GTC athlete of the month: Cheryl Bradshaw

Cheryl and GTC coach Rose.

Cheryl Bradshaw, 34, has been with Glasgow Triathlon Club for two years. She is one of the club’s para athletes and has a sight impairment.

She is able to train and participate in events thanks to the support of various guides, many of whom are club members. Cheryl says: “I have no sight in my right eye and only some sight in my left eye and so I rely on a guide for training and racing.

“I use a tether for swimming and running, which means there is a connector between me and my guide so that I remain in the right direction, and for cycling I use a tandem with a guide at the front.”

Cheryl skiing in 2016.

Cheryl reveals that fitness has long been a part of her life and before triathlon she went to the gym and played tenpin bowling. She also skis. Cheryl says: “With skiing, I have a guide who accompanies me. We both wear headsets so we can communicate while going down the mountain. It’s a great thrill.”

When Cheryl heard about triathlon through a friend, she decided it sounded like a good challenge. She says:  “I like to push myself into new activities. I really enjoy triathlon because it’s a fun and friendly sport. I also get the same buzz as I do when I go skiing.”

Cheryl with another club member Fiona Roberts at the Great Scottish Run.

Of the three triathlon sports, Cheryl reckons her greatest improvements since joining GTC have been in running.

She says: “I did my first half marathon last year. I would never have thought I could do that a couple of years ago.”

Cheryl has completed several super sprint distance triathlons and last year took part in her first open water triathlon. She says: “I really enjoyed the open water event. Another good achievement for me was doing the Pedal for Scotland cycling event.”

Cheryl’s aims for this coming season are “to continue to improve on my cycling and swimming and to move up to a sprint distance triathlon”. She adds: “In the future, I would like to do a middle distance triathlon and a marathon.” 

She states that “determination and knowing at the end there is cake” are what get her through a tough training session or a race. 

Cheryl’s tips for triathlon beginners: 

Have fun and start with a realistic goal.