In the first of a four part series, we look at the athletes aiming for the British elite squad at the GE BTF Paratriathlon Talent ID day
With the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games on the horizon, the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) has been on the hunt for elite paratriathletes to join the squad in preparation for the sport’s inaugural Paralympic outing in Brazil.
A recent Talent ID day at Loughborough University aimed to unearth potential 2016 GB team members, with athletes from a variety of backgrounds being put through their paces by BTF coaches on the track and in the pool.
Jonathon Riall, Paratriathlon Performance Manager at the BTF, organised the event – supported by GE, the Elite Partner of the GE GB Triathlon and Paratriathlon teams.
Riall said: “Between now and 2016 it’s all about raising the profile of paratriathlon.
“Our Talent ID days are extremely important because we’re able to introduce paratri to people from a range of disability sport backgrounds, who may not otherwise think to get involved.
“Last year we held an open day which was all about making the sport more accessible. From the group who came along, eight qualified for the Elites at Hyde Park, and one of those, Liz McTernan, went on to win a silver medal at the World Championships.”
This year, fifteen athletes travelled to Loughborough to test themselves in front of the BTF coaches. In windy conditions the group undertook a 5k run trial then faced a 750m swim.
Joe Allen, 23, travelled from Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire. He said: “I’ve always loved cycling and running, but I’m not great at swimming.
“It was great to come down not only to meet some of the athletes, but also get some really insightful advice from the coaches involved.
“I’m going to start integrating tri training into my schedule, as I’d love to be part of the team for 2016.”
Riall added: “The standard was better than expected. We appreciate that this winter many athletes are looking to compete in the London 2012 Paralympic games, and as such have not got a focus on paratriathlon just yet.
“But this time next year will be vital in terms of adding to the squad. We want to be in a position in twelve months where we can maximise recruitment from the largest pool of athletes available.”
For more information about how to get involved in paratriathlon, contact email@example.com.
GE is a proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Elite Partner of the GE GB Triathlon & Paratriathlon teams – providing support and expertise for the athletes as they prepare and compete at the highest levels. See more at www.facebook.com/GEtriathlon