Duke of York's Royal Military School

Oundle's Sport Scientists Interview World Class Athletes

Published on isbi School News dated Friday 31st of January 2014

GCSE and A Level Sport Science groups from Oundle School have had the opportunity to interview two world championship level triathlon athletes, Non Stanford (2013 champion) and Jodie Stimpson (2013 runner-up) by email.

Sports Science teacher, Ros Goatly commented, 'Questions ranged from issues such as nutrition, training schedules, training with the Brownlee brothers, favourite competition venues, qualities of a good coach, psychological preparation and dealing with setbacks. The responses gave the pupils insight into the lifestyle and commitment level of elite triathletes currently at the top of their sport. Being able to use an on-line facility to pose questions maximised time and allowed for more questions and for all the pupils to engage in the forum interview process.'

Pupils found it inspiring that neither of these two athletes had let career setbacks curtail their ambitions. Jodie overcame the disappointment of being overlooked for selection in the 2012 Olympics, while Non fractured her arm in a high speed bike crash at the ITU World Triathlon Series in Hamburg. Amazingly she recovered in time to join the London grand final three weeks later, where after a technical infringement with a 15 second penalty, she ran off the front of the pack to win the race and become World Champion. This year's series final was particularly close, with the overall result dependent on the outcome at London.

Non was nominated for the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, and came third in the vote.

Both have qualified for the Commonwealth Games in the summer, for which Non has also achieved a qualifying time for the track 10,000m. They will both be aiming for qualification and medals at Rio 2016.
Head of School and Upper Sixth former, Oli Lamprell (18) commented, 'I found the experience very useful. I honestly didn't expect such highly trained athletes as Jodie and Non would have time to answer so many questions. An insight into the life of a World Champion was enlightening.

I won a signed shirt and bag because according to the triathletes, I asked the best question. I don't know how that happened!'

Ros concluded, 'Many thanks to both athletes for giving up their time to answer the questions and to Steve Lumbley (their coach at Birmingham University) for the contacts. We wish them all the best for the 2014 season!'

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