Parker invited to join GB talent programme

Alex Parker.
Alex Parker.

Alex Parker has joined the Pentathlon GB English Talent Programme, following an out-of-the-blue letter.

However, his place has been more-than earned after a fantastic year of achievements.

Alex Parker.

Alex Parker.

Alex was awarded the Skegness Swimming Club’s Sponsored Fellowship Award for 2017, and promptly set about using the funding to add to his sporting skill set.

In the past couple of years he’s enjoyed running as well as swimming and has previously taken part in junior triathlons and aquathlons.

Last year he trained extra hard to improve his running and took part in a few aquathlons and biathlons which combine both of the sports he loves.

In the summer, he took part in two local senior level aquathlons and swam in the final, and quickest, swim heats in both events.

He consequently won both the Skegness and Louth events.

In 2016, Alex entered the Yorkshire regional biathlon competition and finished fifth in his first ever age group event.

This success meant that he qualified for, and competed in, the National Schools’ Biathlon final at Crystal Palace in March 2017 – where he came 34th.

Following on from this, Alex, 15, competed in the 2017 East Midlands regional biathlon competition and was runner-up, qualifying for the national final in Solihull in November.

At this higher level event Alex showed just how much he had improved, finishing 17th overall and a very impressive seventh in the swim part of the competition.

At the start of 2018 Alex was looking forward to competing as a swimmer again and had qualified for 11 events at the Lincolnshire County Championships and the three breaststroke events at the East Midlands Regional Championships.

He thought that he might enter some more biathlons, but was completely shocked to receive an email from Pentathlon GB inviting him to join their talent programme.

He had earned his place on the programme as a result of his amazing times recorded at the biathlon national final.

Alex has since been accepted onto the Bronze level of the Pentathlon GB English Talent Programme and he is now visiting the Yorkshire Pentathlon Training Centre at Bishop Burton College monthly, as well as attending residential courses in school holidays.

He is enjoying learning the extra disciplines of laser pistol shooting and fencing and can’t wait to get stuck into some horse riding too.