Over the course of the past 12 months I had the amazing opportunity to be a recipient of the SCTA/ Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship program during the 2016/ 2017 season. With the help of Head Coach Toby Coote and contributing sponsors to the program I have had a season that is definitely one to remember. Although I had a rocky season, the scholarship provided support mentally, physically and financially.
The scholarship has offered amazing sporting equipment to help me reach my goals during the season, with products from Vorgee, Cannibal Australia, Xterra Wetsuits Australia, Mizuno Running Australia and Endura Sports Nutrition. On top of that, I received a 6-month membership from the Kawana Aquatic Centre, a series entry into the Queensland Triathlon Series from The Event Crew, and a free entry into the Luke Harrop Memorial Gold Coast Triathlon from Ironman Oceania. I am more than thankful for all the support that the sponsors of the SCTA/ Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship have provided.
I started the season with strong goals in mind: I wanted to podium at the Queensland School Sport Triathlon Championships to further compete at the National Schools Championships in Penrith, and I wanted to make the Queensland Youth A Emerging Talent Squad. However, at the start of the season I fell behind in my running due to old worn out shoes and ineffective technique. As a result of this I suffered from painful shin splints just weeks before the Emerging Talent Squad try-outs. However, with the incredible support from Mizuno Running Australia, who offered me the lightest and most comfortable shoes I have ever warn, and Head Coach Toby Coote, who guided me to improve my running technique, my run began to improve significantly. From Mizuno, I received three pairs of shoes: the Wave Inspire 12, the Wave Sayonara 4 (my personal favourite), and the Wave Hitogami. These shoes have provided amazing comfort for my feet all year round.
From Vorgee, I received a couple pairs of goggles and swim caps, and swimming equipment including, a pool buoy, kick board, mesh bag, duffle bag, goggle bags and other various equipment throughout the season. Half way through the season I got the opportunity to try out the new Missile Eclipse goggles which were excellent at protecting my eyes during sunny swim sessions. I also received a 6-month membership from the Kawana Aquatic Centre where I did all my swim training supervised by Toby Coote. My swimming was already at a high level, yet with consistency and plenty of practise on technique my swim improved so much during the season. With the amazing support of Mizuno, Vorgee and the Kawana Aquatic Centre, I crossed off goal 1 on the list: make the Queensland Emerging Talent Squad.
Xterra Australia has also been very supportive during the season. They provided an amazing wetsuit, the Vengeance, along with an incredible speed suit and other accessories. The cold winter months were definitely made easier with my wetsuit and the speed suit was used throughout the season. The support of Xterra Australia and Vorgee together have been significant were I competed in, and won, the 1km open water swim race in the open category during the Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival.
Also, Endura Sports Nutrition has been incredibly supportive as I received a variety of nutritional gels, electrolytes and bars to aid me in my training. Another main thing I learnt this year was that nutrition is very important as you need to fuel your body properly to reach your potential in training.
From Cannibal Australia, I received many racing and clothing items: ITU legal swimmers for draft legal racing in the Australian Youth Triathlon Series, a bike kit, running singlet, and SCTA uniform. Before I received gear from cannibal I was training in old, worn out bike pant that didn’t provide nearly enough comfort, especially during longer rides. I received the Cannibal bike kit and now I can ride my bike comfortably. With the support of Cannibal Australia and Toby Coote during the scholarship, my bike leg improved significantly until I crashed my bike resulting in a fractured scaphoid.
When I came off my bike it was just 7 weeks before states. At first I started doubting reaching my goal of placing at states, but then I started doubting my ability to place top 6 to go to nationals. However, with the incredible support from Head Coach Toby Coote, all the sponsors involved in the scholarship and the squad from SCTA, I was able to get back on my feet and keep those goals true. The first 4 weeks were tough as all I could do was limited run and wind trainer bike sessions. During the last week I jumped back into the pool, with my cast wrapped in plastic bags and duct tape, only to do short kick sessions. I was able to get my cast off a week early so I had a full week before states to get my swimming and bike skills up to scratch. My performance at states blew me away; although I didn’t achieve my original goal of being on the podium, I placed 4th which to me was a big achievement. I then continued onto Nationals and placed 8th; same position as the previous year.
I am very proud of my performance during the 2016/ 2017 triathlon season and I am more than thankful for all the support I have received from all the sponsors involved in the SCTA/ Protector Aluminium Junior Scholarship: Mizuno Running Australia, Vorgee, Cannibal Australia, Xterra Wetsuits Australia, Endura Sports Nutrition, Kawana Aquatic Centre, The Event Crew and Ironman Oceania, and Head Coach Toby Coote. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about training and racing but is struggling to reach their goals financially. A huge thank you for all the support and I can’t wait to see what I achieve next season. Some of my results over the year:
QTS #2 Robina Triathlon – 4th 14-15 years female
2.5km Spring Swim Sunshine Coast – 2nd female overall
Noosa Triathlon – 1st Open Female Team and 13th team overall
Queensland All School Triathlon Champs – 7th intermediate female and 1st Sunshine Coast Region
Queensland Aquathlon Champs – 2nd 14-15 years female and 7th female overall
QTS #2 Kawana Triathlon – 3rd 14-15 years female and 8th female overall
Runaway Bay Super Sprint Race Weekend – 14th youth A (Super Sprint Tri Grand Final)
Queensland School Sport Triathlon Champs, Hervey Bay – 4th Intermediate female (secured spot on QLD team)
Luke Harrop Memorial/ Gold Coast Triathlon Enticer – 1st place U/16 and 2nd female overall
National Schools Triathlon Championships – 8th intermediate female (individual race) and 5th intermediate category (team race)
Mooloolaba Triathlon Festival 1km ocean swim – 1st open female