With three years to go before triathlons debut into the Paralympic Games, British Triathlon is searching for future talent
The Great Britain Paratriathlon team entered this year’s ITU World Championships in London knowing that they would be the toughest World Championships yet as the standard in the sport continues to rise ahead of its Paralympic debut in Rio 2016.
The team left with a record six gold medals and 15 medals in total.
So how did they do this? The team at British Triathlon are constantly working with existing athletes to raise their game and are always looking out for new talent. The mission: to still be the number one nation in the world at Rio 2016.
Could you be part of Team GB? Do you have experience in swimming, cycling, running or wheelchair racing or perhaps in another elite paralympic sport?
If the answer is yes and you have the drive and determination to be successful in Paratriathlon then this is the time for you to come along and see if you have got what it takes.
Over the weekend of the 19th and 20th October 2013, Loughborough University will play host to the next stage of talent identification as British Triathlon look to find a team which can top the medal table in Rio.
The weekend will consist of performance testing in all three disciplines, opportunities for all athletes to receive a national classification, information on future competitions, plus information to ensure all athletes understand the performance pathway and what role they would have to play to succeed and develop over the coming years.
Dave Ellis (pictured above) was a visually impaired swimmer who had competed in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. After not making the team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games he was seeking a fresh challenge. A friend suggested that he should try coming to the Talent ID weekend held in February this year. After impressing with not only his swimming, but also his cycling and running he was invited to be part of the Triathlon England Talent Squad.
Dave commented: “I suppose looking back, something really good has come out of that disappointment of last year, missing out on the London Games. If I hadn’t missed out on a Paralympics spot, I wouldn’t have pushed towards trying something different and going into Paratriathlon.”
After two local races, Ellis was selected to compete in the European Championships in Turkey where he won gold with guide Luke Watson. Ellis then moved on to take the British crown, gaining selection for the World Championships in London. As this is his debut season in paratriathlon, Ellis was aiming for a medal. However he exceeded his own expectations coming home with a clear victory and his first world title, again supported by Watson.
However he knows that this does not give him the right to a place on the podium in Rio: “I think it’s going to get more competitive. It’s going to get better year on year as we get to Rio and it’s going to be a really good race.”
As such working with a top class guide has really helped his transition into the sport, “I’m still working with Luke, it works very well for us, and I’ll be training even harder now there are no championships coming up.”
As we move to our next talent identification weekend who are we looking for?
Initially, we invite all athletes to this talent weekend, and we aim to ensure all athletes understand the support available as they progress in the sport.
However the team will be aiming to identify those who possess a level of ability and commitment within triathlon to be competitive on a world stage within the next two seasons. Athletes who show an all round high level of ability in all three sports, or those who are coming from a world-class level in a single discipline sport with a good level of ability in the others will be identified and supported through our future pathway.
The classification system within triathlon can be viewed here, and outcomes of classification will also play a part in any future progress. However please be aware that the classification system for triathlon will be changing towards the end of 2013, and more information will be available on this over the weekend.
Please also note that for those not successful in gaining entry onto one of our supported programmes at this stage, the door will never be closed. With a national classification all classified athletes will be eligible to compete in any British Paratriathlon events, as well as in other triathlons across the country where they will have the opportunity to challenge themselves and see if they can raise their level to gain access onto the British team in the future.
If you feel you could join our journey to be the most successful Paratriathlon nation in the world when the sport goes on show in Rio, please complete the application form here and return it to the email address shown on the form.
Please have all applications in by Thursday 3rd October 2013.
Should you have any further questions, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org