At the Super Sprint Race Weekend, in Runaway Bay, Queensland, we caught up with a driving force of triathlon in the town of Orange, New South Wales. Philip Tudor, President of the Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club.
Orange is rich in the history of triathlon and it’s the stage for the 2019 Triathlon NSW Club Championships.
The town community embraces triathlon and while the sport is known as an individual sport, the club environment is anything but. It encompasses a friendly and welcoming feel and offers sessions, programs and races for all ages and abilities.
Read on to learn more about the triathlon scene in Orange, New South Wales, what inspired Philip Tudor into the sport and how much emphasis the club places on pathway programs for junior triathletes.
“We are up for a week’s holiday with the family and here to watch the races. It’s the first time here at Runaway Bay for my son Thomas.”
How much value do you put on junior development and pathways to success?
“It’s really important. As this is Tom’s choice of sport, the pathway is fantastic. We get a lot of education as a parent. As we go to different levels, we meet a lot of different coaches and explaining fantastic stuff to us about how the pathway works and how the kids are progressing.”
How do weekends such as the Super Sprint Race Weekend promote comradery and help with development for the juniors?
Weekends like this, as athletes as they develop the comradery. From a kids point of view, weekends like these are fantastic and as a parent, we run into people all the time now that we meet through the sport and we always catch up. “
How motivated is your son in the sport?
“Tom loves it. He plays other sport in the winter but at the moment, he loves triathlon.”
What inspired you into triathlon?
“Being a fat dad at 35-years-of-age. I was always a runner as a kid. Had a bike. Ran. Limited swimming. I grew up in Dubbo and we had some triathlons and back then it was always Olympic distance and that’s all there was on offer. They had a couple of triathlons in Dubbo and I always say on the sides and thought to myself that one day I would love to do that but just never got motivated and always thought it was too far and too much training.
“We ended up in Mudgee and started out in triathlon there and then moved to Orange, which has always been a fantastic sporting town with the sport of triathlon and picked it up there. I have now been in the sport for close to 15-years now.”
Orange is known for having a strong community which embraces triathlon, what’s it like?
“We’ve got some really strong families at the moment and over the years it’s been the same. We treat it as a family based sport so we race for 5-year-olds to 70-year-olds. All different distances, all different times. We have some serious races but a lot of the races are looped courses so you choose what you want to do. Anyone can choose their distance. That’s how it suits all ages and abilities.”
As President of the Orange Cycle and Triathlon Club, what has triathlon given you?
“The sport has given me our lifestyle with our family. It takes us everywhere. I have been over to Canada, just up on the Gold Coast for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final. All our holidays revolve around triathlon.”
Why join a triathlon club?
“Joining a club, well it’s our bread and better, it’s where the pathway starts, especially with our junior base. I can understand adults don’t join clubs but I don’t why they wouldn’t because of the comradery. It is an individual sport but if you can get a squad, it becomes more than that, you’re training with others and it’s fantastic.”