The Achilles’ Heel to transformation and development in triathlon has long been the perception that there are no ÔÇ£swimmersÔÇØ out there.
Enter the triathlon learn-to-swim program. Elite triathlete Riana De Lange, Anton Loedolff (GNT Development Officer) and Nico Sterk (elite triathlete) spent a week in December at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria taking a group of 26 youngsters through the basics of swimming.
Isaak Kolela has the squad of 26 youngsters who are mainly duathletes but to make the transition to triathlon needed some help in the water.
The initial two weeks of the program looked at getting the athletes comfortable in the water. In the New Year phase two of the project will be to go to local schools in Pretoria and give the sport more exposure. In principle the schools will help identify promising athletes and to help the to participate in triathlon at provincial level.
According to De Lange there are ÔÇ£a few very talented athletes in the group, all between 16 and 17 years. What we really liked was that on day one only 18 kids came but they seemed to bring friends along and currently we are sitting on 26 athletes. All are eager to learn, so we are hopeful to have some good youngsters competing next year in the triathlon.ÔÇØ