Former Air Vice-Marshal, Steve Chisnall, to Cycle in the OA Triathlon Team

Steve Chisnall, an Officers’ Association (OA) Trustee and former Air Vice-Marshal, is cycling for the OA in the OA Inter-Services Triathlon at the end of July. We interviewed him to find out more.

This year the triathlon is organised by the RAF Triathlon Association and sponsored by the OA. The Army, Navy and RAF will compete at the annual event, in individual and team categories, including Male, Female and Veteran. In addition to the Armed Forces, the emergency services, the OA and guest teams will participate. The OA will have a relay team, with a different person completing each discipline.

I retired from the RAF in 2008. I am currently a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Southampton. I have enjoyed playing many sports all my life. In particular, soccer, squash and rowing, which all provided a good foundation for triathlon events.

How many triathlons have you competed in?
This will be my first. I have wanted to compete in triathlons for some years, but have been recovering for a long time with an Achilles injury that has limited my running training.

Why do you enjoy competing in triathlons?
I enjoy a range of sports and have been lucky enough to swim, cycle and run fairly regularly.

What makes a triathlon tough?
I guess it is the combination of events – it is very difficult to be good at all 3 and finding enough time for training.

What is your training programme?
Too sporadic – I normally try to swim a couple of times a week, cycle a couple of times and, if my ankle allows it, run once a week.

What advice would you give to someone competing in a triathlon?
Train, but do not over train.

What makes the OA Inter-Services Triathlon challenging?
The quality of the competition.

What does it mean to be part of the OA triathlon team?
I am delighted that we are fielding a team – hopefully we will perform well and this should help us to project the ethos and commitment of the OA.


The OA sponsors the OA Inter-Services Triathlon to celebrate the high levels of physical fitness, mental determination and self-discipline that competing requires. These are qualities that will support Service leavers when they make a successful transition into civilian life. The OA offers all transitioning officers free one-to-one career consultations. To book an appointment register with the OA, or call 0117 906 3580.