Tri coaches want to build on the success of Gibraltar
THE new-look women’s triathlon quartet and their recent Island Games team gold can be seen as a ringing endorsement of Guernsey’s success in the sport.
But there’s always more room for improvement, according to Strive coaches Amy Critchlow and Laura Fry, who hope to bring some new – and ideally young – faces into the performance loop for Guernsey 2021.
The desired result would be a woman earning the development selection spot and getting a 50/50 gender split of triathletes competing in the home Games.
This underlines a wider ambition to convert the growing local participation into a few more Megans – following from Megan Chapple’s shining individual silver – and create a thriving youth performance pathway.
‘Team gold’s such a good result. For me, that was what we went over there to do, and I think it was because this year we’ve trained together so much,’ said Critchlow.
‘It is an advantage having it here – home Games, got a gold last time.
‘We’ve got that cool, strong women’s team and especially with Megan winning the silver – she’s only 22 – she’s such a role model for her age group, and slightly younger, to maybe go into the schools and talk about the race and what’s involved.
‘She can get interest for younger potential athletes to come in and speak to myself, Strive and the triathlon club, and we can get some sort of development pathway.’
The inclusive sport has attracted pleasing numbers across the age-groups in local events.
Yet although its individual disciplines had been well-represented recently in Gibraltar, with athletics and swimming particularly notable for youth depth, both Strive coaches note the lack of young triathletes on the Games roster.
Schools triathlon is a work in progress and meanwhile, Fry encourages more serious sport speople to consider taking up ‘tri’.
‘Not that triathlon’s kind of second-best or anything, but that’s often how the elites fall into it – they didn’t make it as a runner or they didn’t make it as a swimmer,’ said Fry.
‘We would love to identify a group of girls that we can work with over the next couple of years with the aim of getting them in that Guernsey squad.’
A recent example comes with Nicole Petit, a multi-sporter who has recently taken to sprint triathlon with the intention – Critchlow and Fry confirm – of chasing a Guernsey 2021 team spot.
Critchlow does note, though, that the generally increasing participation is doing much good for the sport.
‘Slowly, from that bigger participation, we’re getting a few more women that are able to take it to that performance level.
‘It’s kind of a bottom-up way of doing it – get more people to participate, then from the bigger pool, get more interest in the performance.’
Strive, a performance-based coaching business developed from Try a Tri, can be contacted via email@example.com.