By Peter Holmes on 08/09/09 at 8:20 am
With the 2009 ITU Sport Development Junior and U23 Training Camp on Australia’s Gold Coast finally wrapped, we reflect on the successes and stories from the past week.
Utilising fantastic sports facilities, including a 400m running track, 50m outdoor swimming pool, crit bike course and numerous grass sport fields the athletes and coaches worked strongly together. Other nations had also been using the facilities, including the Portuguese, Polish, Belgian and Luxembourg national teams, providing useful insight for the ITU Sport Development participants into the workings of developed triathlon nations.
Most of the training was completed within the camp, although the athletes enjoyed two open water swimming sessions at the Gold Coast race venue allowing them to perfect their strategies for race day. Head coaches provided useful analysis and gave the athletes one to one feedback on technique and improvements.
In addition to the physiological training the athletes and coaches sat through lectures and seminars covering a variety of topics, including anti-doping, communication and media, sport psychology and race planning. After all the tiring training days the athletes have also enjoyed an ‘easy day’ on Sunday with a short ride out to a coffee shop and a light swim sessions.
ITU Secretary General, Loreen Barnett, and Sheila O’Kelly, ITU World Cup Managing Director, visited the camp over the weekend and spent some hours together with the coaches and athletes in the Sports Super Centre. Monday saw the Farewell Barbeque, in true Aussie style, and regional representatives, ITU Directors and key members of Triathlon Australia attended and met the many athletes and coaches.
To perfect the athletes’ preparations the Head Coaches, Toby Coote, Adam Radford and Bobby McGee made their final presentations to the camp about the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series courses. They covered every aspect of the race from start to finish before many athletes joined their national teams, whilst some will stay with the ITU Sport Development coaches who will guide them through the rest of the week and the world championship weekend.