Press Release – Triathlon New Zealand
Gisborne will this week play host to the 2014 National Schools Triathlon Championships, with over 800 entries lodged for the fast growing event that offers options for those just wishing to give tri a go to the more serious contenders chasing line honours.25 March 2014
Best Young Triathletes Descend On Gisborne This Week
Gisborne will this week play host to the 2014 National Schools Triathlon Championships, with over 800 entries lodged for the fast growing event that offers options for those just wishing to ‘give tri a go’ to the more serious contenders chasing line honours.
The event is supported by Triathlon New Zealand, Sport Gisborne, Tourism Eastland and the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sport Council (NZSSSC). Oceania Triathlon Union is also backing the event, assisting in bringing young athletes from throughout the Pacific Islands to attend and compete with the best young athletes New Zealand has to offer.
Event Director Terry Sheldrake is a proud Gisborne resident and says the region will do the event proud while also providing a great place for visitors to travel to and enjoy.
“We have a strong triathlon culture here in Gisborne and everyone is looking forward very much to hosting the best young talent in the country this week. But it is also about those who are in the sport for fun, to come to a great place and enjoy their participation amongst their peers and to see a beautiful part of the country at the same time.
“Sport Gisborne and Tourism Eastland have been great supporters and have put in place everything from budget accommodation, tourism and cultural activities and a great week of events for the participants and supporters to make the most of the visit.”
Sheldrake is also President of the Oceania Triathlon Union and has ensured that the event is also of benefit to the up and coming triathletes from around the Oceania region.
“With the support of the Oceania Triathlon Union and the International Triathlon Union we have been able to bring a squad of youngsters from around the Oceania region to first New Plymouth last weekend (to take part in racing at the ITU World Cup event) and then on to Gisborne to race against the best young New Zealand talent. While here they are receiving coaching and mentoring in all aspects of the sport and experiencing another culture and country at the same time. This is a great investment in the region and its young talent that might not otherwise be capable to taking advantage of such an opportunity.”
John Scott is another proud Gisborne man and as a coach with the Eastland Multisport & Triathlon Club and head of the Local Organising Committee, he too is excited at the week ahead.
“This has been in the planning for some time now and we can’t wait for the event to get underway this week. We have a strong and dedicated team of officials and volunteers ready to help showcase our region and facilities with a safe and high quality event.
“The National Schools Champs is a fast growing event and the prospect of hundreds if not thousands of visitors to the Gisborne region will be a boon to the local economy as well with the hospitality and tourism sectors in particular set to benefit. This event is about those entering for fun as well as the more serious triathletes chasing medals; we want to deliver a great experience for them all, including supporters and families.”
The Schools Nationals includes events and categories for all abilities from U12 to U19, including team events, sprint, standard, aquathlon (swim/run) and the National Schools Open Water Swimming Champs.
The contenders in the main events this week include:
U19 (Senior) Boys
• Tayler Reid – Gisborne Boys High School, coached by Stephen Sheldrake. The defending champion is back for another title after winning the NZ U19 Elite title in Wellington earlier this month. Reid has already earned selection to the 2014 Edmonton ITU U19 World Championships team. A member of the Tri NZ National Talent Squad.
• Alexandre Tate – Tahiti , won the New Plymouth age group race and is a strong swimmer, likely to be alongside or close to Reid out of the water in Gisborne.
• Kyle Smith – Taupo Nui-a-Tia College, coached by Cameron Durno. Kyle was the intermediate boys winner in 2013 and steps up a grade this year. In good form, Smith is a reserve for the NZ team at Edmonton this year in the U19 team. A member of the Tri NZ National Talent Squad.
• Leo Roper – MaCleans College, coached by Bruce Hunter. Leo is the Auckland Schools Triathlon Champion.
• Liam Ward – St Kentigern College, coached by Brett Reid. Liam is a member of the Tri NZ National Talent Squad and is reserve for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.
U19 (Senior) Girls
• Jaimee Leader, Palmerston North Girls High School, coached by Sam Warriner. Jaimee is the defending champion and has been named as a reserve for the ITU Edmonton World Champs U19 team. A member of the Tri NZ National Talent Squad
• Alana Lythe – Westlake Girls High, coached by Stephen Farrell. Alana was runner up in 2013 in this race and is the Auckland Champion.
• Lizzie Stannard – Palmerston North Girls High School, coached by Will O’Connor, Lizzie has had a busy and successful summer, racing to a podium finish in Penrith at an Australian Junior event, earning nomination to the NZOC for the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games in 2014. Member of the Tri NZ National Talent Squad.
• Tessa McNair – Takapuna Grammar, coached by Stephen Farrell. 2nd at the NZ champs in 2013 and 2nd in the Auckland Schools Triathlon Champs in 2014.
U16 (Intermediate) Boys
• Dan Hoy – Westlake Boys High School, coached by Nathan Richmond. Dan has earned nomination to the NZ team for the Nanjing Youth Olympics in 2014 and is a member of the National Talent Squad. The current Auckland Schools Triathlon Champion.
• Kaleb Wright – Linisfarne School. Kaleb is the defending champion in this age group and will be all focus on winning again in Gisborne
• Trent Dodds – McLeans College, coached by Bruce Hunter. Trent was runner up at the Auckland Schools Triathlon Championships this year.
• Henry Gautrey – Hutt International School. Runner up in this category in 2013.
• Janus Staufenberg – Mt Aspiring College. Janus was 3rd in 2013 ensuring a return of the entire podium from last year.
U16 (Intermediate) Girls
• Gorgi Van Lienen – Palmerston North Girls High. Another from PN, Gorgi was 3rd last year and will be a real threat with another year under her belt in Gisborne
• Katherine Badham – Takapuna Grammar. The current Auckland Schools champion.
• Sophie Skelton – Botany Downs College. Sophie was runner up at the age group NZ Sprint Nationals in Kinloch in February this year.
U14 (Junior) Boys
• Gregor Findlay – Mt Aspiring College. Gregor returns looking to go one better than his runner up finish in 2013.
• Adam McPheat – Takapuna Grammar, runner up at the Auckland Schools Championships.
U14 (Junior) Girls
• Charlotte Dingemans – Cambridge High School. Runner-up in this event last year.
• Dana Purdy – Freyberg High School. Dana was third in this event in 2013.
2014 National Schools Triathlon Championships
26 – 29 March
Waikanae Beach, Churchill and Beacon Reserves
26th March 2014 (Wednesday)
Registration open for all events / Tour of Courses / Formal Welcome + Pasta Party
27th March 2014 (Thursday)
Triathlons / Individual + Teams / Paratri
28th March 2014 (Friday)
Super Sprint Team / Aquathlon / Prize giving & Post Event Party
29th March 2014 (Saturday)
Open Water Swim / Prizegiving for Open Water Swim
CLICK HERE  for the event website and full schedule
For further information visit www.triathlon.org.nz