Inspired by watching the success of Brownlee brothers Alistair and Jonathan at London 2012, Mansfield Triathlon Club’s Tyler Broome has made a stunning start to his embryonic triathlon career.
Having patiently waited another 18 months until he was old enough to compete when he turned eight, he has promptly gone on to take gold in his first two events at Derby and Desford with almost no experience.
Tyler now has his sights set on making it a hat-trick of golds when he competes at the Lincoln Triathlon on September 12.
Mum Dawn Broome recalled: “When he was six and a half he watched the Brownlee brothers on television and said he wanted to be the next Brownlee brother. He started to improve his swimming and running.
“We thought he would lose interest but he kept going and managed to get picked for the county swimming team.
“Then he joined Mansfield Triathlon Club as soon as he was eight in May this year.
“We were absolutely gobsmacked as he won his first event at Derby after he had only done a few training sessions at Forest Town, where the triathlon club meet every Saturday.
“He’d never done any transition practice before or the technical stuff, though we’d tried to show him in the lounge, which was quite funny.
“It’s the hardest part really as everything has to be done in a set order. If you touch the bike before your helmet is on you are disqualified. Then you have to turn your race number round for the run and you are off again.”
Dawn added: “He said on the way to Derby, ‘I’m going to win’ and we tried to soften the blow a bit as we didn’t think he knew what he was doing, though we tried to go through it with him in the car.
“But when we got there, he absolutely mastered it. He stormed it and he was confident. He had taken in every word we’d said.
“At the last race he also said he would go and win it and again we said you can’t win every time Tyler. But he did – and he improved on everything.
“When he won his first overall gold, he won the swimming, was second on the bike and fourth on the run. At Desford he won all three events and was fastest on transitions. You could follow his progress and knew how well he was doing.
“He was up against 27 athletes and conditions were difficult with strong winds and baking sunshine, but he even managed a personal best.”
It is certainly a busy sporting life in the Broome household now.
“He swims twice a week for Retford Swimming Club as well as the county team, he runs at Berry Hill on a Wednesday and then trains with the triathlon club, alternating between cycling at Forest Town and swimming at Ashfield School,” said Dawn.
“It is quite a technical sport for young ones to remember it all. From six and a half, we thought he’d lose interest by the age of eight, which is the youngest they are allowed to compete. But it’s all snowballed from there really.”
So can Tyler one day emulate his Olympic heroes?
“With a bit of luck if he keeps working hard,” said Dawn. “He has been watching a lot of sport on television, the swimming championships and a programme about the Olympics. After that he asked me how old he would be to go to Rio, but we had to tell him he’d still be a bit too young.
“It is a shame that with triathlon there’s nothing to get you noticed until you are about 20 years of age. But it’s a fast-growing sport, so maybe something will come along.
“Tyler has joined the English Triathlon Club so he gets points and can see where he stands in the country. Having only come in at the back end of the season, it will be interesting to see how many points he gets.
“We are a sporting family and me and Andy run, so it’s now just fitting our events around Tyler’s schedules. If we run a 10k or half-marathon, he often comes along and does the fun run if they have one.
“In between events he can always enter cycling, running or swimming events to keep him interested and he also plays football for Ordsall Rangers. There are just not enough days in the week.”