Triathlon presents a unique sporting challenge, but there’s plenty of support to get new racers to the starting line.
Participation in triathlon is booming, driven by favourable factors as a lifestyle sport and its family friendliness. It also encourages participation at any age, and a wide range of people can stroke, pedal and stride their way on the same course as the elite competitors. For athletes in other sports in swimming, rowing or surf lifesaving, it has tremendous crossover qualities, as well as an offseason training option.
More than 80,000 Aussies take on a triathlon each year. The adult participation program, TriActive, is aimed at people who would like to become a bit more active and build them up to race for the first time. Weet-Bix TRYstars is a junior program offered through schools, clubs and the community which develops the sport’s fundamental skills in children between the ages of seven and 12.
Australia has a proud heritage in the sport, having produced some of the world’s great triathletes. When the sport was introduced into the Olympics in 2000 in Sydney, Michellie Jones claimed a memorable silver medal, and Australia has won a medal in every Games since. In a fascinating tale, when triathlon was introduced to the Paralympics last year, and Katie Kelly won gold in the PT5 event, her guide was Jones.
It speaks volumes about the kind of sport that triathlon has become. To get involved, or for more information, head to www.triathlon.org.au