Last week, the inaugural Australian Schools Triathlon Festival (ASTF) was launched with students from across the country flooding the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith.
The ASTF encompasses two key event categories; the existing School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships and the new Australian Open Schools Triathlon.
“The Australian Schools Triathlon Festival proved to be an outstanding opportunity for secondary school students from all over Australia to be part of this exciting new national multi-sport festival aimed specially at students,” Triathlon NSW CEO Phil Dally said.
“It was challenging to get off the ground but it proved to be a tremendous success which was competed in great spirit across all states and schools. I’m very confident that the event will continue to grow and flourish in the future.”
In order to cater for all student capabilities and aspirations, Triathlon Australia and School Sport Australia created a multi-tiered events program.
“With the combination of the School Sport Australia Triathlon Championships and the inclusion of participation Triathlon, School Relay and Aquathlon events into the Australian Schools Triathlon Festival, it opened up a whole new opportunity for students to participate in this dynamic sport on a variety of levels regardless of their experience or skill level,” Dally said.
“It is our hope that the Australian Schools Triathlon Festival will foster a lifelong love of the sport of triathlon and leads to the students joining their local club where they can continue to live a healthy and active lifestyle.”
Triathlon NSW Athlete and Coach Pathway Manager, Mick Delamotte, agreed on the success of the event from a development point of view.
“It was a success that can only be built on,” Delamotte said. “The Open events unearthed some new talent that we will certainly engage with and develop going forward. The ASTF has the potential for great growth for the sport of triathlon.”
Delamotte was also extremely proud of the performances of the NSW athletes that competed over the course of the three days, but more so of the ways in which the young athletes conducted themselves in and out of competition.
“We had tremendous success in a number of areas but results aren’t everything at a junior level – it’s about long term development and nurturing a love of the sport.
“A lot of observers would have seen some dominance from other states in the younger age groups, but what I saw was the exciting potential and talent that NSW have been able to unearth, especially in our junior ranks. Many of those juniors had only just been endorsed to do their first draft legal event.
“At NSW we are about unearthing new talent at that junior level and developing our talent at a senior level to transition into life as a professional athlete. Our results were reflective of this methodology at the ASTF.
“What was also important were the values and team spirit that were lived by over the course of the camp and festival. There was competitiveness, but also great camaraderie, team unity, sportsmanship and appreciation for the opportunities received. We received some great feedback externally in relation to those values and the behaviour of our athletes.”
Delamotte was hesitant to highlight any individual performers on results alone because there were a lot of positives across the board in all age groups where key learning outcomes and development were evident.
You can however CLICK HERE to see a full list of results for every category of every race.