A Hartlepool triathlete who was hailed as a role model for his inspiring fitness challenges, has praised people in the town for their own incredible achievements.
It has been a busy year for athlete Matt Turnbull, who has ploughed his energy into encouraging people to get involved in the sport he loves.
The 40-year-old from Seaton, has taken a step back from competing in order to mentor people of all ages in their own trialthlon training.
Matt, who picked up the Role Model of the Year Award at the Best of Hartlepool Awards last year, has seen the a huge increase in the numbers of people taking part in the sport through the town’s tri club, the Tri-Life Triathlon team.
He is now looking forward to seeing inspirational people from the community receive the same recognition for their achievements at this year’s awards.
Matt said: “The awards were absolutely amazing. “I was so humbled to be part of it in the first place and to go on to win was absolutely amazing.
“I was blown away to be selected as a role model.
“It was the best award that I could have achieved as it was everything that I set out to do in the sport and the community.
“All I have ever wanted is to be able to inspire other people.”
Matt picked up the award for his incredible feat of completing Iron Man events for seven days on the trot to raise money for charity Tiny Lives.
Matt battled injury and fatigue to do a total of 784 miles of cycling, 16.8 miles of swimming and 183.4 miles of running.
Since then he has relaxed his intense training schedule to allow his body to recover and has ploughed his time into mentoring people with their own training.
He continued: “Off the back of the Best of Hartlepool Awards people have gravitated towards the triathlon community and seen me as a leader, so I have been helping people with their own challenges and that has been really fantastic.
“Our club has grown over the last eight months and people have been really interested in coming along.” Although Matt has said he has been taking it earlier the last few months, in just a matter of weeks he will be competing at GB level at the European Duathlon Championships in Ibiza.
And he’s not stopping there, a he has set his sights on another Iron Man next year.
He said: “I was humbled that I was nominated for the Best of Hartlepool Award as I didn’t think that it was that unique.
“There a people out there doing inspirational things day in day out in the community. “I am excited to see who is put forward for this year’s awards.”
We want you to get involved
We want people to nominate those very special unsung heroes in the community for a Best of Hartlepool Award to give them the recognition they deserve.
We have loads of categories enter your nomination in. Take a look at the list below and choose the right one for your community favourite.
Feel free to put as many nominations in as you like as we are sure there are loads of worthy causes out there.
Here are the categories to choose from:
• Young Performer of the Year (Under 21);
• Green Champion;
• Student of the Year;
• Fundraiser of the Year;
• Volunteer of the year;
• Sporting Excellence;
• Community Group;
• Community Champion;
• Child of Courage;
• Child of Achievement;
• Emergency services award;
• Carer of the Year;
• Neighbour of the Year;
• Sports team of the year;
• Role model of the Year;
• Lifetime Achievement award.
Stagecoach, the Northern School of Art, Hart Biologicals, Joel D. Kerr Funeral Services, Utility Alliance Ltd, Tilly Baily and Irvine, the Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group, and English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College are the backers in this year’s competition and we thank them all.
We want you to nominate people by post to Lynn Wild, Sunderland Echo, Alexander House, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland. DH4 5RA.
Alternatively, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or nominate at http://www.bestofhartlepool.co.uk/nominate.
The deadline for entries is Friday, October 26.