Ollie Turner, a 21-year-old elite triathlete from Jersey, has committed to joining Team RBC for the second year in a row. Turner is racing at the U23 elite level for Great Britain and Jersey, and represented Jersey at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Turner, who will be sharing updates on his training and the 2020 race season, talks about how he started out as an athlete and what he's looking forward to in his second year on Team RBC.
How has joining Team RBC changed the way you compete?
I’d say the biggest difference is that I can compete way more and I get to travel to competitions I wouldn’t have taken part in previously. It also has given me better access to professional level training facilities and resources to further improve at the sport. Without RBC’s support I wouldn’t have had the successes I had last year.
What do you consider your biggest successes in 2019?
I had an incredible time at the RBC SuperLeague Jersey and look forward to the event in 2020, where I hope to place in the top 15. I placed 3rd at both the British Elite Champs and the Island Games 2019. I also placed 5th at the British Elite Series and qualified for Team GB at the European Cup Level.
What inspired you to start competing in triathlons at the age of nine?
It’s an honour to be a part of the team. I got into the sport when my best friend Sam asked if I wanted to give it a go. We both went for a taster session and then it snowballed from there. We were both of similar ability, and everything was a competition as we grew up - and it still is now, even though we’re both 20.
Was there anything about growing up in Jersey that particularly helped with becoming a triathlete? How have you found the support from home?
The junior tri club in Jersey was, and is, a very well-run club, which was originally started by Andy Kemp and Dan Hawksworth. It was a tight-knit community with no more than 15 juniors in the club, which meant everyone knew everyone, making organisation that much easier. The club has now really taken off, with well over 100 junior athletes and the organisation remains second to none. The club provides a solid base for like-minded kids of all ages to give the sport a try and to progress with the correct guidance. This development stage of the sport was crucial and really helped me to find my feet before things took off properly.
You have raced across the British Isles, Europe and also at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. What races are you looking forward to this year, and what are your goals?
So far, I’m looking forward to SuperLeague, European Cup, British Super Series, French Grand Prix and the German Bundesliga. There may be more in the works but overall I’m very excited to be racing in some competitions I’ve never done before.
What keeps you inspired and motivated in your training?
My biggest motivation in training is the drive and want to achieve. I know where I want to be in four years’ time and by following the correct process I hope to achieve these goals. I like being told I can’t do something, and then working hard to prove them wrong.
You are studying for a sport and exercise science degree at Cardiff Metropolitan University. How do you find this environment and training at the collegiate level?
Coming from a little island to the mainland was originally a shock to the system, but like most things I've embraced every moment. Now I’m settled, I'm going from strength to strength in both my sporting and personal life. I love Jersey, but I think it’s crucial to get away and experience different ways of life as well. Naturally, it gives me key life skills like being independent and learning how to cater to my own needs. On the sporting front I've been welcomed nicely by the National Triathlon Performance Center of Wales (NTPCW), where training has become more specific and suited to my personal needs. I'm making personal bests in training on a weekly basis, so I'm super excited to put the new training programme to the test.
What do you enjoy doing in your down time, when you’re not training or studying?
I'm the most extreme version of an extrovert you can get. I love being in the company of other people so I enjoy socialising with friends. In the summer, when I’m back home in Jersey, I also love surfing, which is definitely the sport I would focus on if I wasn’t a triathlete.
This interview has been edited and condensed.