“On behalf of Triathlon Australia and the entire triathlon community our deepest sympathies go to Cheryl Battaerd, his wife, their two sons Nick, Lex and the extended family of Hans who was tragically killed in an accident on Wednesday 23 November.”
A talented athlete, he regularly graced the age group podium at New South Wales and Australian championship events in the 1990s, winning everything from the national sprint championships at Bundeena, to the 1989/90 AMPOL Australian Series and 1995 Cadbury Tour, as well as the 1995 Australian Championships at Geelong. A strong swimmer and notable cyclist he frequently mixed with top competitors like Bruce Thomas, Tim Bentley, Peter Trench, Grant Webster and Chris Southwell over the first two legs at long course triathlons, and finished in the top twenty outright in fields of younger, professional competitors. A report on the 1994 NSW Club Championships recorded Battaerd, a ‘gun cyclist’ upstaging the pro men Greg Bennett and Jason Harper on the second leg of the race, although they eventually caught and passed him. Battaerd competed at various ITU Triathlon World Championships, finishing seventh in the 35-39 age group at Wellington in 1994. The Illawarra Stingers Triathlon Club proudly boasted about its high-achieving age group membership, pointing to Battaerd as one of its star competitors. While Triathlon Sports pointed to Battaerd as one of their age group ‘honourable mentions’ for ‘consistently shaming much younger or supposedly ‘professional’ competitors’ in its ten-year anniversary edition.
Cheryl dedicated herself to the sport, as a Triathlon Australia board member, in the development of Triathlon Australia’s Women’s Committee in-line with the ITU Women’s Committee, and an active member of the triathlon community across all aspects of our sport.
“The sport of triathlon brings together so many wonderful people and to think that we have lost one of our own doing what he loved is heart wrenching for us all.”