After given the green light with his recent leg injury, this month local Australian extreme athlete Matt Poole will compete in this year’s Nutri-grain Surf Ironman.
The 27-year-old sportsman experienced a serious break to the leg with a two-region injury that forced Poole to undergo surgery and rehab, jeopardizing his entry in the race.
“This coming season has been the biggest challenge for me. Four months ago, during a surfing trip I broke my leg in two places, separated my ankle joint and tore a ligament. I ended up requiring surgery, six pins put into my leg and an ankle plate to stabilize the joint,” Poole says.
“Only in the last couple of weeks my ankle has started to feel great again.”
They say seven is a lucky number, so perhaps Poole’s seventh entry into the major competition will see him add yet another impressive title to his thriving career.
“This will be my seventh year now in the professional series. I grew up doing Surf Life Saving in Sydney, then moved on to Queenscliff before spending probably seven years in Mooloolaba Surf Club on the Sunshine Coast. Now I’ve relocated to the Gold Coast and am now at Kurrawa,” he says.
Starting out as a nipper at his local beach Dee Why, Poole’s decision to pursuit Ironman racing as part of his career came after winning the under 17s Australian Ironman series title.
“I was a super active kid all through my high school years. I played a lot of sport, but I guess that natural draw wasn’t on the footy field, it was out in the ocean. For me, winning the under 17s was a sense of achievement that I was good enough to do whatever I wanted in a sport if I was prepared to work for it.
“I had a real competitive streak, a motivated streak and team sports weren’t ideally my cup of tea. I always wanted to be my best and do whatever I can to achieve certain individual sports, and Ironman was a perfect fit for me.”
Poole’s injury has evidently been a tough road to recovery, but it hasn’t stopped him from doing the hard yards of training for the Surf Ironman Series.
“It’s a tough and challenging sport. When you have four disciplines, swimming, board paddling, ski paddling and running, it’s hard to train all those four.
“For certainly a long time after my injury I was struggling with getting movement and flexion back into my ankle joint. Every day is a new opportunity, and I just have to manage how much running I do during training.
“I’m one of the lucky guys to have great sponsors who are super supportive of me, especially through some of the hard times that I’ve had with my injuries. My sponsors like Nutri-grain, Red Bull and Kurrawa Surf Club have been amazing for me.”
With a strong support team behind him and despite the hiccup that almost caused him to withdraw from the race, Poole says he’ll continue to compete for as long as he can.
“The minute I don’t enjoy the sport anymore, or my body’s not allowing me to, I’ll have to make that decision when it comes and move on, but I still think I’ve got a good few years ahead of me, and I’m excited about looking for to them.”