Queensland's reputation as a nursery for emerging sporting talent continues to grow with a record field vying for selection at the All Schools Triathlon and Aquathlon on the Sunshine Coast this Sunday.
A 15% spike in participants will see a total of 725 athletes gather at Lake Kawana in a bid to earn a shot at the Queensland School Sport State Championships in Hervey Bay next February.
From there the School Sport Australia National Championships beckon, where the Queensland team will be competing to bring back the overall trophy for a 13th straight year.
Sunday’s selection event includes the Kids Aquathlon, where competitors as young as seven run 500m, swim 100m and finish with another 500m run.
Lake Kawana’s calm water, flat run course and roads closed to traffic provide a safe entry to the sport for these emerging athletes – many of whom are taking the start line for their first time.
For some athletes the outcome will point to even greater success.
Nine athletes who placed in the top three in their age groups across the All Schools triathlon events last year went on to podium at the State Championship race.
Meanwhile, last year’s winner in the Senior Triathlon category, Luke Harvey, won the World Championship for his age group in Rotterdam, The Netherlands last month.
Race Director and Executive Director of Triathlon Queensland, Tim Harradine, said the organisation was proud to have run Queensland’s All Schools event for a number of years.
“For our athletes, we are very pleased to continue to grow and incorporate the triathlon pathway through an event like this,” Harradine said.
The All Schools event is a selection race for Metropolitan North, Metropolitan East, Metropolitan West, Sunshine Coast, South Coast, South West and Darling Downs school regions.