Triathlon, despite being traced back to its early form in 1902, has only recently gathered the attention it deserves: the fantastic multi-discipline sport was only introduced to the Olympics in 2000, with Para-Triathlon joining the line-up in 2016.

One triathlete with her eyes on Olympic glory is 23 year old Sophie Coldwell, a GB triathlete who trains at Loughborough University having completed her studies last summer. Having finished an impressive sixth place in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this year, it is safe to say we will be seeing a lot more of Sophie in the future.

In the meantime we sat down with Sophie to find out a little bit more about her and her thoughts on the School Games coming to her second home.

How did you get into triathlon?

I was only eight years old and my mum saw a local children’s triathlon advertised, so she took me down and I loved it! I couldn’t swim 50m front crawl though… so I have had to work on my swim a bit! 

What is your favourite discipline and why?

Probably the run as it’s my favourite to train for - nothing beats a run down the canal with the dogs! 

What’s your favourite part about triathlon?

I have met so many people through triathlon and seen more of the world than I could have ever imagined, so I am very grateful for that!

Have you met any friends for life through competing?

Yes definitely, I now have friends all over the world through triathlon. A few come to stay with me in Loughborough and they can train with the squad we have here.

Is there a standout moment/performance that has inspired you?

For me it was watching Kelly Holmes do the double in Athens - that was really inspiring. 

How beneficial will it be for 2018’s competitors to experience the School Games?

It will be a great experience for the competitors to experience a multi-sport environment; there will be loads going on but it is definitely a good stepping stone for future sporting competitions.

I didn’t get to compete in the School Games but I feel experiencing a multi-sport event, where there are so many distractions and other sports going on, would have really helped me prepare for my senior career.

You have previously competed in mixed team relays – have you got any top tips for athletes competing in that event at the Games?

My advice would be to just race your own race and give it your all. As a team you should work together and support each other even if mistakes are made, as anything can happen in a super short relay format! 

Finally, do you get nervous before you race and how do you deal with nerves? 

Yes I can get very nervous before races… I just try to use the nerves as positive adrenaline for the race! 

With the UK’s best young triathletes descending on Loughborough this summer, this year’s School Games National Finals is not one to be missed! Swimming, running and cycling their way to victory over this three day event, we can’t wait to see who hits the

Don’t forget – early bird tickets are still available, here!