Susie Foster is coach and founder of Swans Tri Club and a GP in Yorkshire who was named one of the Triathlon England Key Workers of the Year in 2020.
Looking back on how her job has had to change because of the pandemic, Susie said: “It’s changed so much. We are doing much more work remotely by phone, video and text, but also managing patients with more complex health problems because hospitals have been overwhelmed with Covid and growing waiting lists for routine care.
“At the moment we are trying to balance routine work with vaccinating as many people as we can get vaccine for, as quickly as possible. Though the strains are very different to those working in hospital, it still feels vital work.
“I decided to become a GP after a year in A&E made me appreciate that I need and enjoy variety in my work but that I also value building long term relationships with patients.”
As a GP and keen triathlete, Susie knows the importance of staying active and the benefits that it can bring.
“Running and cycling have been a vital part of maintaining my mental well-being during the past year,” she commented.
“I have realised how much I desperately miss the camaraderie of training with the club and competing alongside my friends. I can’t wait to get back to play! I had such a massive challenge planned for 2020, to complete the half Yorkshireman event, but I’m hoping to do it this year.”
With her eyes set on completing her local middle distance challenge, Susie reflects on how she first got into the sport that led to her setting up Swans Tri Club in York.
“I first signed up for a sprint triathlon in April 2013 after a New Year’s dare,” she added. “I had never run at all before this. I’m not naturally athletic at all so I was surprised to find I was totally hooked.
“My favourite memory in the sport is the day Swans Tri Club assembled at Allerthorpe Lakeland Park for a photo to celebrate getting our [TriMark Club] Silver Award from British Triathlon in 2019.”
Her commitment to helping others to take part in the sport led Susie to be named a Key Worker of the Year at the 2020 Triathlon England Awards, with her nominator saying:
“Although working tirelessly and supporting her own family, she’s made the time to support club members also who struggled at this time. She’s worked hard behind the scenes during lockdown. She's just an amazing person.”
If you’re a key worker within the triathlon community and would like to share your story, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.