I grew up in rural Essex in England; my parents were always full of enthusiastic encouragement for whatever sport I wanted to try. When I was about ten years old, I decided that I wanted to beat the boys at school in the 3 mile race around the village, my dad did his very best to help me get there. For months before the race, he got up with me twice a week to train outside in the cold and dark before going off to do a full day of manual labour. My parents never said that we could not try a new activity – obviously choices had to be made when there were time clashes, but if we could physically get there on time, we were allowed to do it. During our teens, I think my mum would have driven less if she had been a professional taxi driver!
At secondary school, I was lucky enough to have really inspirational teachers! The sports teachers, especially, were great. I worked hard at school and crammed in as many extra activities as I could manage – at one point I remember playing for four different netball clubs simultaneously. I represented my school at every sport except for tennis, and played county and regional netball. The girls in my year group were particularly talented at sport generally, we won across the board every year at the district track & field competition and made it through district, county and region to compete at the national netball tournament. I had the chance to play netball at Cambridge university and met the most amazing group of girls, who are to this day, even scattered across the globe, my best friends.
We call Singapore ‘home’ these days. Our young sons love living here, they spend a lot of time outside with my husband, swimming, cycling, playing in the warm weather . I cycle to work most days and sometimes I run in. It saves time – it’s faster than the bus and means I get about 100 km a week extra in the saddle – every little helps! Finding time to train for triathlon, hold down a full time job and spend enough quality time with my children and husband is a challenge, so taking advantage of all of the time saving tricks I can is very important to me. I usually get home in time for bath time, story time and a cuddle before bed, then once the children are asleep I either swim, spend time with my husband or drag him out to accompany me for a run on his bike. Most mornings I get up early: during the week I go out once or twice on my bike with a small group of french-speaking friends and I am back before the children wake up. At the weekends, I get up as early as 4am to ride more than 120 km and be home for breakfast at 8:30am. I am only able to train like this because my husband is so supportive of my sporting activities. With his support and by organising my life like this, cycling or running to work, training when my children are asleep, we can fit it all in!