Debbie Tanner (foreground) goes through some pre-run stretching routines with the athletes.  Debbie Tanner (foreground) goes through some pre-run stretching routines with the athletes. CREDIT: Triathlon NZ

Tri NZ National Youth Camp a big hit with all concerned

Monday 29 April 2013, 12:43PM
By Triathlon NZ


Triathlon New Zealand this weekend hosted 23 of the most talented young athletes from around New Zealand at a National Youth Camp in Cambridge, the home of the National High Performance Centre.

With the Avantidrome not due for completion until December this year, the camp was located at St Peters School Cambridge and included sessions hosted and run by former Olympic triathlete Debbie Tanner and track cycling gold medallist Sarah Ulmer. Also in attendance and coaching were Tri NZ Talent Development Coach Tim Brazier and National Coach Greg Fraine.

Brazier said the camp achieved to a number of key objectives and has everyone heading back to their respective home towns buzzing.

“The highlight for me was the chance to work with a very positive and talented group of athletes willing to interact and learn; they were fantastic. They were chomping at the bit to get in to everything, listen and absorb and give feedback. They got a whole lot out of it, reporting back each night on at least 3 or 4 things they learned. The array of talent and the attitude to learn and become better athletes and young people is really exciting and a big positive for us.”

It wasn’t just the athletes learning though, Tri NZ invited Development Coaches Axel Reiser (Canterbury) and Cam Durno (Taupo) along to work at the camp too.

“Cam and Axel got a great deal out of it and contributed brilliantly throughout the weekend,” said Brazier. “They both walked away saying they were inspired by being part of this group to develop themselves and their athletes back in their coaching environments.”

Nicole van der Kaay (Taupo Nui-a-Tia College) looked back on her experience.

“I've learned so much about technique and how to be efficient in all three disciplines. Building relationships with all the different athletes and coaches has been a highlight, and motivating to see everyone putting so much effort in.”

For 14 year old Matthew Nanning (St Kentigerns College), meeting Ulmer proved one of the real highlights.

“As a strong runner, it's been particularly helpful to learn so much about body position in swimming, and how this links with core conditioning. Meeting Sarah Ulmer was inspirational, as she explained that she lost more than won throughout her career but kept trying, which will help me deal with setbacks I'll come across.”

The camp was run by Triathlon New Zealand under the guidance of Tri NZ High Performance Director Graeme Maw, with funding from the recently launched Triathlon Youth Foundation and is the first of a number of initiatives that will roll out around the country.

Attending athletes:

Liam Cullen, Invercargill; Matt Manning, Auckland; Emma Daniels, New Plymouth; Kyle Smith, Taupo; Issy Coombes, Hamilton; James Wright, Wanganui; Tessa McNair, Auckland; Jaimee Leader, Palmerston North; Isabella Sherwood-Clark, Taupo; Tayler Reid, Gisborne; Nicole van der Kaay, Taupo; Fynn Thompson, Queenstown; Laura Steffens, Canterbury; Ari Graham, Christchurch; Jonty Morreau, Auckland; Kiri Atkin, Christchurch; Zac Barber, Canterbury;  Greg Moore, Canterbury; Paige Enoka, Kapiti; Kaitlin Petherick, Auckland; Arianna Lord, Cambridge; Matt Grenfell, Ohope; Sophie Pulford, Cambridge