Until the summer of 2021, Faversham athlete Ollie Scott had never considered triathlon, now, within the space of six months, he has been selected by the British Paratriathlon Talent Pathway Programme for a confirmation year.
Talented sportsman Scott, born a lower left-arm amputee, joined Medway Tri Club in June following a decision to move away from concentrating solely on athletics and middle-distance running. His main focus is now triathlon.
“I was an athlete in running for five years, starting when I was eight,” he explained. “Before that I had only done a bit of swimming really which was my first sport.
“With my disability and my classification, I wasn’t able to do the distances athletics-wise, that I wanted to. It was then recommend by the director of British para-athletics, to maybe give triathlon a go and have been involved ever since.
“I found about joining the confirmation (triathlon) pathway on day where I took part in various time-trials – a 400m swim, 10km ride and a 3km run, to see what level I was at. I was just really happy to be told I had done well enough.”
Scott’s remarkable progression only months after starting training shows just what is possible when junior athletes are given the right support by their club.
While he has always been a strong runner, the 13-year-old has now firmly turned his attention towards taking his triathlon as far as possible. A brisk 5km personal best highlights his raw athletic ability.
He said: “I still do a few parkruns when I can as part of my training for triathlon. I managed to complete one in 17:23 for my PB, just after I started triathlon.
“I have completed one triathlon which I did at Bognor Regis, where I came 8th out of 25 athletes. I have also competed in a duathlon (running, cycling and running) which was set up by my club, Medway Tri, and came ninth overall.
“The training is really enjoyable, I train five days per-week and feel I’m improving all the time. The team at Medway have helped me develop quickly.
“At the moment, the cycling is my favourite, as it’s all new to me. I’ve had help from the Canterbury bike project to get my bike adapted, which has really helped.
“For quite a long period of time before that I could only break with my front break. So to get that sorted out has been a huge help.”
Although the teenager isn’t in any danger of getting too far ahead of himself, there is no limit on his sporting ambitions.
He added: “the short-term goal for me is to get on the British Tri academy programme, at the moment I am on a year-long confirmation.
“If I show good progression and attitude, hopefully I can do that. The commitment to the training is also important. Long-term I would love to compete in the Paralympics at some stage. That will be my ultimate aim I think.”
Photo credit: Lavender Blue Media