Fresh from winning big at this year’s Island Games, Jersey’s rising triathlon star Ollie Turner is keen to put his home on the sporting map.
A self-professed “Jerseyman through and through”, the triathlete has been competing in the ‘triple-threat’ sport since he was just nine years old.
Now studying sport and exercise science at university, Ollie took some time out from training for Super League Triathlon qualifiers and the to tell Express what he would change about the sports provision in Jersey…
It is hard for athletes to achieve their best without appropriate funding; the costs required for travelling and equipment can be incredibly high. Having sponsorship has taken away some of those pressures, helping me to concentrate on training.
Pictured: Ollie thinks that the Government should do more to sponsor local athletes.
The Government of Jersey do provide a lot of support for athletes, but you only have to look at examples such as the funding the British Cycling received from the National Lottery to see the incredible results that come from that extra investment.
I would love to see an Olympic-sized pool built in Jersey. Fort Regent pool was closed in 2003 and whilst it is now about to be torn down - there are no announced plans for a replacement facility. Jersey has beautiful beaches and much of my training incorporates sea swims.
Pictured: The Fort Regent pool is currently being demolished.
However, during the winter months, this type of training is not for the faint-hearted! It would be great to have a 50 metre pool to use when conditions outside are difficult, and also to give our young swimmers and divers the opportunity to train effectively for world-class competitions.
Whilst there are a lot of great opportunities for youngsters on the island - there is room for more free or subsidised sports programs to make sure that no-one feels excluded. Anyone can get out and go for a run, or a swim at the beach for free, but some people just don’t enjoy exercising on their own.
Pictured: "There is room for more free or subsidised sports programs to make sure that no-one feels excluded."
Having activities available that are very low-cost or free of charge, that allow people to socialise at the same time as keeping fit, has got to be a good thing.
Sporting events not only boost tourism but provide a great opportunity to entertain the population and inspire everyone to either take part themselves or at least increase their levels of activity.
I am proud of Jersey and sports events not only put Jersey on the map but also give us a chance to share our beautiful island with visiting athletes and sports fans.
Seeing athletes in person is a really fantastic way to get people excited in sport.
Pictured: Ollie wants to see more elite sportspeople visiting schools to get more kids active.
When I’ve done school visits, you could see how much the kids were enjoying it. You can watch people playing sport on TV, but I think the greatest inspiration comes when you meet someone face to face; ask questions, get advice and find out how that person got to where they are. I think people are much more likely to follow a sport when they have had the chance to meet the athlete.
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