Meet the Team
Julie Van der Helstraete
Level 2 Coach
Julie is a "has been"...... been there and got the t-shirt and now aspires to train juniors to fulfil their potential and go and do what I did for many years and better me and my result (it's the only way to satisfy my competitive spirit!). I've only ever coached juniors, first in London then I started up a running club at Gurnard Primary School when we moved out to our beautiful island. I founded the tri club in February 2017 and have enjoyed watching it prosper and grow and over double in size. We have some very inspirational, talented and enthusiastic athletes at the club now, all of whom I will help to fulfil their goals and dreams whilst encouraging their love for sport along the way.
John is old and fat. What he is doing getting involved with a triathlon club is anyone’s guess. Thankfully, he does not actually have to compete. As treasurer, he just need to ensure that there is enough money to let the club carry on. He does this by (gently) nudging people to pay their subs. If this fails, he robs banks. He is the reason why all the banks in Cowes have now closed.
Level 2 BTF Coach
Simons involvement with the club began when his daughter became a member and after some time led to him undertaking his coaching badges. He has a keen interest in coaching, Currently midway through his Lvl 2 British triathlon coaching course, also holds UK athletics and training peaks coaching certifications.
He has has been a keen runner for last 20 years, moving into multi sport later in life. He is currently competing as an AG athlete in middle distance duathlon.
Level 1 Club Coach - Covid-19 Officer
Mark joined the club due to his son taking an interest in triathlons. It obviously runs in the family as Mark has been doing triathlons with his two brothers since 2002. Whilst triathlons had been around since the 80’s, it was still a very new sport in 2002 and not many events were available. In 2003 he did his first olympic distance on what was the Commonwealth Circuit in Manchester. He now had the bug even though he was not very good! It didn’t matter - it was about the variety of training and keeping fit (oh and trying to beat his brothers!). In 2008 he completed his one and only Ironman in Austria. Maybe one day he might do another - watch this space. This is his first coaching role but is keen to get actively involved with the club.
Ali is mum to one of our juniors and became Welfare Officer in 2018. She is actively involved in her children’s school as a governor and on the PTA and also helps out with the mini sailors programme at the local sailing club. She had a brief period of interest in triathlon before having a family, taking part in several sprint distance triathlons. It took nearly ten years before she committed to doing another one but was motivated to do so after watching all our fabulous juniors train and compete. Speed is not her strength but she is happy to simply finish a race in one piece and hopes this demonstrates to her own children, and the other club members, that it’s the taking part that counts!!!!
Level 1 BTF Triathlon Coach
STA Level 2 Swimming Teacher
Diploma in Coever Football Coaching
Darren Cole England Athletics Coach (currently undertaking Level 2 BTF coaching course)
Darren has been taking part in triathlon since 2011 and while starting as a fairly clueless back-of-packer, he caught the bug straight away and steadily improved over the years, now with multiple races under his belt up to middle distance. Learning more about the training aspect he wanted to get involved in the coaching side of things and has been leading run training sessions and coaching runners since 2015. He now looks forward to helping the Island’s incredible young athletes achieve what he wishes he could have done (had he not been more interested in video games!)
Phil has discovered triathlon after his two daughters joined the club. The main enjoyment I get is seeing my daughters’ gain skills and a love for the sport. The dedication of the club coaches in offering a varied range of weekly training sessions and the resulting enthusiasm of the athletes has spurred me on to get involved. I try to keep active going to a local circuit training session and regularly run and cycle. Sailing has been another passion which I am starting to return to now that the daughters are a bit older. Discovering such a friendly Triathlon club has motivated the whole family to get focused on fitness and I’m apprehensively looking forward to, dipping my toe in the sport by tackling a Duathlon in the next few months.