SPORTSWOMAN Nicola Turvey will be setting her sights on gold at next month’s World Triathlon Championships in Canada, writes Hannah Stanton-Warren.

The 54-year-old, who is also a member of Croft Ambrey Running Club, has won seven of her eight triathlons since taking up the gruelling sport in 2012.

Nicola will be representing Great Britain and will be supported by coach Mark Warren in her attempt for a top spot in Edmonton.

She has also qualified for the World Triathlon Championships in Guinevere, Switzerland, in 2015.

Nicola has always been interested in sport but believes her decision to employ a coach has allowed her to turn a hobby into a passion.

“Mark’s training is geared to make significant improvements in my performance,” she said.

“My training before was in a mush. I just used to go out and go as fast as I could, where-as it is very organised and well-planned.

“I can understand what Mark has been trying to do to improve my performance and, of course, the results speak for themselves.’

Nicola is a dedicated athlete and has been training before and after work for months.

‘At times it’s been incredibly hard, especially getting up at 5am in the winter to train,” she said.

Nicola passion for sport comes from her late father Bill Thomas, who played professional rugby for England twice and remains an inspiration to his daughter.

‘I’m doing this for myself and family – my dad would be proud.’

Nicola has always been involved in sport.

She competed at the Horse of the Year Show in Mountain and Moorland working hunter classes on her mother's Connemara Oaklands Mickey Finn. She has show-jumped against the likes of the Whittaker brothers.

After leaving university, Nicola joined the army and then started running.

She was a female army officer surrounded by male colleagues and says she had to ‘get super fit to compete’.

She then started competing in cross-country events and, after leaving the army, she continued to run and raced until she had children.

Nicola is a star on the local cross country scene and was the South Shropshire fell champion for the over fifties summer league in 2010/11.

For more details about coach Mark Warren, go to: