The physical and mental training and stamina needed to be an elite athlete is pretty intense. Just ask Herefordshire triathlete Jemima Cooper, a member of Team GB who competes in some of the toughest middle-distance triathlons in Europe.
Those of you who follow our blog will know that BBR Optometry sponsors Jemima with her eyewear.
The importance of being able to see clearly in most sports is critical, and crucially when you’re travelling at high speeds on a bike or running a fast pace on your feet you need to be able to see clearly ahead, both in the short and long distance.
In recent weeks we completed the latest competition glasses for Jemima. These are specifically sunspecs for her cycling and running.
And Jemima has used them in her first international race this month (see later in the blog).
For her competition glasses we used TD Tom Davies bespoke spectacles. And while the process for getting to Jemima’s final race pair was very similar to other bespoke Tom Davies spectacles we produce for customers, the work was a little more intense due to the demands of Jemima’s sport.
Robust, light and secure
“Speaking to Jemima about her visual needs from sunglasses we were looking for something that was robust, light, secure, well fitting, blocked light from top, side, glare bouncing off the road and didn’t steam up,” explained Daniel Read, practice manager at BBR’s St Owen Street practice in Hereford.
“There are many well-known sports brands out there that do great sunspecs for running and cycling that would have done a good job but there was one problem in that they were all too big for Jemima.”
Daniel describes how we solved this problem.
A bespoke design
“The answer was to get something made bespoke for Jemima and with our experience with producing hundreds of bespoke frames for individuals with Tom Davies we had a way to do this.
“Tom Davies, however, isn’t primarily a sportswear company so the changes that we were making to the frames were going to be quite drastic and we knew that the first design might not quite work, and it didn’t but we had something to work from.
“The second design was based on a wrapped sunglass frame that had a brow bar to block light from above made in strong lightweight titanium, but it still required extensive redesign to make it work for Jemima.
“Although the frame wasn’t large to begin with, we needed to shrink the overall width by 10mm overall and also make the sides shorter. Then I did a small amount of reshaping of the design to keep the frame from touching the nose and to allow airflow to stop it from steaming up.”
Polarised lens to stop reflected glare
The lens is a polarised brown tint which will stop reflected glare from the road and work well in different light conditions. We finished it off in Jemima’s racing colours which match our own.
“I’m delighted that these are working so well for Jemima and would like to thank Tom Davies for their help in fulfilling this challenging brief. We couldn’t have created something for Jemima without being able to tailor a frame for her and Tom Davies allows us to do this.”
Commenting on the new frames, Jemima said “I love, love, love the new shape and design. Upper rim is a dream- really helps me to focus and actually helps minimise distractions - same goes for the curve of the lens I think. I don’t get the nasty sunlight flashes that was giving me distress either. They stay put and are very comfy.”
Key benefits, according to Jemima are:
• New shape and design
• Upper rim is a dream
• Lens colour/tint
• They stay put
• No fogging
A couple of weeks ago Jemima competed in her first triathlon with the glasses in Aix en Provence, about 30 minutes from Marseille.
“My new specs were simply amazing- the lenses were ideal in the dappled shade as well as when we hit the mid-day sun on the French stone during the run,” Said Jemima.
“No fogging, super comfy and a delight to race in! This is a very exciting time for me as I open up the next chapter of my sporting life now studies are complete. I have no doubt there is so much more to learn and experience to be gained, but also a great deal of fun (and medals!) to be chased. I am delighted that BBR can be a part of this journey.”
Photo: Jemima trying out her new sunspecs