The Triathlon NSW junior development program just received a major boost with the addition of Alana Leabeater to its staff. The Balance and UTS Tri Club member has been named as the state federation’s new Junior Development Officer, and the former ITU Worlds age-grouper has already taken on her duties with several goals right off the mark.
“The first of my top three priorities in the next few months is to increase triathlon engagement in schools,” Leabeater told TNSW. “I also want to support the juniors that are already in clubs and help any clubs that don’t have an established junior program to get juniors on board.
“My third priority will be to increase the number of junior events in NSW and get more juniors coming to those events and getting involved in triathlon.”
Leabeater is currently finishing up a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Science and a Bachelor of Art and International Studies at the University of Technology Sydney after spending a year abroad studying in Buenos Aires.
According to born and bred Sydneysider, who started the sport five years ago in the UK during her gap year to maintain fitness, the admittedly tri-obsessed Leabeater is keen to share her passion for the sport with other New South Welshmen and further open junior development pathways from the junior level to the elites.
“I want to see Australia more competitive at the elite level, but also see more mass participation at the junior level as well,” said Leabeater, has is looking to qualify for next year’s world championships in Canada, as well as race another half-ironman in the near future.
“The joy you get from finishing triathlon is unlike any other sport, and the endorphins rush is so great, I just want others to experience that and even if you are an adult racing, the ability to bring your kids along and give them a chance to experience the sport as well — I don’t think there are enough people doing that.”
If you are a club in NSW looking to engage more with juniors, or if you are a teacher in a school or member of a sports staff looking to increase triathlon engagement in your school environment, you can email alana.Leabeater@nsw.triathlon.org.au for more information.
Reminder, Triathlon NSW has a foundation coaching course coming up looking to get teachers and members of sports staff involved. So stay tuned to trinsw.org.au or use the email listed above.