Simon Poole is a member of the Age-Group Team who has raced at World and European Championships in duathlon, he’s also a church leader and works for the charity Christians in Sport.
Poole has represented the GB Age-Group Team five times since 2018, including a fifth-placed finish at the 2019 Targu Mures ETU Duathlon European Championships. Away from multisport, Poole’s work for Christians in Sport sees him support athletes in their faith alongside leading at his local church.
“For me, training and competing is using the gifts and abilities that God has given me for His glory,” Poole commented on how his faith and sport interact.
“Each time I go out and train and compete, when I go out and race, it’s an opportunity to show who God is and worship Him and enjoy the good things that He has given me as an athlete and us in the world.
“If I see sport as given by God, it is really important and so it really matters, He is really interested in what I do. It matters to Him. That’s really important to me, but it’s not the ultimate thing for me as a Christian.
“It’s a good thing given by God for me to enjoy, so I do that and it means that the highs, the good things of sport, are really good and help me to enjoy God, and the lows, where things don’t go so well, they’re not the ultimate lows but they point me to God and who He is and cause me to rest in Him.
“I lead a church in Bicester so I’m pretty heavily involved in Sundays so I’m balancing where I target events and things, but ultimately I recognise that sport is a good thing given by God as well, so I don’t try and play them off against each other. Church is really important and I want to be at church regularly, but I love to have opportunities to compete as well.”
Easter is a busy time for Poole and church leaders around the world as they celebrate the death of Jesus on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter Sunday, with Poole’s church in Bicester planning activities for both days.
“Easter is the weekend where we celebrate the real hope in life, that Jesus Himself gave Himself for me and conquered death for me,” Poole added. “That’s the hope I have, that what He achieved gives me a real hope that actually He’s achieved something for me.
“We’ve got a Good Friday evening gathering where we’ll come together and we’ll take communion and spend time together as a church. Then, on Easter Sunday, we’ll do a walk together in the morning as a church, we’ll meet and then we’ll have a lunch together and all hang out together afterwards. Time as a family to remember and celebrate what Jesus has done for us.”
Having already raced a handful of times for the Age-Group Team, Poole will be back in blue this year when he lines up for the sprint duathlon championships at both world and European level.
“The Age-Group set up particularly I’m quite familiar with, there’ll be friends that I’ve made within the Age-Group context that I’d look forward to seeing again at events,” Poole continued.
“There’s also Christians that I’ve met at Age-Group events that I’ll check in with. A couple of times we’ve had gatherings at events abroad where we’ll pray together ahead of races.”
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