Press Release – Triathlon New Zealand
Triathlon New Zealand will send a contingent of exciting young talent to the Australian Junior Sprint Championships in Devonport, Tasmania this weekend.
The squad will be led by Assistant National Coach Stephen Sheldrake as they take on the best the Aussies can muster and most importantly, gain vital international experience at an early stage of their triathlon careers.
The team consists of Elise Salt (Auckland), Mikayla Nielsen (Waikato) and Sam Ward (Auckland) from the Tri NZ High Performance Squad with Nicole van der Kaay (Taupo) and Tayler Reid (Gisborne) also included as a result of their impressive form in recent months and the potential both show in the sport.
Sheldrake is excited about the opportunity for a group of promising young athletes.
“This is another great opportunity to increase the level of international experience for these young athletes in the company of a high quality crop of Australian juniors, some of whom raced superbly at the recent Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney.
“It is the last chance for a hit out for our athletes before the National and Oceania Championships in Wellington in early March, our key event for the juniors this summer. Tayler and Nicole get the chance alongside some of our HP development athletes to see how they respond to this environment and gain vital experience.”
Triathlon New Zealand High Performance Director Graeme Maw says this is the first of many initiatives that will focus on the development of athletes throughout the next Olympic cycle.
“The Australian Junior Championships are another excellent opportunity for our young athletes to test themselves, and I wish them all well. I am delighted that Nicole and Tayler are able to join the Team for this event, as it is important that we provide inspiring and educational opportunities to compliment the hard work they do with their coaches at home. On this occasion, that opportunity falls to Nicole and Tayler, and then to others as we progress – for example with 2-dozen of their peers at a National Youth Camp in Cambridge in April.”
The athletes will assemble in Auckland on Wednesday then travel to Tasmania on Thursday to prepare for racing on Saturday.
Results will be updated and distributed on Saturday evening NZT, with further information on the event website – click here