Brownlee brothers' hand-written letter inspired young triathlete siblings to follow in the footsteps of their heroes and represent Yorkshire
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Angus and Alfie Millar received hand-written letters, along with treasured items of the celebrated Olympians’ sporting kit, after writing to the famous pair when they were at primary school.
Now Angus, 13, and Alfie, 12, who both attend Ripon Grammar School, are proudly representing their county in triathlon, with ambitions to go further.
Having taken up the endurance multi-sport six years ago, both were selected for the Yorkshire team in national championships, held at Mallory Park in Leicestershire, after beating off stiff competition from throughout the county.
In the finals, where their county came ninth overall, they were up against the best young athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.
Angus has since been selected for the Yorkshire Talent Squad, following challenging trials, and won bronze at the recent national schools fell running championships.
The boys, who live near Pateley Bridge, were just nine and ten when the Brownlees responded to their fan letter: “We started when we were the same age as you are now. We are both thrilled that we are an inspiration. Keep up the training and hopefully we will meet at a race one day!”
Angus was delighted to receive a signed swim cap and photo along with a World Series tri-suit. He said: “The Brownlee brothers are a big inspiration. We love watching them race.
“Even at the age of 12, Johnny came last at his cross country and started to train even more until he improved greatly and got really good.
“Triathlon is my main sport and I devote lots of time to it and love to train. I did lots of training for the latest race, where the level was very high.”
Having been placed third in a number of Yorkshire triathlons, he said: “I would love to compete in other big races around the country and it would be nice to keep doing triathlon at a high level.”
Alfie, who also enjoys rugby, fits in his triathlon training at 6.30am before school in addition to weekends.
He said: “The latest competition was very hard but it was worth it when you crossed the line.”