In the Spotlight with Trefon Vandoros
In our next instalment of our ‘In the Spotlight’ series, we chat with Trefon Vandoros, Assistant Director of Sport (Boys), Director of Athletics and Cross Country.
Tell us about yourself
I joined Oakham in 2015, having previously taught in Zimbabwe and London. I love all sport and have played national rugby for Zimbabwe. Presently, I particularly enjoy tennis and have won the Oakham Championships for the last three years with my tennis partner and fellow teaching colleague Richard Breag. I am also an ultra marathon runner. I live with my wife, two children and our dog in Oakham.
What do you like most about Oakham?
The connection. Staff between staff, pupils between pupils, staff between pupils. I have never been supported by people so well as here and that to me speaks family. I think my department is amazing. They not only cheer on the pupils but they also cheer on each other. We like being competitive but we go beyond competition and there is an ethos about always trying to bring the best out of the kids.
What is your aim as Assistant Director of Sport and Director of Athletics?
My name is Trefon – it comes from the word Trefonos in Greek, which means encourager and nurturer. I use that quality in me to work on our School’s values, in particular care and connection. When the pupils opt for a sport, my job is to determine whether that option is the appropriate one so that they get the best out of it. I want them to feel excited about participating, doing what they want to achieve and to be purpose driven.
What did you think of Seventh Former Jono’s latest incredible challenge, aiming to run 25 marathons in 25 days for the charity CALM?
Jono is not a runner, he is a golfer, and therefore, it was an impossible challenge. He got through to the end after much suffering. However, what more can anyone do in supporting the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) than to put their life through a miserable situation? He made it because of his parents and the people around him and has learnt the tools to get through a tough situation. He made it real and for that, he shouldn’t get £16,000, he should be getting £160,000 – but to me, it is the awareness rather than the money and wow – he certainly has a tick from me.
What is your advice for those who want to improve their fitness and wellbeing?
Tie your shoelaces. If you don’t want to go for a run, put your training shoes on. The hardest part of going for a run is starting. Then when you do, run with a smile. The minute you smile, it will make you feel good, and when you feel good you will carry on.
Something people don’t know about you or your department/role?
I have run three comrades’ marathons, which are just short of 100km, overcoming severe cramps, and finishing the second one in 7 hours and 28 mins to earn a silver medal.
I have also never driven to work, even when I lived more than 17km away and there was no public transport. I either cycled or ran to work and back.