St Paul’s Grammar School in Cranebrook NSW first became involved in triathlons in 2011. The school initially had sixteen students involved, eleven from our Junior School, in the Panthers Tri Club Interschool Series. This has now grown to thirty seven students across the school.
SPGS Multi Discipline & Distance team (MD2) Coordinators Mr Ross Cutts and Mr Ty Gock give us an insight into why the program has been so successful.
The program aimed to provide our swimmers, cyclists, runners and triathletes opportunities to represent their school in specific disciplines on a more regular basis. St Paul’s students quickly embraced the Hills Triathlon team events and we have often fielded up to three teams. This was a great way to bring our swimmers, cyclists and runners together and many have gone on to complete individual triathlons.
Our MD2 team has a strong community service focus, with students using their fitness to raise money and assist others. Our students are regularly seen at the YMCA swimathon, Luke Priddis Foundation Fitness for Autism 5km walk/run, The John Maclean Foundation Kids and big Kids 4 Kids Challenge (3.8km swim/180km cycle/42.2km run) as well as various charity cycles.
The program has provided many highlights, especially when students have stepped up to be involved in team events, overcoming the challenges of the discipline as they fought off fatigue to finish their leg so the team can finish the race.
The school also has students that move from team events to complete whole triathlons, initially using breaststroke to finish the swim, using mountain bicycles, or borrowing a road bicycle so that they can do the full triathlon. The students demonstrate strong resilience, illustrating determination to finish what they have started.
The students team spirit has grown tremendously over their involvement. The parents have observed how well the students support each other and work together throughout the events. This has been demonstrated time and time again where students supported an injured or fatigued athletes and team members, jogging beside the injured or tired friend, encouraging them to finish their event.
St Paul’s Grammar is grateful for the fantastic parent and staff input the make the program the success it is, knowing that without the parent support we would not have as many talented athletes as we do today. The school hopes to see the program continue to grow as students compete locally and across the state in the coming months and years!