As nominations continue for the Triathlon England Awards, we talk to the 2018 London Region Young Volunteer Michael Eagling
1. You were voted the London Region Young Volunteer of the Year! Who or what inspired you to start volunteering in the sport?
In 2016 I took part in Tim Peake’s Space to Earth Challenge and through taking part in that I was lucky enough to meet some great people including the CEO of The Triathlon Trust, Mike Jubb. Mike asked me if I would like to help at some of their events. I have taken part in many triathlon events myself and I know what a difference the volunteers make to helping the event run smoothly and how much of a difference each little bit of help can make the race event more enjoyable for the participants, so I jumped at the opportunity to help.
I was lucky enough to meet Alistair and Jonny Brownlee at the first event that I volunteered at!
2. Can you tell us about your proudest moment whilst volunteering?
There have been a number of moments, especially seeing the kids you help proudly presenting their certificate or medal to their parents or the excitement when they’ve done a better time than previously. I think mostly its seeing the spark in some the participant’s eyes that I feel I can relate to from when I first fell in love with the sport
I must also add that to have been nominated for and to receive this award is a very proud moment for me!
3. As a student, how do you balance volunteering with school, as well as any of your own training and other commitments? What advice would you give to other young volunteers?
It is not easy, you have to be very organised and plan ahead as well as make choices about what you can and cannot do. I have been very lucky and had great support from my school, my family, some of my coaches and many other people.
My advice to other young volunteers would be to look to try and find ways to use spare time and any situation where possible to get things done, which will allow you to do more. For example, getting some school work done in car journeys or fitting in training where possible, cycling to school for example.
4. What’s the best piece of triathlon advice you’ve ever been given, and who gave it to you?
The best piece of triathlon advice I have received was probably from one of my coaches, who encourages me to always take the positives from any situation, in that even if you have a bad race, the sport is dynamic that if you can find just one or two positives of things you’ve improved on/done well then that’s what you should focus on.
5. Do you yourself race? If so, what is your favourite distance and why?
At the moment I race mainly Sprint distance Triathlons, which is probably my favourite distance as it suits me more in terms of the endurance and speed aspects of the race.
I also enjoy the Super Sprint distance when part of a mixed team relay team, it is fast and furious and I enjoy the team spirit it brings.
6. Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year?
Yes, I have just taken my A levels and if they have gone well I will be at University in September. There I hope to join a well-supported triathlon training group, with that along with the great sports facilities available I hope to improve my race results next season as well as be successful in my academic studies.
I am also doing some volunteering over the summer with the Triathlon Trust and I will be continuing to work with them whilst I am at University.
Many thanks to Michael for taking the time to speak to us amongst exams, volunteering and training. I'm sure you'll get great results in all areas!
If you'd like to vote in this years Triathlon England Awards, click HERE! You've got until the 4th September, so spread the word!