Teacher takes on triathlon championship
PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 August 2012
A SOON-TO-BE Weston teacher has qualified for a world championship triathlon in New Zealand.
Jules Richards, aged 29, who will take up the position of science teacher at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in September, discovered his talent for training after a snowboarding accident which fractured his vertebrae.
The father-of-one had the accident while at university in 2002 and had to undergo surgery and have a brace fitted.
While Jules persevered with his rehabilitation and his sporting hobbies, in 2006 he decided to train for the London marathon.
During training he became unwell and found out the brace in his back had broken, causing internal problems.
Jules, of Marine Parade in Pill, 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 has recently completed his postgraduate certificate in education, said he was over the moon when he found out and 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 teaching was something I was planning to do in the long run.
“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. The hours did not work well and it brought my future forward.”
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.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.