Women’s Sport Week
We are celebrating Women’s Sport Week 19-25 June and we are delighted that you have decided to stop by and read our inspirational stories! If you feel like you are ready to start your triathlon journey with us, make your pledge of activity for this week right now by clicking here! Thanks to British Triathlon’s partners, there are a host of prizes up for grabs too, to help you along your triathlon journey.
What is Women’s Sport Week?
Women’s Sport Week is a fantastic campaign that encourages more women to try out a new sport or physical activity and celebrates the amazing achievements of our female athletes, coaches and volunteers.
We want more women and girls to get involved in sport and enjoy the huge benefits that being active brings to their lives. It is hoped that the campaign will generate debate and encourage people to show their support, in order to help more women and girls reach their full potential through sport.
Women’s Sport Week – Sunday
Barbara-Ann Hogarth – Triathlete / Triathlon Helper
Barbara-Ann’s life changed forever one day five years ago as she suffered a stroke, consigning her to a hospital bed for four months. Major surgery to correct a hole in the heart was a success but further tests later revealed that Barbara-Ann was suffering from liver and bowel cancer. More surgery and chemotherapy followed, but unfortunately the liver cancer returned. Barbara-Ann has however showed incredible resilience during this time and has embarked upon an incredible road to recovery.
She said: “Before my stroke I liked to run to keep fit and so I decided that I wasn’t going to be in a wheelchair for very long and during my recovery I used to get up and take the wheelchair for a walk! I was also eventually using a bike and treadmill during my rehabilitation to build my mobility and strength, supported by my NHS physio, and my husband Stephen.
Fast forward about two years, and Stephen was still taking part in triathlon and it was around about the same time that Grangemouth Triathlon Club had started up. I contacted them to see if I could come along and luckily they were so welcoming and patient.”
“All triathlons are a challenge, as I am not sure how well my body will be co-operating on race day. But my favourite was doing the Lochore Triathlon Festival last year, completing the standard distance race. I was so proud that I could do the distance, and managed to blag alongside my race t-shirt a kids medal for my efforts!”
Read the full interview with Barbara-Ann here.
Women’s Sport Week – Saturday
Penny Rother – Club Coach / Triathlete
Triathlon coach Penny Rother is a passionate advocate of coaching and a champion of women’s sport and fitness. Her own story serves as a glowing example to working mothers everywhere that there is an exciting life to be lived beyond the full-time roles of managing your career and ensuring the smooth running of your family unit.
Penny is coaching’s most ardent supporter, enthusing: ‘I absolutely love being coached.’ ‘I wanted however also to help busy mums like me to make exercise part of their life and help them fit it around their children.’
A lot of people think that if they are not good athletes themselves, they can’t coach, which is absolute rubbish,’ she says. ‘Taking a Level 1 or 2 course is not that onerous. Certainly, Level 1 is an achievable standard for most people.
Women’s Sport Week – Friday
Joanne Byrne – Event Organiser / Triathlete / Triathlon Mum
Triathlon mum Joanne is mostly known for supporting her children Calum and Amy to enjoy triathlon as part of Fusion Triathlon club and volunteering as the race organiser of the popular Balfron youth aquathlon event.
She recently however took the plunge this year and entered her first triathlon – East Fife Novice Triathlon in Cupar – finishing 18th overall, 6th female and 3rd place female veteran.
“I was inspired to get involved by my kids – they kept asking when I was going to give it a try so I thought I had better! Sport means a lot to our family and on a personal level I am a lot fitter with the kids respecting me more because I am giving it a go”.
Joanne is looking forward to entering East Fife again, next year, where Calum will be old enough to take part in the same race as his mum! She however is not scared!
If you want to be like Joanne, check out our handy tips about getting involved in your first triathlon and let us know your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Women’s Sport Week – Thursday
Bex Milnes – High Performance Coach
Bex Milnes joined triathlon Scotland through the sportscotland Apprentice Coach programme. After completing two years on the programme and graduating in 2015 Bex remained with Triathlon Scotland as Performance Coach, before being promoted to Lead Performance Centre Coach in 2017.
“Sport plays a massive part of my life, it’s an integral part of my day to day life whether that’s through physical exercise or work. Through sport I have met so many different people and experienced so many different cultures. It has provided me with an identity that gives purpose and meaning to who I am as a person.”
Bex is encouraging women to get involved in our upcoming coach education courses. Level one courses are three days over two weekends and take place across the country. Funding is also available to help with costs.
Full details are available to view on our course finder or you can contact Suzie Benson, Coach Education Manager on 01786 466928.
Women’s Sport Week – Wednesday
Andrea Gellan – Triathlete
Dedicated open water swimmer Andrea has competed in the annual Forth swim since 2000, swum the English Channel and from Orkney to the Scottish mainland but says triathlon has given her renewed enthusiasm for sport.
Since completing her first Triathlon in 2013 (Lochore Bruce Triathlon) Andrea has worked hard to improve her bike skills and this year won her age group (60-64) at the Outlaw Triathlon across middle distance. Andrea is in training for Ironman Bolton, which will take place on July 16 and a win would qualify her for the World Championships in Hawaii.
She said: “Every time I see improvements, it makes it worthwhile. I feel reinvigorated and have a new lease of life, and I’m so chuffed.”
Read the full interview with Andrea here.
Women’s Sport Week – Tuesday
Gillian Kennedy – Club secretary / Triathlete / Technical Official.
Gillian, a retired A & E doctor says she could hardly walk up the stairs five years ago but is now taking the triathlon world by storm in a variety of roles including competitor, committee member and technical official. She believes that triathlon might be considered as an individual sport most of the time, but in all her roles she feels part of a team and she loves that about the sport.
“Getting involved in sport is the best thing I have ever done,” says Gillian. “It has changed my attitude to life, and one of the best things is the people I have met. I’m not sure why it is, but some of the friendliest and most supportive people I have ever met are involved in sports,” Read more about Gillian’s inspirational sporting journey here.
To find out more about the Technical Official pathway, click here.
Sport Week – Monday
Shona Girdwood – Triathlete / Event Organiser / Coach
Commonwealth Games batonbearer Shona is instrumental in the delivery of the Carluke and Clydesdale Triathlon Festivals for school children, Triathlon Scotland’s Disability Come and Triathlon event, and also the ‘Spring into Duathlon’ race (2015 Event of the Year). She does all of this alongside training for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee!
She said: “Sport is and has always been a massive part of my life, competing Internationally in both swimming and triathlon from the age of 8 and training twice per day. Being honest I don’t know anything else and wouldn’t want to either. Being an athlete has given me the drive to work hard in both my sport and my job [as a athletics and triathlon sports development officer]. I love the fact I am able to share my experiences and give as many children the same opportunities I have had.”
To find out more about Shona’s work in South Lanarkshire and her race accomplishments this year ,where she won her age group in Ironman 70.3 Barcelona and has qualified for the 70.3 World Championships, click here.
Visit us again to discover more inspirational women in Scottish sport, each day this week!
- How to engage women in volunteering
- Supporting women in coaching
- Scottish Women in Sport
- Women in Sport