Sidcotian updates her PE teacher on her recent adventures

21-year-old Sidcotian, Katie Synge, recently wrote to Rosie Bellinger, Head of Physical Education Faculty, to update her on her adventures outside of Sidcot. We liked her letter so thought we’d share it with you.

Dear Miss B!

Firstly - thank you for getting me into running, it’s a sport I definitely would not have thought of without your persuasion to give cross country a go, the PE lessons around Axbridge lake and your general investment in time to support my first steps into running. After I left Sidcot I went to Hartpury College in Gloucester to study a BTEC in sports performance and train with their Modern Pentathlon Academy. Two years at Hartpury saw pentathlon take off for me. Through talent ID camps I became a member of the World Class talent programme and along with it, received lottery funding - essentially a pathway programme to Rio 2016.

To maintain my lottery funding, the pentathlon governing body told me I had to study at Bath University where they are based. I did this and graduated in June 2013 with a 2:1 in Sport & Social Science. Before I started university I had made the decision to give up pentathlon due to stress fractures in my shins but during my first year I just ran again, representing Bath at BUCS indoor 3000m and BUCS cross country. And then I found triathlon....this is where it really begins!

After taking two British age group titles I moved up to the elite ranks almost immediately, representing GBR in the elite British Superseries. In 2013 I competed against British Olympians and international fields in races over the country. I was delighted to finish 10th in this elite series. At the British elite Olympic distance championships in Windsor I exited the water in 3rd and at the elite sprint British championships in Liverpool I posted one of the fastest run splits to finish 13th in a field where a professional Australian took first spot. These results while I was still at university led to where I am now, as a full time athlete training with the British performance squad at Loughborough University. I made the move a couple of months ago and am really enjoying the full time athlete lifestyle. It is hard work, I am training around 25 hours a week but it is great to train with some of the best girls and boys in the country.

2014 will see me compete on the British Superseries again, and also on the French Grand Prix circuit which consists of 4 races across France over the summer. I will also be competing in a few European Cups, which is a great step towards to the ultimate goal of competing as a British member on the World Cup circuit. I now have great support from some invaluable sponsors who help me with the costs of nutrition and kit and enable me to do this full time.

It has been a great journey so far and I’m just going where it takes me! Sidcot was by the far the school I enjoyed sport at the most, sport always remained an outlet and an escape. Thank you for being a great PE teacher, the path you showed me into running is certainly one I am very grateful for!

Best Wishes

Katie Synge, Sidcotian (Class of 2007)

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset