SportsAid's Athlete of the Month - Alex Yee, 18, from Brockley

Triathlete Alex Yee has just returned from representing Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon. Alex, who has received SportsAid awards from the Dave Aitchison fund since 2013, produced an impressive showing in Portugal having won the 3000m race at the Loughborough International meet the weekend before.
31 May, 2016

Triathlete Alex Yee has just returned from representing Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon. Alex, who has received SportsAid awards from the Dave Aitchison fund since 2013, produced an impressive showing in Portugal having won the 3000m race at the Loughborough International meet the weekend before. Alex talks to us about recent successes and striking the right balance between training, competing and studying.

Alex on becoming world junior lead following his stunning victory at the Loughborough International....

"I went in with a very positive mindset and to be selected to race for Great Britain Juniors team was a huge honour. I knew there would be stiff competition but I was excited to race against some of the best in the nation over the distance. When I first saw it [becoming world junior lead] I was amazed. It showed to me personally that the hard work was paying off.

"However, of course it's still very early in the season, so I'm sure it's likely many more competitive athletes will compete over the distance. I believe things like world lead are bonuses - the primary focuses are the championship races. You can run fast, however, the people that win races are the ones that can deliver under pressure when it really matters."

On nearly breaking the 8-minute mark for 3000m....

"My primary focus this year will be the 5000m on the track. Towards the end of the season I would love to have a go at cracking the 8-minute barrier."  

On combining life as a triathlete, cross country runner and middle-distance track athlete....

"Combining training has been very smooth as a lot of what I do in terms of swim and bike provide a perfect cross training alternative to just churning out mile after mile which causes a lot of stress to bones. Triathlon training has given me a great aerobic engine which I have been able to capitalise on over cross country and endurance events on the track.

"There have been a few clashes between triathlon and track competitions but I sat down with my coach and planned early on in the year my primary focuses of this season. This has allowed me to fit in all the appropriate competitions and give me the best possible chance to be delivered to the start line fit, healthy and ready to race."

On competing at the European Triathlon Championships....

"I have just returned from my first European Triathlon Championships where I came 5th in the individual junior race and anchored Great Britain to win the 4x mixed relay which i'm very pleased with! The season has begun very positively with many more race prospects coming up. Running is my strongest discipline of the three. My figure means I'm more naturally suited to running rather than that of a powerful swimmer or biker."  

On the difference made by the Dave Aitchison through SportsAid....

"The Dave Aitchison Fund has opened the doors to countless opportunities which without it I wouldn't be standing in the position I am today. The support of the Dave Aitchison Fund has helped fund training camps, travel and entry fees. I am extremely grateful to the Trust for supporting my journey and I hope it continues for many years to come."

On the support of his family and balancing a full-time education with sport....

"My family and support network mean everything to me. I do the training and competing but there are 100's of other elements and processes that go on behind the scenes whether it's planning out races or even getting driven to a training session. I am extremely lucky to have such an enthusiastic and supportive family and coaches which have allowed me to capitalise on the training and go into competitions full of confidence.

"I am still in full-time education and balancing out my education and sport is a massive thing and always difficult for athletes my age. Last year I struggled with this. However, this year I have managed all my competitions around my exams which has put me in much better stead. I'm going into my competitions and exams much more confident."  

On what he wants to achieve in the short-term....

"My short-term goals are to qualify and perform to the best of my ability at the Duathlon World Championships 2016, Triathlon World Championships 2016 and IAAF World Junior Championships (5000m) 2016."

On the long-term....

"To stand at the top step for my nation at the Olympic Games!"