Olympian, World & British Record Holder & British Champion, Tom Bosworth, joins the BRIT family
We are delighted that Tom has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Tom is an Olympic Race Walker and holds three World Records including walking the fastest mile in history. He is holds six British Records, 12 British Championship gold medals, a Commonwealth Games silver medal and a European Cup team silver medal. Tom is also a champion of LGBT and mental health challenges in sport.
“Having been a student at Leeds Beckett University, overcome my own experiences of depression and spending time visiting schools and universities to talk about LGBT equality and mental health , I can appreciate and understand the many mental health challenges that young adults and students face. It is vital that students are able to access professional mental health support when they need it and this is a crucial that they feel able to ask for help and know where to find it.
COVID-19 is compounding the existing mental health issues that young adults and students are struggling to cope with; I am therefore delighted that BRIT has partnered 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.
Providing students and young adults throughout the UK with the opportunity to participate in feel-good activities is vital to support and improve their mental health. The BRIT 2021 Challenge is a fantastic initiative and it is great to see that it has been designed to be inclusive. This is enabling students and staff of all abilities to take part; by hand-cycling, cycling, wheelchair pushing, swimming, walking, jogging, running, rowing or paddling (canoeing, kayaking or paddle-boarding). By entering teams and promoting the opportunity, universities and colleges are uniting students in physical activity, fundraising and awareness raising to support young adult mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
I am thrilled to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family to help support and improve young adult mental health and fitness and will encourage my fellow Great Britain Olympians, Paralympians and athletes to join me.
I look forward to encouraging students and staff at Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Trinity University and the University of Leeds to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge. This is a great opportunity for the three universities to enter a friendly competition to see who can involve the most students, cover the most distance and raise the most for the charities – Leeds has a great opportunity to set an inspirational example and inspire other universities around the UK to join them.”
Tom was educated at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School in Tunbridge Wells.
Between 2009 and 2013, Tom completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Performance at Leeds Beckett University. He then went on to complete his PG Certificate in Sport and Exercise Nutrition between 2013 and 2014.
Tom has represented Great Britain at international competitions since 2009.
He trains full-time at the UK Race Walking centre at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Tom holds the British records for walking 3 km, 5 km, 10 km and 20 km. His personal best for the 20 km is 1:19:38. He also holds the British record for the 10 km race walk, set in 2015, along with the 5000 metres race walk that he set in 2018.
In 2016, tom represented Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Tom first set the 20 km British record in Slovakia, in 2016, to better the existing record set in 1988 by 81 seconds.
In 2017, Tom broke the World Record for the 1 mile race walk that he won at the London Diamond League. I 2018, Tom became the World Record holder for the 3000 metres indoor race walk at the IAAF Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow and that same year, became the World Record holder for the 3000 metres outdoor race walk at the Muller Anniversary Games in London.
Tom won silver in the 20 km at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
In 2019, Tom won team silver in the 20 km at the European Cup in Lithuania.
Tom has won six British Outdoor Championships in 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, along with six British Indoor Championships in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
In 2015, Tom became the first openly gay track and field athlete and since then has worked with charities such as Stonewall to help raise awareness of LGBT equality in sport. He has addressed the Culture, Media and Sport parliamentary committee, met with the Chairman of the Football Association to discuss homophobia in football, addressed national Governing Bodies on behalf of Spot England and spoken at Wembley for Stonewall Football Club.
Tom has also spoken about his mental health and how he overcame a period of depression. Alongside media appearances on the BBC and Sky Sports and written interviews in the Telegraph, he regularly visits schools and universities to talk about his experiences as a professional athlete, LGBT equality, the importance of mental health and how sport can be of great benefit.
Tom has also commentated for the BBC at the European Athletics Championships and for Eurosport at the 2015 World Athletics Championships.
In March 2020, just weeks after setting new 5000 metre and 10,000 metre British records, Tom contracted COVID-19 and the long-term effects lasted until August. Tom has now recovered and is in training for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.