Marketing and advertising executive and respected elite triathlon coach Matt Bury is hoping to add his own special touches to the Sheldon College school of triathlon excellence program over the next four years.
Bury has taken over the role as head coach at the Brisbane Bayside College – in the unique triathlon program established four years ago following the joint initiative with Triathlon Australia.
Bury replaces the well-credentialed Chris Lang, the College’s first full-time coach, who kick-started the program in 2012 and who has been responsible for the program’s initial successes.
Lang has recently been appointed as Triathlon Australia’s National Performance Centre, Brisbane, Head Coach.
Bury is not completely new to the Sheldon program, often stepping into Lang’s shoes when triathlon took him to events overseas and was also responsible for coaching Australian-based New Zealand ITU triathlete Bryce McMaster into the top 50 in the world.
Under Lang’s guidance the program has developed and grown into one of the most dynamic on the triathlon pathways programs.
A combination of offering triathlon as an elite sport elective for students and a program for post school leavers as well with such success that Triathlon Australia has committed to supporting the partnership for another four years.
Australia’s newly appointed Performance Director Ben Gathercole says “it’s essential for our athletes to work with our best coaches in the best daily training environment platform.”
“Triathlon Australia is very pleased to again partner with Sheldon Collage in this ongoing School of Excellence,” said Gathercole.
“Matt Bury has impeccable coaching credentials and also life experience out side of triathlon that makes him the ideal appointment for us and Sheldon College.”
Bury says he is both honoured and excited to take on the role with the Sheldon College.
“We have positioned triathlon as a major sport at Sheldon much like the various football codes do at independent schools, it gives Sheldon a position of difference in the sports development pathways," says Bury.
“We can take talented kids from scratch at the school and we can also offer coaching post school as well, taking our High Performance program to the mass market with consistency and skills.
“What we offer here is a combination of academic excellence and sporting pursuits and it’s a model we are proud of and a model we are continuing to work on with Triathlon Australia and something other States are looking at.
“I am both honoured and excited to take over the role from Chris and having worked while he was away on several occasions so that has certainly helped in the transition.
“Triathlon Australia has supported it and we have found a way to harness what is a National program with our different systems.
“Our facilities here provide us with what is really a ‘mini AIS’ especially with a new state-of-the-art tartan track to be laid next month, along with the pool, good running trails and our strength and conditioning set up.”
There were big celebrations last year when the College notched the quinella in 17/18 years girls Australian Youth Championships on the Sunshine Coast through Katinka Von Elsner-Wellsteed and National Duathlon champion Joanne Miller.
It was the College’s first gold medal since the specialist program kicked off.
Von Elsner-Wellsteed came into the program two years ago from the Queensland country town of Nanango, 200km north west of Brisbane.
“Katinka had done a great job since coming into the program and certainly deserved the win and it was another solid performance from Joanne, who had won the National Age Duathlon Championships before going on to win the ITU World Championships in Adelaide later in the year,” said Lang.
“The results were great for the program and a credit to the girls.”
Sheldon has recently upgraded its sports excellence program appointing David Savage as the College’s first director of the Sheldon Academy of Sport.