Helping young athletes achieve dreams of triathlon glory will be the lasting legacy of a 16-year-old sportsman who died earlier this year.

The Jack Boericke Foundation has already raised more than £20,000 since starting in June and aims to help youngsters get involved with the challenging running, swimming and riding sport which Barnes schoolboy Jack loved.

James Marler, 50, the founder of the foundation, said: “It was a tragic incident that happened but we want to hope something good can come out of it.”

Mr Marler, a keen triathlete himself, originally started the foundation under the name the Optima foundation but changed it in honour of Jack following the promising young athlete’s death. Jack died of a brain aneurysm on Friday, July 15.

Mr Marler said giving Jack a legacy seemed right, especially as the youngster had helped the foundation recruit new athletes and taken part in demonstration days.

He said: “It was really when Jack died that the foundation became an altogether more serious proposition.

“Jack was very fit and in good shape, it was just as we understand something that could have happened at any time without warning, it’s just something that happened and is very, very sad.

“Jack was such a keen athlete, such a good triathlete, naming the foundation after him seemed a perfect way of remembering him.”

The foundation acts as a charitable trust helping amateur athletes follow their passion for triathlons by assisting with equipment, training, and competition entry costs.

Aimed at helping youngsters in the Richmond and Kew areas, and particularly those with disabilities, the foundation is linked to Optima racing team and Optima training, in Kew.

Mr Marler, part of the Optima team which trains at pools in Chiswick, indoor cycling studios and Optima’s gym at Kew Bridge Arches, said providing grass roots funding for 10 to 14-year-olds was very important.

He said: “Triathlon is becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the UK and the most successful multi-sport in the UK which is underpinned by a huge grass roots focus.

"It can be quite expensive, so with youngsters with lots of other things to do and parents on strapped budgets it gets expensive.

“We just raise money to allow the youngsters in and around the borough who would otherwise have been put off the sport.”

To donate to the Jack Boericke foundation or offer support, visit