Brwa is an asylum seeker, who after moving to the UK is rebuilding his love of triathlon.
During his time in Iraq, he represented his country on a number of occasions with great success.
He explained: “I captained the national team in Iraq and have 11 gold medals and 38 silver and bronze medals.”
His last triathlon however came five years ago. A long time to go between events he got back onto the course at Llandudno Triathlon where he came 36th overall and 11th in his age group. An impressive showing especially given that in the run up to the event he was without a bike and a wetsuit.
He was able to get onto the start line with the support of British Triathlon, who donated him a HUUB wetsuit and Quinns Cycle’s, a local business, who loaned him a carbon bike for the event.
Brwa said: “It was very different. It was not like what I have done before. In my country the weather is always over 45 degrees and here it was cold. This was also the first time I was doing hills, it’s all flat in Iraq.”
“Without the equipment I couldn’t finish the triathlon. I am so grateful because everyone is helping me.”
Anne, from Heart4Refugees who work with asylum seekers like Brwa, said:
“A year ago, he was saying ‘I don’t know where to start’ and a friend of mine recommended Mersey Tri and he went to the swimming pool for the first time. He could obviously go running in the street, but he needed a bike and a swimming pool.
“He was training on an older bike which broke days before the event. Then for the triathlon he was on a bike he had never been on before. The fact he did so well despite these obstacles it’s great.”
British Triathlon will continue to support Brwa as he aims to continue his triathlon journey here in the UK and give him every opportunity to get involved in the swim, bike, run community.
James Cole, British Triathlon, Regional Development Manager (North West), who has been supporting Brwa and working closely with him to help him get involved in the sport again said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Brwa recently and I am so glad that we have been able to support him in his goal of getting involved in triathlon.
“I think his story is an incredible one, not only has he overcome struggles to get here, he had obstacles in his way when it came to taking part in the triathlon with struggling to get to training, his bike breaking just days before the event and having not raced for five years. This shows us that when we put our minds to it, we can achieve anything.
“The support we’ve had here in Merseyside and from those involved in the wider triathlon community has been amazing and shows what our sport is all about. The next steps now are to help Brwa continue on his triathlon journey and give him the opportunities and equipment to become a part of our community.”