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ITU Level I Community Coaches Course in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

31 August 2010 by Masa Takaya

An ITU level 1 Community Coaching Course was held at the Mongolian Olympic Facilities in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia from 28 to 31 August 2010 under the guidance of the ITU Sport Development Manager, Alan Ley.  A group of 16 coaches from Mongolia and Hong Kong attended the 4-day certification course which is part of the ASTC strategic plan to develop triathlon across the region.

The ITU Level 1 Community Coaches Course manuals and handouts have been translated into Mongolian by Byambaa Tsagaanbaatar, the Secretary General of the Mongolian Triathlon Union.  While almost all the participants can understand English, Nasanbat Naranbat, a national coach for Mongolia, who speaks English, Russian, Mongolian and French assisted with translations throughout the course.

Ashiq Idris (Singapore) and Stephanie Chok (Malaysia) assisted Alan Ley with the presentation of the course as part of their final practical requirement for the ITU Facilitator Certification.

The Mongolian Triathlon Union (MTrU) was founded on December 18, 2004, at which time there was not a single triathlete in Mongolia, nor a budget or any suitable training facilities.  Now in August of 2010 Mongolia has coaches, triathletes and a calendar of events.  It was the first-ever ITU-ASTC Level 1 Community Coaches course in Ulaanbaatar.

“I thought it wouldn’t be popular in Mongolia because it’s so hard,” said Secretary General of the Mongolian Triathlon Union Byambaa Tsagaanbaatar. After two weeks of training, Tsagaanbaatar took his three athletes to a competition in Kazakhstan, and Mongolia had its first official triathletes.

Byambaa Tsagaanbaatar is credited as the founder and now Secretary General of the MTrU. According to an article written in 2008 by William Kennedy, Byambaa started his triathlon with a dream that foreigners might want to compete in Mongolia, but he was sceptical about domestic interest in the sport.  “I thought it wouldn’t be popular in Mongolia because it’s so hard,” Tsagaanbaatar said. “I didn’t think we’d have Mongolian athletes.”

In July of 2005, Tsagaanbaatar found three young prospects: A. Ankhzul, E. Munkhbayasgalan and M. Tsenguun. After two weeks of training, Tsagaanbaatar took his three athletes to a competition in Kazakhstan, and Mongolia had its first official triathletes.

Now the future of triathlon is exciting and full of possibilities for Mongolia!