Up and coming athletes were given a taste of the lifestyle of an elite triathlete after being put through their paces during a week-long talent camp based at the Leeds Triathlon Centre.
The training camp took place over the Olympic period and saw 22 members of the Triathlon England National Talent Academy, along with a further 12 Home Nation Talent Academy athletes adopt the lifestyle of a full-time triathlete, giving the youngsters a vital insight to exactly what it takes to reach the top.
British Triathlon work to build a strong link between the Talent Pathway and the UK Sport Lottery-Funded World Class Performance Programme, with the camp being supported by UK Sport and Sport England funding.
Under the supervision of Triathlon England Head Talent Coach, Rick Velati, the next generation of potential Olympians undertook a structured training plan, using the same Leeds training environment as five out of the six Rio 2016 Team GB triathletes.
Rick said, “We thought it was very important to support the Olympic team and watch the races together in Leeds. Each year we try to find appropriate ways to integrate the experience of the seniors into the enthusiasm of the juniors.
It was great to be able to get together as a team and continue some quality training ahead of the ITU Triathlon World Championships and British Triathlon U20s Festival.
“Helen and Marc Jenkins were fantastic on the winter camp and we felt this was a great opportunity to train up in Leeds where many of the performance athletes are based and immerse ourselves in the culture.
“It was great to be able to get together as a team and continue some quality training ahead of the ITU Triathlon World Championships and British Triathlon U20s Festival.”
From Wednesday 17 to Sunday 21 August, the athletes took part in open water swimming sessions in Otley Sailing Lake and swam in Leeds Beckett University Pool to mimic a standard training week for those on the UK Sport Lottery-Funded World Class Performance Programme. They joined the ‘Leeds Chain Gang’, a fast-paced local group training ride through the Yorkshire Dales, as well as undertaking endurance rides taking in the regular routes and café stops. The week was completed with all athletes taking part in a running session on Boddington Fields.
The aim of the camp was to bring the talent programme athletes and coaches together to support the Rio 2016 Olympic Triathlon races, in the hope that a number will go on to be inspired by the challenge and experience such success in future years.
Athletes involved in the talent camp included the ITU Triathlon World Championship-bound junior team of Olivia Mathias, Sian Rainsley, Kate Waugh, Sam Dickinson, Alex Yee and 2014 Youth Olympic Champion Ben Dijkstra. Alongside Rick Velati the aspiring Olympians were supported by Leeds Development Coach, Liam O’Neill and other regional and Home Nation coaches.
Sport England support the Triathlon England Talent Squad as well as the Regional Academy structure.