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2016 – Emily Ottaway

14th May 2018

Emily was our first Scholar so it was a learning curve for us and her.  At the time she was a pupil at Maldon’s Plume Academy and came to our attention when the Head of PE suggested she apply to the DRF for a scholarship to help with funding for her forthcoming trip to New Zealand, where she would be put through a rigourous training schedule in order to enhance her chances of making the GB squad.

We caught up with Emily for a brief interview so that our supporters could get to know the girl behind the name.

**Hi Emily, let’s start with how you became a triathlete?**
I come from a competitive swimming background but stopped when I started secondary school, then my mum started coaching Blackwater Tri club and suggested I join to improve my fitness, at first I only swam but then gradually started running and cycling too, next thing I knew I was racing at a world championship qualifying event and managed to qualify for the London world championships

**Tell us about your training schedule?**
Training as a triathlete isn’t easy as many others will tell you, you have 3 disciplines to train for and also have to put in strength and conditioning work on top of that so you end up clocking a fair few hours each week. That means plenty of early morning starts getting up at 4.30am to get to the swimming pool, I then normally find myself having a quick nap between lessons later in the day!

**What do your friends think about you being a triathlete?**
Some people get it, some people don’t. The normal question is, why!? But when you love any sport you just do what you have to do to be good at it. If you surround yourself with the right people who will always support you then you have a much better chance of succeeding.

**What is the best thing about being a triathlete?**
You can eat, pretty much, as much as you want and nobody will bat an eyelid!

**And the worst thing?**
Waking up early to train or to get to races that are miles away

**So what does a triathlete eat?** The bottom line is, A LOT! Because of all the training you burn tonnes of calories so you have to keep fully stocked up. Most of my friends know that if I get a bit grouchy chances are I’m hungry!

**What is the worst part of the triathlon?**
Definitely the cycle for me, all the way, I can confidently say cycling does not come naturally to me. The run and the swim I love.

**What is your proudest achievement?**
In my first year of competing in the sport qualifying for the world championships

**How did it feel to first pull on a GB vest?**
Amazing, nothing can describe it. Getting your kit with your name on it in GBR colours is one of the most precious things an athlete can own. You’ve earned that kit through hours and hour of training and that’s your reward.

**What is the favourite place you have competed at?**
Chantilly, France. Although the weather was absolutely horrible the backdrop was absolutely stunning, even in the stormy weather it looked amazing.

**Who is your sporting hero?**
Probably Jodie Stimpson, she’s been in the triathlon scene for a long time and is always pushing hard no matter what obstacles are thrown at her. I think that’s an important trait in an athlete. “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” kind of thing

**What is on your iPod?**
I have my pre-race playlist as sad as it may sound, including a bit of Eminem, Blonde and Disclosure

**What are you looking forward to most about NZ?**
Having the chance to completely focus on my training and development as an athlete.. and the scenery is a bonus!

**What will you miss most about home?**
The cold and rain.. (joking!) my friends, family and all the people from my club who have supported me throughout my time being a triathlete

**Finally, what does being supported by DRF mean to you?**
It’s fantastic, without this support I would have not been able to travel to New Zealand which is a key part of me improving as an athlete. As a Maldon girl and a Plume student I am really excited to be associated with everyone at DRF and am really motivated to make everyone proud.

 


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