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Tri NZ National Talent Camp a Hit in Cambridge

Tri NZ National Talent Camp a Hit in Cambridge

Triathlon New Zealand completed the National Talent Squad camp at their High Performance base in Cambridge yesterday, with the camp a resounding success with coaches, athletes and Tri NZ support staff.

Tri NZ National Talent Development Coach Tim Brazier was delighted at the way the camp played out, for all concerned.

“This has been a really good camp, a good hit out at the North Island Cross Country championships in Taupo with a number of podium results but for all of them, they enjoyed working through and executing some good processes on the day. This is equally about teaching them not to treat all races as ‘priority’ races but to look at some of them as development opportunities, to try things and develop for the future.

“That can be extremely difficult for them to execute. Socially there can be a lot of pressure on from schools, parents and their peers around results. This weekend has been learning in some ways how to manage that. If we can help deliver the messages and skills to give the athletes the confidence and understanding to try things and to understand where they need to be and how they can get there, we are doing a lot to help their performance.”

National Talent Squad athletes attending the camp were: Ari Graham (Christchurch), Jaimee Leader (Palmerston North), Ainsley Thorpe (Auckland), Nicole Van der Kaay (Taupo), Dan Hoy (Auckland), Kyle Smith (Taupo), Fynn Thompson (Queenstown), Trent Thorpe (Auckland), Liam Ward (Auckland) and James Wright (Whanganui). Also joining the camp was Arianna Lord from nearby St Peters School.

The National Talent Squad athletes’ were joined in Cambridge by Edmonton World Championship U19 and U23 athletes Josie Clow (Auckland), Cooper Rand (Auckland) and Jay Wallwork (Auckland), as well as coaches Bruce Hunter (Auckland), Cameron Durno (Taupo) and Gareth Wright (Wanganui).

Fynn Thompson (Queenstown) is building towards the Junior (U19) World Championships in late August where he will represent New Zealand, Thompson loved the week-long camp.

“This has been really good, it is cool to be back in this environment with all your mates and competitors here and with Tim (Brazier) directing all the coaching and being with the squad it definitely results in big improvements and lots of learning.”

Trent Thorpe is a little newer to the sport, having come in from a swimming background and a little school running.

“I have been swimming for ten years and have enjoyed running for school, competing at national level. I have always been top five in swimming and I was getting a little sick of that so decided I wanted something else and looked at triathlon. I have been building up my running and cycling over the past year.

“If I didn’t have this opportunity with the Tri NZ Talent Squad I wouldn’t be here now, I would be much slower in transitioning tot the sport. Now I know what to do, before I had no idea of where to go to but being picked up by Triathlon New Zealand and going through the testing and now this type of coaching and experience, this has helped me decide triathlon is where I want to be.”

Ari Graham made the trip from the South Island to the camp and while there went and upset the northerners, taking out the North Island U18 Cross Country Championships in Taupo.

“The camp has been great and very challenging. I have been involved in about three camps and they have all been really good but this is the longest one I have been at. To be a part of an environment with other likeminded athletes who have the same goals and train hard as well, to see how they are all going as well as me is good.”

Jaimee Leader has recently been called into the New Zealand team for Edmonton where she will race in the elite Junior (U19) race.

“I am loving this camp, the chance to feed off other athletes, I am really enjoying it. I spend a lot of time training on my own at home in Palmy, to come up there and spend time with the other athletes and work off them and get stronger as a team, I really love doing that.”

Leader is coached by Sam Warriner and enjoys the chance to add to the great work of the former world champion with input from other coaches on camp.

“I always look forward to the holidays because I know a camp is coming up. It is great to see the other athletes and train with them. Also you get a wide range of feedback from coaches and it all collates, coaches talk and give you the right stuff so it is good to have different ideas from different perspectives, it all adds up.”

Bruce Hunter (Auckland) was one of three coaches on the camp, working with Tim Brazier.

“I have been picking the brains of Tim and Graeme (Maw), I am a developing coach so anything I can learn off them is going to be beneficial to my athletes. At the end of the day, a coach’s job is for the athlete. There is obviously the personal feeling of your athletes doing well but at the end of the day it is about the athletes, if I can learn and the athletes are learning off other coaches, everyone benefits.”

Brazier stressed that the feedback worked both ways from his point of view.

“Having the other coaches here and to meet some of the coaches in the regions, to talk to them about their experience in the regions and in the sport of triathlon is awesome. They are seeing and learning different stuff to us, to share that information together and work as a group to develop the youth triathlon community is what it is all about.”

For more information on the National Talent Programme, CLICK HERE

Results at the North Island Cross Country Championships from the NTS Camp athletes:

• Women’s U18: Ari 1st, Jaimee 8th, Ainsley 10th

• Men’s U18: Kyle 2nd, Liam 12th

• Women’s U20: Josie 2nd

• Men’s U20: Jay 4th


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