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Squad Athlete: Mel Knight

I started running in 2010 when my employer sponsored a half and full marathon race and looked for volunteer runners…..

…..I might have signed up just so I could get a free trip to the USA in return for a few miles of pain! I kept up running and was enjoying it, but I can’t say I was pushing myself. I did a few sprint triathlons as part of a relay team, doing either the bike or run, and it was inevitable that I would want to give it a go all by myself. The problem was my fear of water. My first Sprint was a laborious and frightening 20 minutes in the pool (yes, it took me that long to “swim” 400m!), followed by a gentle ride on my shopping bike, before I got to the run and was in familiar territory. I came last, but it didn’t bother me the slightest! 

In 2015 I told myself I would conquer my fear of water. I didn’t. In 2016 I renewed my vow and as I heard of Do3 from a couple of friends, I took the plunge and turned up poolside on 1st September 2016 for my first session. I was super nervous, I couldn’t swim a single length of front crawl and I wouldn’t put my head under water. I felt really inadequate.

What you should expect when you pay for swimming lessons is to see your water confidence and swim times improve. And both did dramatically so after I joined the Do3 Squad.

But I certainly did not expect much else. I just wanted to learn to swim. I had never been to a club, a gym, or anything like this before. It was an eye-opener. The Do3 Squad is made of an incredible bunch of people, from recreational swimmers/triathletes to elite athletes who made me feel welcome and supported right from the start. Within 6 weeks of Do3 swimming sessions I signed up for an Ironman. That moment was the catalyst which unleashed a competitive instinct I did not know I had. The Squad provided the perfect environment for me to enjoy the training and thrive to improve. Not only I became an Ironman but in the process I qualified to represent my country at the Middle Distance European Championships that same year. I had not even known these things existed. I still can’t quite believe it happened!

This year I will have the huge honour of competing for France again. I have been following the Do3 Commit programme, which is a training plan designed by Dave, and it has brought some much-needed discipline and quality into my training. In fact, I earned my first podium last weekend, something I certainly did not expect when I got up that morning. So Do3 Coaching must be doing something right.

Through Do3 coaching I have not only learned to swim, but I have discovered a passion, and met incredible people in the squad, who are now my friends. The support and encouragement, whether you’re a novice like me or a pro, is amazing. I love being part of this, pushing myself in an often painful but usually fun way.

Come and join us!

Do3 Athlete Profiles

We have a wide range of abilities within Do3 Squad, ranging from Pro's to newbies. Our athletes have a wide range of reasons for taking part in the sports we love and being involved in the squad. Some want to be super-competitive and win races and some simply want to stay fit and train alongside their squad-mates. If you are still unsure about whether you will fit in, take a look at some of our athlete profiles below. They are in no particular order, some are individually coached athletes and some are members of the wider squad. 

Coached Athlete: Jake Louis: view details

​I started triathlon when I was eleven. I did my first race as a bit of fun thinking I’ll never win with a mountain bike, however after leading out the swim and somehow hanging on I managed to win and immediately agreed that a road bike was necessary. Since then I have been looking forward to April to start the season of racing every year.

Coached Athlete: Marc Bozdogan: view details

Just a normal guy ….

If you had said to me 2 – 3 years ago, and a 2 stone heavier golfer … what I would be doing in a few years’ time, I would not have thought it would being a coached athlete training hard for my first up and coming Ironman.

Coached Athlete: Lucy Mapp: view details

I’ve always been sporty and have a background predominantly in athletics. Turning my hand (and legs) to everything that was going in track & field at one point or another: high jump to hurdles to heptathlon to pole vault and then to middle distance… you name it, I’ve done it (and yes that includes the hammer!)

Squad Athlete: Stuart Pryor: view details

I have been a keen mountain biker since a teenager and still consider this my passion. Even though I now spend as much time running and swimming as I do on my bike, I still don’t consider myself a “triathlete”, more a cyclist who dips in and out of triathlon so that there is always a challenge on the horizon.

Squad Athlete: Sara Northover: view details

I started Triathlon in 1992 as moved to a new area in Wiltshire and joined the local running club to get to know people. A good looking young man at the club suggested I go and swim with them all, not wanting to pass up on the opportunity to see him in trunks I went along! I started to race not long after that and went to the Worlds in Cancun in 1995 and Lausanne in 1996. In those days it was just as much partying as it was racing so didn’t do that well but loved the sport. I raced for Total Fitness Swindon for many years and travelled with them a lot to Club La Santa, Jersey and Guernsey competing in the triathlons out there, again just as much partying! In 1999 I became National Half Ironman Champion and went on to do a full Ironman in Austria not long after.

Coached Athlete: Jemima Cooper: view details

From rocking my sparkly tutu dancing around my sitting room, to making plans to head to New York as a professional, my dream of becoming a ballerina was the fuel that fired 16 intensive years of classical ballet training.  But, on turning professional aged 19 contemplating a life of 50 hours a week in front of a studio mirror, I realised that it was time for a new adventure. 

Squad Athlete: Neil Wicks: view details

My first ever real endurance event was the Stratford marathon in 2003. I was going to do the half-marathon but realised for an extra £2 I got double the distance. Bargain. However, finishing in a time of 4:00:50 annoyed me so I had to do more. This is how my triathlon journey started.

Coached Athlete: Anita Howe: view details

I have always been interested in sport from an early age which has continued on throughout my life. In 2013 I decided to have a go at Triathlons whilst I was still fit enough after playing hockey for many years, and I have never looked back.

Squad Athlete: John Wrottesley: view details

I was a club swimmer as a teenager, but stopped at about 16, and then rode horses competitively (Eventing) as my only sporting activity. 

15 years later I wanted to start swimming again to keep fit and lose a little extra weight that was creeping on year by year (I didn’t want to get too heavy for my horse) and by coincidence discovered Do3 Swim Squads were about to start locally so decided to give it a go.

Coached Athlete: Corinne Moss: view details

Completing a triathlon was one of the challenges I was set by my husband for the year I turned 40.  I’d always enjoyed the individual disciplines, but never had the confidence to put them all together.  My first event was the Avenger Middle Distance at Ragley Hall. I’d never run a half marathon before, let alone combined it with the 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike, so my goal was just to finish.  I ran the last mile with the biggest smile on my face, knowing I was going to make it, and that was it, I was hooked!  I finished 2nd in my category and 6th woman overall and was high as a kite for days! 

Squad Athlete: Lisa Parry: view details

I was a competitive swimmer as a teenager, but had rarely swum as an adult and had taken up running (slowly!) in my mid-20s. I always ran alone and entered my first sprint triathlon in 2014 for fun and without knowing any of the other competitors. In early 2016 I heard about a swim squad starting in Stratford and was pushed into joining to accompany a friend – I initially didn’t want to join as I thought it might be full of intimidating, experienced triathletes, who would look down their noses at me! How wrong I was.

Squad Athlete: Mel Knight: view details

I started running in 2010 when my employer sponsored a half and full marathon race and looked for volunteer runners…..

Squad Athlete: James Hartwright: view details

I’ve been doing triathlons for ages - ever since winning a saddle for coming 5th in an Ironkids event in 1988!  I’ve grown up with triathlon from the early days of garish swimming trunks and baggy vests through to super-aero sleeved trisuits and various fashion crimes in between!

Squad athletes: Sally Abell and Katriona Collins: view details

As two of the older women in the squad - they are 58 and 59 - Sally and Katriona have always been active, cycling regularly, running occasionally, walking miles and playing other sports (golf and tennis).

Coached Athlete: Paul Nash: view details

At the age of 50, I wanted to do an event to raise money for Cancer Charity, so I entered a “Super Sprint Triathlon” on the South Coast. It was a Sea swim, and too be honest I stood on the beach start line, 17st and nervous, wondering what I had entered. Well I struggled to swim 200m in the sea,  pedalled like mad on a “Mountain Bike” and got nowhere fast, and jogged and hobbled on a 2.5km run. It was not the fastest time, but I sat on the beach afterwards feeling totally elated and completely hooked, on the sport of Triathlon.

Coached Athlete: Andrew White: view details

My relationship with sport had always been a tick box mentality until I joined Do3. This way of thinking had led to me to doing many bucket list sporting challenges; swimming Alcatraz, swimming from Asia to Europe and Europe to Asia, running the full moon marathon in Norway under the northern lights and most recently completing Marathon Des Sables. 

Coached Athlete: Mike Willers: view details

I stopped playing rugby in 2012 when I hit 40 and things started hurting too much! I was a bit lost without any sport in my life until my brother raced a 70.3 event at Port Macquarie in Australia in 2015

Squad Athlete: Paul Squire: view details

Unlike the more serious athletes in the squad, I don’t have huge aspirations in the sport, but enjoy training with a great bunch of enthusiastic people. I’m keen to improve my fitness and hopefully keep chipping away my swimming CSS pace. 

Squad Athlete: Mike Davis: view details

I am somewhat of a novice in the world of Triathlon, less than 12 months ago I decided to do an Ironman after watching one on holiday in Lanzarote in May 2017. I was almost 15 stone and unfit and decided on a challenge to do the same race in 2018.

Squad Athlete: Guy Bicknell: view details

I’ve been training and competing in Triathlon since 2010 when I took up a new challenge with the Rugby Sprint Tri after feeling I’d achieved all I could in running and losing motivation.