–By Ottawa Sportspage, For Bytown Storm Triathlon Club
Young athletes will have the chance to map out a new path to the podium when Triathlon Ontario hosts its first-ever Talent Identification Event the morning of Sunday, June 3 out of Goulbourn Recreation Complex.
“It’s exciting,” says Triathlon Ontario’s Provincial Development Coach Greg Kealey. “This is the first time it’s been done, certainly in our province, and we think in Canada too. It’s a great chance to increase the exposure for our sport, and give athletes who are competitive the opportunity to expedite their inclusion in our high-performance pathway.”
With a chance to be analyzed by top triathlon coaches and sport science experts, the groundbreaking event could be of particular interest to teenaged athletes with a competitive training background, in any sport.
“They don’t have to be great swimmers or fantastic runners,” notes Kealey. “If they are good athletes, they tend to adapt fairly quickly to different sports.”
Organizers wouldn’t expect to athletes to leave their current sport in pursuit of triathlon – particularly if they’re excelling – but it could be appealing for someone looking for other options, or simply the chance to get a taste for triathlon potential in half a day.
“If there’s someone who’s invested 7 years of their life into swimming and isn’t at the provincial or national level, at a certain point, they may think, ‘Where do I go?’” outlines Kealey. “Well, you can be a second-level swimmer in the province and probably be a front-pack swimmer in triathlon. That’s an example of someone we’d like to see at the event.”
Free half-day performance analysis
Tests at the event will include general athletic strength and movement screening, swim and run assessments plus time trials (200 metres in the pool and 1,200 m around the track), and the WINGATE Bike Test to measure peak power and cardio capacity.
The performance analysis will be led by PEAK Centre for Human Performance Sport Science Experts alongside Ottawa-based Kealey, also the Head Coach of the local Bytown Storm club.
Each participant will receive feedback based on the high-tech tests. Everyone can then connect with an appropriate program or coach if they’re interested in the sport, and those that show great potential can jump into the competitive environment immediately.
Though focused specifically on evaluating potential in triathlon, the event mirrors the objectives of the popular RBC Training Ground – reaching out to talented athletes from many sports and uncovering their possibilities.
“We are serious about continually developing athletes like Simon Whitfield (the 2000 men’s Olympic champion) and Joanna Brown (the 2018 Commonwealth Games women’s bronze medallist from Ottawa who won a World Championships medal as a junior with the Storm),” underlines Kealey. “We want to see if we can provide you with the right environment to continue looking at that high-performance pathway to the Pan Am Games or Olympics. This event could be that first step.”
Come out to Triathlon Ontario’s FREE Talent ID Event
Sunday, June 3 – 7:30 a.m. to noon – Goulbourn Recreation Complex
Space is Limited – Register Now at: BytownTriathlon.com/Talent-ID-Day.html