Paratriathlon Category: PTS5
Hometown: Debden Green, Saffron, Walden, Essex
George is part of the UK Sport World Class Lottery Funded British Paratriathlon squad. He competes in the PTS5 category and is coached by Steve Casson at the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre. He represented ParalympicsGB at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
George suffered a traumatic injury to his left leg/ankle when he was two and a half years old. He had several reconstructive surgeries, and leg lengthening procedures at Sheffield
Children's Hospital. He has reduced range of movement, his left leg is longer than his right, and his left foot is three shoe sizes smaller than his right. He has zero inversion/eversion movement in his left ankle.
George truly understand the impact of mental health wellbeing, his volunteer work has led his support to members of Round Table & 41Club of Great Britain and Ireland in his local town and nationally.
George has a real passion to share his story and why working with The Links Foundation will be an important part of his journey, whilst helping others.
He first started triathlon in 2009 following his leg lengthening operation. Two years later in 2011 he was classified as a Paratriathlete at a British Triathlon Talent ID day. In 2013 he won his first major medal, a bronze at the ITU World Championships in London - at 17 years-old that made him the youngest paratriathlon medallist ever.
He went on to his first Paralympic Games as the youngest member of the paratriathlon team in Rio. He was first out of the water and led during the bike section. He was overtaken during the run, his weakest discipline due to his impairment, and finished seventh.
George is one of the fastest swim-bikers in the sport. He often leads out triathlons, but his leg impairment means that others in his classification have the opportunity to catch him... if they can.
George comes from a family of high-achieving triathletes. His brother Jack, who is five years older, has represented the Great Britain Age Group team at both triathlon and duathlon, and has guided visually impaired paratriatheltes in international events. His mum has completed ten consecutive London Marathons and his dad got into triathlon following a running injury. Both parents have completed Ironman triathlons.
Boxing coach Marcellus Baz BEM is an inspiration. In 2017 he was named Community Coach of the Year at the UK Coaching Awards for his work in Nottingham, organising free boxing sessions for young vulnerable people who are involved in gangs or are at risk of getting involved.
Dedicating a large proportion of his time to coaching every week, Marcellus works in some of the most deprived areas of Nottingham and says he became a coach to help young people transform their lives and reach their full potential.
“My own coach had such a positive impact on my personal and professional development – it was his support and enthusiasm which sparked my passion for sport and boxing in particular. I knew early-on that I wanted to become a coach and do the same for others”.
Rewinding back, Marcellus’ journey into coaching was a fraught one – he had dreamt of becoming a professional boxer but a horrific incident, where he was stabbed through the hand in an altercation, ended those dreams. He then found solace in coaching.
Through my own training, I knew how important the role of a coach is. I always kept my belief in the value of sport for building self-esteem, confidence, and the social skills needed for a successful life – becoming a coach was the ideal way to bring this to young people who were just like me and needed some support and direction.
“I got my first coaching opportunity at a community hall where I volunteered. I introduced activities using pads and gloves and the young people responded really well. I quickly realised it was helping to keep them out of trouble, giving them a focus and purpose, and creating a safe and positive environment for them to learn new skills.”
Through the medium of boxing he has helped, and is helping, the young people he interacts with on daily basis build confidence, self-esteem, discipline, respect, life and social skills. As he says, “my aim is to help them to become champions inside and outside of the ring.”
But his work is by no means limited to Nottingham and the UK.
In 2015, Marcellus was invited to Norway by the Norwegian government to advise them on addressing extremism, and demonstrated to officials in Denmark how to prevent young people from getting into crime. Then in 2017, he was invited to a world conference in Brazil by ‘Fight For Peace’ to share his experience of using boxing as a tool to tackle youth violence in the UK, and then was asked to speak at an international conference on youth violence and prevention in Los Angeles, where he also received a certificate of international recognition from the Mayor of LA Eric Garcetti.
As a result of all his work, Marcellus was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Unsung Hero Award and received a British Empire Medal from the Queen for his services to youth boxing and the community in Nottingham.
“I’ve learnt that combining sport with mentorship is incredibly powerful – the discipline of boxing alongside a positive role-model can have a huge impact on the life of a young person.”
“I also coach young people from difficult backgrounds with complex issues that often fall between the cracks of the system, meaning they usually end up going into a life of crime. I use sport to engage with these hard to reach youngsters, giving them the skills to have a fulfilling career and escape a criminal lifestyle.”
Marcellus talks candidly about the types of changes he’s seen in his participants because of his coaching – taking grassroots participants to become national boxing champions and eventually, enter the professional arena. But what types of changes has he seen in himself?
“I believe that coaching has empowered me to reach my full potential; much like the people that come to the gym, it’s given me confidence, helped me to become resilient, and supported the development of leadership skills such as public speaking.
“My aim is to make coaching accessible to anyone who may not otherwise have the opportunity to feel the benefit of sport and fitness; those that have experienced difficulties early on in life or continue to face barriers that prevent them from fulfilling their potential.”
It goes without saying that Marcellus advocates coaching; he sees it as a positive solution to global problems.
“I’m currently focusing on my base in Nottingham but I get asked for consultancy advice from cities across the world. Young people falling into a life of crime is a global problem and I truly believe that sport and coaching offers a positive solution.”
“I tell people that coaching is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things to do in life. I would highly recommend it to anyone.”
Josh was born in Nottingham and made his debut against Stirling in the B&I Cup in December 2013, and has since been primarily involved in Cup games.
The back row player was hampered with a shoulder injury during the 2015/16 campaign, however he still managed to make a positive impact in the British and Irish Cup, featuring against Cardiff Blues, Cornish Pirates and London Welsh.
Poullet arrived at Nottingham in time for the 2014/15 season, combining his playing with studying for a sports science degree at NTU, where he is also captain of the 1st XV.
Whilst at Nottingham Trent University, Josh was offered a Sport Scholarship and handed the captaincy of the 1st XV. During his time at Uni, he was also selected for England Students.
In 2016 following the completion of his masters, Josh signed a two-year contract with Nottingham. The 2017/18 season saw him play every match for the club and he was handed the captaincy on three occasions.