“TASS played a pivotal role in the early years of my journey, supporting my transition from athletics to triathlon whilst I was studying at the University of Birmingham. TASS gave me support from a multitude of sport science services that I would otherwise not have been able to access. It also provided the financial backing to purchase the new equipment and gave me the ability to travel to races across the UK and Europe to gain vital race experience.
“The TASS support arrived at the perfect time in my triathlon journey. I was in my second year of university and in many ways, the belief from TASS that I had the potential to succeed in triathlon was more important than any of the other support that they offered. Having the backing of a recognised scheme gave me the confidence to pursue my new ambition.
“My education has always been as important, if not more, as my sporting endeavours. I chose my university based on the quality of the degree and the calibre of the athletics programme. I always wanted to do both and didn’t want to compromise on either. I believe my education provided balance in my life, an interest away from my sport, and due to the fragile nature of a sporting career, I always wanted to have something else in my locker.
“My favourite aspect of being a student athlete was the additional social and support networks that it opened up for me. By being engaged in a sport, I made considerably more friends, met more people, and was given far more opportunities to broaden my skill set both in a sporting context and more generally. I honestly believe that being a student athlete has better prepared me for the demands of the work place and also in successfully finding a work - life balance.
“TASS enabled me to pursue a path that many others would have considered impossible. I had never even done a triathlon and was the epitome of a novice. Within five years of doing my first triathlon I became World Champion. Without the backing of TASS in those formative years, I may never have had the opportunity to successfully begin that journey.”