Bethan Evans, Reporter
Monday, August 20, 2012
A DAD from Pill will compete in a world championship triathlon in New Zealand.
Father-of-one Jules Richards discovered his talent for training after a snowboarding accident which fractured his vertebrae.
The soon-to-be science teacher had the accident while at university in 2002 and had to undergo surgery and have a brace fitted.
While Jules, aged 29, persevered with his rehabilitation and his sporting hobbies, in 2006 he decided to train for the London marathon.
But during his training he became unwell and found out the brace in his back had broken, causing internal problems.
Jules, of Marine Parade, said: “I had the brace removed in November 2006 and in April 2007 I ran the marathon. I realised I had a certain amount of fitness and wanted to do something with it.
“I started doing triathlons in 2007 and also got into it by training for my beach lifeguard qualification.”
Jules found out he had qualified for the Barfoot and Thompson World Championship final sprint distance triathlon in Auckland a couple of days after he completed the Bristol marathon in July.
Jules, who will begin teaching at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in Weston in September, said he is pleased the school in Windwhistle Road is allowing him the time off to compete.
He said: “I recently had my own personal training company but I know professional training has a shelf life and the birth of my daughter Nyah, who is 22 months old, forced an early change in my career.”
Jules qualified for the championship by coming fifth in his age group at the Bristol sprint triathlon and is now looking for funding for his trip across the world.
He said: “I race for a local shop team, The Triathlon Shop, Felt team, who have supported me in trying to achieve this goal.
“At the moment I am thinking of running things like movie nights and other events but I am also looking for corporate sponsorship.”