After taking up running to lose weight, mum-of-two Bella Pearce has represented her country in two of the toughest sporting events.
The Newcastle actress, who has twice appeared in Emmerdale, donned Great Britain colours in the aquathlon and triathlon - within the space of three days - at the respective World championships in London.
Pearce, 41, has been partly funded by husband Chris’s employers Gateshead-based Sevcon, a world leader in the design and manufacture of microprocessor-based controls for zero emission electric and hybrid vehicles. Sevcon has designed and manufactured controls for companies such as Renault, Toyota, Ford, Nissan, and Hyundai for on and off road, zero-emission vehicles.
Pearce said the firm’s corporate motto; ‘Partner in Performance’ is apt to her endeavours.
“I first got into triathlon at the age of 30. Before then I was very busy bringing up my two children and never thought about any sport or exercise. I started running and swimming initially to lose weight and then found I couldn’t stop. I hadn’t even heard of triathlon when I joined my local tri club Tyne Tri,” said Pearce.
Despite injury setbacks last year Pearce’s 2013 resolution was to qualify for the British team the ITU World Triathlon Championships – in the 40 to 44 age group - in London this summer.
She competed in June qualifiers in Nottingham and Llandudno, and then won the Weardale triathlon before finding out she had been selected for the British aquathlon team and also for the ITU World Triathlon Championships.
She added: “On the 11th of September I represented my country in London at the world aquathlon championships and came 18th out of 44 other competitors in my age group, then on the 13th of September I raced the triathlon in Hyde Park coming 33rd out of 92.
“It was the race of my life and such a massive buzz to run across the finish line with my Union Jack I can’t believe I was there now. It feels like a dream.”
Pearce balances running with looking after their two children Torin, 15, and Skyla 13, as well as working as a freelance actress.
At the beginning of the year Bella got a part in a locally produced feature film called Bypass, produced by Third Films. It is expected to premiere at Cannes next year and in it she plays the main character’s mother.
She added: “I’ve appeared in Emmerdale twice and currently in a PC matic advert but with the arts cuts, I haven’t had much work. The upside of this is that it’s given me the chance to get a lot of training in but also unfortunately left me with hardly any money.
“The sponsorship from Sevcon means the world to me as my husband has worked there for almost 20 years. I love their “partners in performance” slogan and wore it with pride at the World Championships.”
Matt Boyle, president and chief executive of Sevcon, said: “We are delighted to have partnered Bella in her magnificent performance.”
Pearce added: “Competition for places on the British team were highly coveted with it being a home race and all the excitement surrounding the triathlon following the Brownlee brothers’ success at the Olympics.”