Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon Club took another massive step in its development and goal to become one of the leading clubs in the country with the launch of its Junior Triathlon Club last week.
Gavin Crawford, club chairman outlined that the day was aimed at: “Providing as much information and guidance to the juniors and their parents about triathlon so that they can work and develop their knowledge base over the coming weeks until the next academy day were their will be a greater emphasis on training and skills development”.
In total over 50 junior athletes, ranging in ages from eight to 15 took part in what was a very successful day, with Juniors from as far away as Limavady, Strabane and Donegal Town attending on the day. After a brief introduction from Triathlon Ireland Junior Academy head coach Eammon Tilley, it was down to business.
Swimming and nutrition where the order of the morning, athletes completed swim sets and time trials in the pool and listened to advice and guidance around areas of nutrition and development of healthy eating habits in order to sustain and healthy balanced lifestyle and promote sporting development.
With the help and guidance of Micheal Black and Adam Speer at Optimal Fitness Gym, the athletes and maybe more importantly their parents were taken through and provided with advice and guidance in core strength, development of safe exercise patterns for their children, and how developing certain exercises and muscle groups can benefit aspects of the sport.
Adam outlined that the parents will be “key to the habits that their children take on in relation to exercise and these habits must include exercising correctly to avoid injury and harm”. Other aspects of the afternoon session included running drills, technique and posture development with running coach Sharon Bradley.
Bike handling skills and a duathlon were next on the agenda and as usually happens, when the time came to leave the warmth and comfort of the gym, the rain and the wind came howling over the mountains and descended on Letterkenny, but these athletes could not be deterred.
Each and every junior took part in both the skills training and the duathlon despite the ever increasing gales and showers, indeed the completion was fierce with some helmets remaining on heads for the last run section, such was the excitement of some athletes coming off the bike.
The day was hugely enjoyable for the club and it’s coaches and we certainly hope that the same can be said for the juniors and their parents.
The club would like to give special thanks to everyone that made the day possible, Eammon Tilley for his guidance and support, Aura leisure Centre for the pool, Optimal Fitness for the use of their gym, Macs Mace and Stateside Restaurant for the provision of lunch and also the Black family, who were there to help out with the food and provide the much needed homemade protein bars throughout the day, as well as the coaches Gavin Crawford, Aidan Callaghan, Sharon Bradley, Mark Nicholls, Adam Speer and Mickey Black.