
I have now been given a second chance as I had already qualified for the World Championships in Edmonton, Canada, August 2014. All my time, effort and funds went into Kitzbuhel leaving me insufficient funds to take up this opportunity, which is the last chance I get at this age group.
First things first is to get my injury cleared up and back into training. The wound is healing well and no significant damage detected so training resumes!!
I will be training hard and working long hours to be fighting fit for a couple of Elite Races at the beginning of August leading up to the World Championships later that month.
With the step up to Under 23’s next year this winter’s training looks to be the hardest one yet. I take this as a personal challenge with the aim of contending Top 10’s at the Super Series 2015.
Long-term goal… be the best I can be and do GB proud. Olympic Games, World Series, Elite Championships... possibly Ironman World Championships.
Dreams can come true!
11th - Nottingham Triathlon (British Championships)
4th - Rother Valley Triathlon Festival
3rd - Brett Ashford Triathlon
8th - Markel Hever Castle Triathlon
56th - ITU World Triathlon Championships, London
3rd - Marshman Triathlon
4th - Nottingham Triathlon
19th - ETU European Triathlon Championships, Kitzbuhel, Austria
Qualified GB World Sprint Championships, Edmonton, Canada 2014
I know I can achieve my dream if I am given a second chance.
I love my sport and am dedicated to achieving my goals and always striving for better. Raising my target funds enabling me to take part in another World Championship would mean so much to me. I would be eternally grateful to those who have taken the time to believe and support me.
I've adopted the London 2012 motto "better never stops".
Thank you in advance :)