RAF Triathlon Guide Aiming For Paralympics

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.
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."

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