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Why the Billigence Talent ID Academy is a turning point for juniors in triathlon in NSW.

Over 8 months ago, Triathlon NSW set up a working group of individuals who were also teachers in high schools and held separate roles as accredited Triathlon Australia coaches or members of the NSW All Schools Triathlon Committee. They were responsible for guiding and support Triathlon NSW in the creation of a new concept.  

The conversation circled around the fact that Triathlon NSW currently do not engage directly with schools enough, nor their students and their teachers. At present, the window of opportunity for engagement with schools in the sport of triathlon is limited, with the premier schools event - the NSW All Schools Triathlon - being held early in Term 1.  

The ‘working group’ identified early on that the pre-existing club network offer extensive options for juniors to participate in either a locally club delivered event or junior event run by one of the commercial Race Directors around NSW. There are plenty of opportunities for our non-elite junior athletes to enter our sport, and the quantity of our athlete base is growing. Check out our Junior Events Calendar to find your nearest opportunity.  

With a view to the rollcall of international champions that Australia has produced, the sport has always benefited from ‘Talent Transfer’ athletes across its short but celebrated history. A current example being Maitland Triathlon Club’s Lorcan Redmond, who recently took out a silver medal at the ITU Junior Worlds Champs and was nominated for ‘Youth Athlete of the year’ via Sport NSW. 

It was clear that the sport needed more talent transfer and identification opportunities, but also needed a product to offer those juniors in our sport who are looking to move from ‘Non-Elite’ to ‘Pre-Elite’ through our pathway. And where did juniors in our sport go if they had applied for either the TNSW Talent ID Program or the parallel Regional Academies of Sport and not been successful?

This drove the creation of the Biligence Talent ID Academy Camp.  

The goal is of the Academy to engage high school students, via their schools and teachers, and provide opportunities to take part in multisport. We hope they will fall in love with it and join our association and a club, while maintaining their interest in other sports so as to not specialise too early. It will be an environment for aspiring athletes to get a taste of what triathlon is, learn core skills for the sport & how these apply as complimentary sports to their core programs (swim & run) within the school environment. Perhaps a future Australian Olympian is amongst them? Perhaps the next Emma Jeffcoat or Aaron Royle is about to start their journey? 

The camp will commence with an initial parent engagement session to provide parents an understanding of our sport, our pathway, our philosophy and the goals of the camp. Days 1 and 2 of the camp will include multiple swim, bike and run training sessions, as well as transition skills practice, under the guidance of some of the state’s best coaches, Head Coach Mick Delamotte and mentee coaches from a number of high schools. The camp will culminate in a ‘Runaway Bay’ style event, included in their registrations, conducted by our good friends, Mildren Events. 

Lastly, it would be remiss of us not to acknowledge Billigence, led by their CEO Jana Kapr, who is herself a passionate triathlete and member of the Northern Suburbs Triathlon Club. With very limited recognition, she has chosen to invest into the concept and via her sponsorship, we have been able to reduce the barrier to participation by subsidising entries and keeping costs down. We thank Jana and the team at Billigence for giving back to the sport and taking a chance on what was essentially a pilot concept.  

With registrations closing at 5.00 pm tomorrow (Thursday 28th November), we have had to add an additional 10 places in the camp to account for an unprecedented demand from students from all over the state, and we expect these places to be snapped up shortly. To secure your child’s spot in this inaugural Academy Camp, go to: https://bit.ly/2KQ3u6s 


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