We wanted you to be able to get to know the team and hear about what physical activity and sport means to us all individually. We caught up with Ian to see what physical activity and sport means to him and how it has helped him overcome a huge obstacle this year…

I have always enjoyed sport and found any opportunity to participate in it at school, especially if it got me out of ‘proper lessons’! But while travelling in Australia, I saw a Triathlon event that sparked my interest.

I love the challenge of a Triathlon and the variety of training for three very different disciplines. I ‘dabbled’ in some short distance events and found that running was my strongest. I then started to take things a bit more seriously when I discovered the wonderful concept of parkrun in 2012!

I truly believe that parkrun is responsible for creating a new running boom and highlighted how running wasn’t just for super athletes, it could be for everyone. It’s not just the smug feeling of running, walking or jogging a 5k when most other people are in bed, it’s the social aspect; the joy of meeting up with friends, chatting and enjoying a cuppa in some amazing settings – it’s fantastic for everyone’s physical and mental wellbeing.

I found I enjoyed running so much, that I joined a local running club where I really enjoy the camaraderie of being part of a team. As a result, I’ve participated in numerous events and challenges, travelling to locations I’d never have otherwise visited. My proudest achievement is completing the Barcelona Ironman Triathlon in 2018, a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a 26.22-mile run.

In April this year, I had to have a spinal operation where the surgeon told me it could take up to a year before I’d be able to run again, and for someone who has always been active, that was a scary prospect! 3 days post-op I began gentle walking around my garden, building up each day until I was walking up to 6 miles per day. After a review with the surgeon, at 9 weeks I was given the ok to start some cycling. The operation and subsequent rehabilitation is probably one of the biggest challenges I have faced; but by building up I was able to resume my regular training within 6 months of my operation.

For me, being active and fit means having the ability to take on a personal goal, enjoying the natural ‘high’ I get from exercising and appreciating the social aspect of friendly support and competition.