National Schools Triathlon Heads to the Sunny East Coast
August 20 2013
National Schools Triathlon Heads to the Sunny East Coast
Triathlon New Zealand has announced a partnership with the Eastland Multisport and Triathlon Club and Gisborne District Council that will see the National Schools Triathlon and Open Water Swim Championships hosted by Gisborne in March 2014.
The move has strong backing from supporting partners such as Sport Gisborne, Tourism Eastland and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sport Council (NZSSSC). Oceania Triathlon Union is also backing the move, with plans to encourage athletes from throughout the Pacific Islands to attend and compete with the best young athletes New Zealand has to offer.
The dates set aside are March 26-29 as a part of summer tournament week, allowing all schools the opportunity to plan ahead and be a part of this fast growing festival of triathlon, one that includes individual and team triathlon, aquathlon (swim/run), open water races and for the first time at Secondary Schools level, a paratriathlon option to further add to the pathway for athletes with disabilities, with paratri now on the Paralympics programme.
Tri NZ CEO Craig Waugh says the organisation is looking forward to the further development of an event that is already high priority for the national body.
“Tri NZ is excited by the change to the 2014 National Secondary Schools Triathlon Champs. Given it is such a vital point in the athlete pathway of the sport, it is important that the National Schools Champs is a compelling event that attracts teenagers to compete.
“Opportunities to participate in triathlon are plentiful from age 5 with Tri Kids in schools and age 7 with the Weetbix Kids Tryathlon. The challenge is to interest the teenagers with something different. The Gisborne community and Eastland Tri Club have stepped up and have proposed something pretty special that most certainly fits the bill. The partnership between Tri NZ and the Gisborne community to deliver this event will result in further growth in what is already an outstanding event.”
The event enjoys heavyweight support and goes right to the office of Mayor Meng Foon.
"As Mayor of Gisborne, I am delighted that the 2014 NZ Secondary Schools Triathlon National Championships are to be held here in Gisborne. We look forward to welcoming young triathletes from across the country and the Island Nations to our city, where sport is an important part of our culture. Holding the event in Gisborne will provide memorable experiences for athletes and supporters alike, as well as providing a welcome boost to the economy of the region. The council will provide every assistance to the Eastland Triathlon & Multisport Club to ensure the championships are a first class national event."
John Scott is coach at the local club and is bursting with pride at the chance to show off the region and his hard working and dedicated club.
“The Eastland & Multisport Triathlon Club is proud to have been selected to host the 2014 National Schools Triathlon Championships. This will build on our Triathlon in Schools project and further increase the profile of the sport in the region. It will also enable many of our young athletes to perform at National level. The club has teamed with TMS Sport and will involve the local community to provide an exciting and memorable championship event for all the athletes and their supporters.”
TMS Sport is the event delivery company of Terry Sheldrake, a vastly experienced race director, event manager and administrator in triathlon, and currently President of the Oceania Triathlon Union. Sheldrake is Gisborne born and bred and his company will deliver the event on behalf of local organisers and Tri NZ, ensuring a high quality festival of triathlon and related events.
Schools will not only enjoy participating in the many events that will be on offer, with a plan to allow time for students, coaches, teachers and parents to enjoy the delights of the East Coast while in Gisborne. The schedule will be structured to allow for half day excursions into the region, linking local tourism and hospitality into the event’s activities.
Schools will have plenty of choice for affordable accommodation, with packages to be put together including secure camping and cabins at the Olympic pool, local camping grounds and motels. Details on these packages will be made available in the coming weeks.
NZSSSC Executive Director Garry Carnachan has no doubt as to the quality of event that will be delivered on the East Coast.
“From our perspective at NZSSSC it is great to see the National Schools Triathlon Champs moving around the country, offering opportunities for different regions to enjoy and benefit from being a part of such a high quality event.
“Largely through the work of Sue Croskery, Regional Secondary Schools Sports Director, in partnership with local clubs, Gisborne has long offered fantastic triathlon and duathlon opportunities for schools in the region and news of the National Schools Champs will be well received. I am sure that all those attending will enjoy the unique experience that the East Coast region offers.”
With the dates set for March 26-29 work will now continue on finalising the event schedule with the focus on delivering on two key objectives. The first is to provide participation opportunities for students of all abilities in individual and team events. The second is to dovetail as an important part of the athlete pathway and assist in talent ID, with High Performance Director Graeme Maw and his team set to be in attendance looking for the next generation of potential Olympians.
Recent history of National Schools
Triathlon Championships venues
2010: Karapiro, Waipa District
2011: Jacks Point, Queenstown
2012: Karapiro, Waipa District
2013: Pegasus, Christchurch
2014: Gisborne, East Coast
For further information visit www.triathlon.org.nz