By Erin Greene on 09/04/14 at 3:46 pm
The ITU and OTU recently conducted a development camp for the Oceania Region in New Zealand. A total of 14 junior athletes and seven coaches from seven nations took part in the camp with Tahiti, Tonga, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand being the participating nations.
Head Coaches Stephen Sheldrake from New Zealand and Peter Clifford from Australia report that the camp was a huge success and set the stage for future Oceania Development camps to be held in the region.
The camp, held over 11 days, took athletes firstly to New Plymouth to race in the age group race prior to the New Plymouth World Cup. The athletes got the experience of the best athletes in the world competing. Watching how the best do it is the best way to learn, and with some of the top athletes in the world on hand to compete, it was a great opportunity to do this.
From New Plymouth, the camp then boarded a bus for the 10-hour trip across New Zealand and onto the Secondary School Championships in Gisborne. This week gave the ideal opportunity to learn new skills whilst recovering and preparing to race again. Sessions included learning skills new to them such as swimming in a wetsuit and in rough water, as well as the usual triathlon skills such as swim, bike, run and transition drills. The Gisborne races were conducted over three days and included an individual triathlon, aquathlon, teams super sprint triathlon and an ocean swim. With the seas being large, our athletes were certainly able to put their new skills to the test.
Many thanks must go to Terry Sheldrake from Oceania Triathlon Union for driving the camp and Marlene Lucas, Oceania administrator, who helped with support logistics.