Kate Bozianu is a member of WaldenTRI Club where she was secretary for six years and has also held the role of race director for the WaldenTRI Triathlon. Alongside her sport, she’s a health care assistant on a neuro critical care unit and has worked in healthcare for over thirty years.
“In normal times the majority of our patients are those who have either been involved in a major trauma or experienced an acute brain injury,” Bozianu, who was one of the 2020 Triathlon England Key Workers of the Year, explained.
“During the pandemic, as with all critical care areas, we have had to expand our number of beds to support the admission of very sick Covid patients to the unit whilst still maintaining some areas to continue to admit people who have been involved in an accident or had a brain haemorrhage as those patients have continued to need care.
“For myself, as with the whole team the impact of this has been an increase in the workload to provide support to the extra beds and to some very sick patients.
“We have been fortunate to have been joined by staff from a whole range of different departments to support us and also the team, is an incredibly supportive and friendly one, like a giant family and I would certainly not have got through this time without the teamwork.
“As with everyone, the job has also been affected by the requirement to wear full PPE including a gown, visor and respirator. They make it harder to work because it is hot and very tiring to work in and they also make it difficult to communicate both with patients and the team.”
For Bozianu, exercise and keeping active has remained a key part of her life, and evermore so with the additional pressures at work that a pandemic brings.
“I run, very slowly and sometimes not very far, every day with my dog and that exercise has definitely helped during the lockdowns,” she commented. “The biggest bonus for me is that I have been able to continue to swim throughout the pandemic.
“I stop at the river on my way home from work, usually after my last night shift and take a dip or a swim depending on how cold it is. It has been great for separating my work life from my home life and helping me to leave my work at work and not take it home with me.”
Bozianu first got into triathlon when her and her family moved home and she, as a non-athlete at the time, entered the local triathlon with no real expectations.
“I entered the local race on a whim having seen it advertised in the local paper,” she added. “That was in 2006 on the basis that I thought I would be able to get round the course but it wouldn't be pretty.
“I then got increasingly involved over the years with my local club. I was secretary from 2013 to 2019 and have been the race director for the WaldenTRI Triathlon for a number of years.
“I also hope that this year we will be able to put on our club race, it was a difficult decision to cancel last year, although we were glad that we had taken that decision rather than try and postpone.
“The decision was made easier by the great team that we have within the club and also by the fantastic support we received from our race participants, a large number of whom donated 10% of their refund to ensure that the club was able to cover the costs it had already spent on the event. Around 75% of our competitors donated. It was a very heart-warming response and testament to the triathlon community.”