St George's junior triathlete participation skyrockets
TRIATHLON: St George Triathlon Club is attracting greater numbers of young people, laying down strong foundations for the future of the club.
Club secretary Susie Bardsley said the juniors were absolutely flying.
"Last year we had 30 junior competitors on our books, which has now tripled,” she said.
"They are just going from strength to strength.
"We have seen a huge improvement within our kids' abilities and what they are able to produce every Saturday from the start of the season.”
This weekend is the Mini Tri day, which is part of the club's program that runs every Saturday.
"Once you join our club, every Saturday we have what we class as a Mini Tri day where the adults participate first followed by the juniors,” she said.
"The adults do all the same distances and the children, depending on their abilities, do varying distances.”
Bardsley said the club ethos was fundamental to junior participation.
"We really emphasise participation not competition,” she said. "We are very strict with being kind and encouraging when you're out there because not every kid is a good swimmer or a runner, everyone has different skills.
"It's all about the children improving themselves and getting stronger in all three disciplines of triathlon.
"It's very much a fun way of getting them fit.”
Bardsley said, as the club continued to grow, they got to enter more competitions.
"Most of us are training for the club's main event, the Battle of Balonne, but we also have members within our club who will travel to the Hell of the West competition in Gundiwindi,” she said.
"It's usually for adults but because we have grown our kids so much we are hoping to take some of our juniors so they can do a triathlon in a different environment; it'll be a great experience.”