Swim, bike and run” has been added to the Sheldon College motto of “Love, Laughter and Learning” in an historic day in Australia’s sporting future in Brisbane today.
Triathlon Australia and the innovative Sheldon College today announced a strategic partnership to form Australia’s first Triathlon School of Excellence program in Queensland.
The aim: For the program to produce the school’s first Olympian in the sport of triathlon.
And on hand to help launch the program was Queensland’s own 2012 London Olympic triathlete, 21-year-old Emma Jackson “who made her debut at this year’s Games, finishing eighth in the race that saw fellow Australian Erin Densham take out the bronze medal.
To the brassy sounds of Sheldon’s big band, Jackson rode her bike on to the pool deck as over 200 students gave her a royal welcome before she endorsed the program.
“I just I had these facilities when I was at school,” said Jackson, a she addressed the students in front of the eight-lane 25m pool and the sprawling grounds of one of Brisbane’s finest colleges which will be home to up to 30 aspiring young triathletes.
“The facilities are fabulous and I am sure the students will thrive on the atmosphere created here in these amazing surrounds.
“I think it has the potential to become something really exciting.”
This historic alliance will offer school aged students the unique opportunity to develop their triathlon talents under the direction of the Triathlon Australia Athletic Development Program and a world class coach.
This school based program will offer Talented Triathlon students:
• Specialised (Full Time) Talent Development Coaching from TA sanctioned Coaches
• World class training facilities and;
• A world Class education
Triathlon Australia’s CEO Anne Gripper, National Athlete Development Manager Craig Redman, National Talent Academy coach and Olympian Craig Walton were among the Triathlon Australia representatives present to endorse the program.
Redman, who has been working with the school for 12 months was excited to see the program finally launched, saying: “Triathlon Australia is excited to be partnering with Sheldon College in the development of our future champions. We have been working with Sheldon College for over 12 months on the planning of this alliance and I can honestly say that the facilities and staff provided by Sheldon College are truly world class.”
Ms Gripper endorsed the program, saying: “Sheldon College has both the entrepreneurial spirit and the traditional values that are ideally suited to this new venture.”
“This partnership provides talented school aged Triathletes the perfect balance between education and their Triathlon ambitions. I look forward to working with the staff at Sheldon College”.
Dr Lyn Bishop, Principal and CEO Sheldon College, said: “We recognise that our extensive and modern facilities are suited to an excellence program for Triathlon. We believe our best opportunity has been to identify an individual sport with National, International and Olympic participation such as Triathlon, and our strategic vision for the College supports this decision. We believe this partnership will provide Triathlon Australia with a unique point of difference in its value proposition in both Talent ID and the world class education of school aged Triathletes.
“I am excited about the prospect of developing this multi-tier Triathlon Program at Sheldon College and look forward to working with Anne and the TA Coaches in the creation of our future Australian, World and Olympic Champions.”
Triathlon Australia and Sheldon College have been inundated with applications for the role of Head Coach and an announcement is expected in the not too distant future with the program due to start in the December/January School Holidays.