Triathlon Australia’s newly formed National Talent Academy (NTP) program will kick start 2012 with its next round of “Search for a Star” time trials on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.
The NTP aims to search for Australia’s next Olympic and Commonwealth Games champions for 2016, 2018 and 2020.
Australia’s NTP coaches are spreading their net throughout Australia’s vast sporting playground to build one of the most exciting groups of young athletes in international triathlon.
The program was launched in September and already Australia’s NTP coaches are pleasantly surprised with the talent that has emerged.
“We are probably in a position at the moment to offer six scholarships , based on what we have seen and to be honest we have been surprised at just how good some of these kids are,” Gold Coast-based NTA Coach for Queensland and Northern Territory, 2000 Olympian Craig Walton said today.
“The standards we have set are tough but we are looking at the best of the best “athletes between our development and our elite athletes.
“But we are encouraging any athlete, whether you are a runner or a swimmer or a bike rider to come along and test yourselves at our special time trials.
“Put your hand up and show us what you’ve got “the NTP will provide you with a pathway to the highest levels of the sport “and who knows, our next Olympic champion could be out there waiting in the wings.”
The Gold Coast will host the first of the 2012 Time Trials on January 20 and 21 while the Sunshine Coast will provide another opportunity on February 18.
Here are the details of the two camps:GOLD COAST
RUN TRIAL – Friday, January 20th (4:30pm) Griffith University Track,Parklands Dr, Southport.
SWIM TRIAL – Saturday, January 21st (8:00am): The Southport School Swimming Pool, Winchester St, Southport.SUNSHINE COAST
RUN TRIAL – Saturday, February 18th (6:30am) Sunshine Coast University Track, Sippy Downs Drive, Sippy Downs.
SWIM TRIAL – Saturday, February 18th (4:00pm): Kawana Waters Swimming Pool, Sportsman Parade, Bokarina.BACKGROUNDER
Four internationally successful, high profile coaches have been appointed as Australia’s new State Talent Coaches (STC) to start the star search and develop a pathway for the development of athletes (aged 14-17 years).
Triathlon Australia with the State Associations will target these athletes for 2016 and primarily the 2020 Olympic Games in what will be an extensive State Talent Academies (STA) program, divided into four specific regions.
The four National Talent Coaches and their specific regions are:
- Craig Walton (Queensland and Northern Territory): The Sydney 2000 Olympian, Olympic gold medal coach and AIS Coach of the Year.
- Keiran Barry (NSW/ACT) who coached his partner Nicole Hackett to the 2000 World Championship in Perth and onto the 2000 Sydney Olympic team.
- Chris Lang (WA), the respected former Gold Coast-based coach of Brad Kahlefeldt who will re-locate to head up the WA program.
- Jan Rehula (VIC/TAS/SA) The Sydney 2000 Olympic bronze medallist and current Korean National Team coach from the Czech Republic.
The Australian Sports Commission funded program has been 18 months in the making and will see the creation of a “camps-based program” alongside a home training environment with the athletes’ home coaches.