From education to employment

Training to become a pentathlete: Sports student at Bath College to master five different sports

Sarah Wilson is training to become a modern pentathlete

A first-year sports student at Bath College is working hard to realise her dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.

Sarah Wilson, who is studying sport and exercise science Level 3, started her sporting career as a runner and is training to become a pentathlete, which means mastering five different sports.

As well as her studies at the college, she is part of Team Bath, based at the University of Bath, the Bath Pentathlon Club and Bradford on Avon Swimming Club.

The 16-year-old recently competed in the European Championships in Portugal, winning the triathle and in her age group and coming third in the biathle (a sub-sport of the modern pentathlon).

She said: “Sport is mostly my life. If I didn’t do sport, I don’t know what I would do with my evenings because I train every day.

“I like studying sport at Bath College because it’s what I enjoy and it allows me to combine my education with my training schedule.

“I was home-schooled before, so moving into college was a big step, but I really like the people and the lecturers who have been very supportive.”

Sarah is training to become a modern pentathlete, which is a combination of fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping and the laser run.

For the laser run, athletes alternate between shooting and running, testing their ability to shoot accurately after an 800 metre dash.

Next year, Sarah will trial for the Youth Olympic Games and aim for times to compete in the World Championships and European Championships.

She is looking for sponsorship to help her travel to compete in events, after qualifying for an event in Africa which she was unable to attend.

Sarah, from Trowbridge, said: “I would really love to go to the Olympics as an athlete, that’s a dream of mine. I like the atmosphere before a race, the adrenaline rush at the start and the feeling you get from competing.

“Putting in the time to train for the different events is hard work. I’ve always been a runner but I wanted to try something different. Training as a pentathlete is definitely different and I’ve got more confident competing.

“When I started shooting, I was so nervous I missed most of the shots but I’ve got more relaxed. I love the idea of being able to do whatever you want, I like being able to choose from a different range of sporting events.”

Related Articles