Athletics

RAF Triathlon Guide Aiming For Paralympics

Senior Aircraftman Luke Pollard is the guide for Britain's number one visually-impaired triathlete Dave Ellis.

A Royal Air Force athlete is aiming to take part in the upcoming Paralympic Games.

Senior Aircraftman Luke Pollard is the triathlon guide to leading British para-athlete Dave Ellis.

That partnership could see SAC Pollard feature at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo later this year after the original 2020 event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: "It's still our goal to be selected and get on that start line.

"It's a tough blow but then we've been really lucky to be able to continue the dream of getting there, train for it and hopefully race it."

SAC Pollard described being a guide as "completely different" to "how you would race individually". 

"Working with Dave – obviously being different, there's a lot more challenges," he said.

"It's quite rewarding though and I think there's lots to be learned and lots of good experiences to be had.

"We've got quite similar characteristics and views and stuff like that, so I think it works really well and the whole team ethos here –  we all gel together and it works really well."

Senior Aircraftman Luke Pollard is one of the RAF's top triathletes.

Speaking about his partnership with Ellis, SAC Pollard said: "The challenging thing is to get Dave, to get the most out of him.

"He's such a good athlete in his own right and to be able to fully develop him as an athlete, help him get to the line and making sure he's worked hard – I'm going to have to work hard myself!

"Dave is a Paralympian from 2008 as a swimmer, so swimming is definitely his forte and strong suit.

"Overall, he's a quality runner himself. He's still a strong lad so he can get about on the bike quite well.

"I'm pulling from his strengths and he's pulling from my strengths to get an all-round great fitness and great results hopefully."

SAC Pollard may be part of a team now but he's still got eyes on his individual triathlon career.

"Ever since I started work with Dave, I've really jumped up on my performance levels," he said.

"It does show results and hopefully, that can continue if I keep working with Dave.

"I'd like to make a World Championships for middle distance or half iron-man distance, hopefully, one day."