Great Britain Modern Pentathlete, Thomas Toolis, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Tom has joined our BRIT Ambassador family. Tom has represented Great Britain in the Modern Pentathlon for almost 10 years. Among his many accomplishments, Tom has won a European Championship Gold medal and a World Championship Bronze medal in the team events. At the 2021 World Cup in Hungary last month, Tom won the first World Cup medal of his career by securing silver. He is now preparing for the World Championship in June and focusing on securing a place on the team to represent Great Britain at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"As a former student, and having trained at the University of Bath as an Elite Athlete for almost 10 years, I appreciate that there has been a constant increase in the mental health difficulties faced by young adults and students.
Maintaining good physical and mental health is so important for young adult and student wellbeing, and it has been deeply concerning that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on young adults and students being unable to socialise, play many team sports or take part in activities and training. The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) are determined to support and improve the mental health and fitness of as many students and young adults as possible by delivering their annual UK-wide BRIT Challenge. The BRIT Vision is to support young adult and student mental health throughout the UK and it is great to see that the BRIT 2021 Challenge has been designed to be a UK-wide feel-good fundraiser that enablesstudents and young adults of all abilities to take part wherever they are (at home or on campus); by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding).
I applaud BRIT for their refreshing and collaborative approach. It’s great to see that this year, BRIT are partnering with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults throughout the UK. It is vital that young adults know where to find support when they need it and that BRIT are continuing to promote the front line services of Samaritans and Shout.
BRIT deliver inspiration and encouragement by inviting retired and current Olympians, Paralympians, Sports Personalities, Adventurers and Explorers to join their BRIT Ambassador family. BRIT Ambassadors encourage universities and colleges to enter teams and inspire their young adults and students to take part in the annual BRIT Challenge. I am delighted to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family and would be thrilled support students and staff at St Mary’s University Twickenham and The Coopers' Company and Coburn School, should they enter teams in the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”
Tom graduated from the University of Bath with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Exercise Science and then graduated from St Mary’s University, Twickenham with a Master of Science degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Physiology. Based at Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre at the University of Bath, Tom has been part of the World Class Programme for almost 10 years. Modern pentathlon comprises of five diverse disciplines: swimming, fencing, riding, running and shooting. Each discipline is held separately, apart from running and shooting, which are held together in a challenging and exciting combined laser-run (formally known as the combined run-shoot), which is traditionally the final discipline of the competition.
Competitors gain modern pentathlon points across each discipline, resulting in a handicapped start for the laser-run. The winner of the competition is the person who gains the most points across all five disciplines. Thanks to the handicap start in the laser-run, the winner of the whole event, is simply the first person to cross the finish line. Tom has competed in all major competitions up to the World Championships; some of his top achievements to date include coming 3rd in the Junior and Senior European Championships in the Men’s Relay event, coming 3rd Individually at the International Budapest Open Competition and Qualifying for the World Cup Final in 2015. During the 2019 season, Tom finished 6th in a World Cup, qualified for the World Cup final (finishing 14th) and won a European Championship Gold medal and a World Championship Bronze medal in the team events.
At the 2021 Grand Final in Hungary, two weeks ago, Tom claimed the first World Cup medal of his career by winning silver. The World Championships will be held in June and the final opportunity for athletes to prove their credentials for the 2021 Olympic Games before the Team GB squad is announced later that month. For more information on Pentathlon GB and the Modern Pentathlon, please visit the Pentathlon GB website. To follow Tom’s journey, he is on Twitter @TomToolis and on Instagram @tom_toolis