A beautiful sunny morning at Port Kembla was the perfect backdrop for the launch of the Billigence Pathway Championship Series (BPCS) on Sunday, with 97 youth, junior, U23 and elite athletes excitedly lining up for the first race of the exciting new Series.
Proudly hosted by the Illawarra Tri Club, the event featured two races: a draft legal super sprint triathlon, then a short break before a handicap draft legal time trial triathlon based on the results of the first race. It was thrilling to welcome a number of elite athletes including Aaron Royle and Callum McClusky as well as top U23 athletes Josh Ferris and Luke & Jayden Schofield to the event to compete alongside our Pathway Development, Regional Academy of Sport and ROSTA squad athletes.
“Great to be back racing and even better that we could provide a draft legal racing opportunity for everyone from our Olympians to our first timers,” said TNSW Pathway Development Manager Mick Delamotte. “The BPCS was designed to provide racing, learning and competitive opportunities for our athletes and it has achieved those goals which is fantastic.”
The Billigence Pathway Championship Series is a six-race series utilising NSW affiliated clubs to deliver safe, cost effective events exclusively for NSW Pathway Development and other invited athletes. With various race formats to challenge tactical nous and technical skills, the Series is bridging the gap between state level competition and national & international racing, which is even more important with the current travel restrictions in place.
“I am equally as happy that despite the challenges with COVID-19, we had great support and cooperation from parents, coaches and athletes to ensure that the race was run in a COVID-safe environment,” says Delamotte. “The athletes competed in the right spirit, they raced hard but they raced fair.”
While the focus of the Series is not on winning – rather, it is on developing skills and gaining valuable race experience – a Series Point Score is in place for Youth (13-15 yrs), Junior B (16-17 yrs), Junior (16-19 yrs) and U23 (18-23 yrs) athletes. Race 1 on Sunday saw medals go to the overall category winners, the athletes with the quickest combined times of the two races.
Triathlon NSW would like to thank Illawarra Tri Club, in particular Jye, Andrew, Paul and Doug, for their unwavering support for Sunday’s event, despite the challenges of delivering a COVID-safe event in the current climate. We look forward to this being the start of a great relationship for more junior races in the future.
The event was attended by Jana & Michael Kapr from naming rights sponsor Billigence, who we thank for their continued investment in the future of triathlon in NSW. Race 2 of the BPCS will be a draft legal duathlon on November 8th at Heffron Park, Maroubra, hosted by Bondi Running & Triathlon Club. Entries are now open to all competitors (including non-Pathway athletes) for Race 2 here.
Race results for BPCS Race 1 will be available later this week here.
More photos & videos are available here.