What an amazing year for ETPA racing. The breadth of our program is now industry leading and it excites me to see where we have come from and where we are going.
We have firmly cemented ourselves into the US market with Raeleigh Harris and the US crew. Athletes and coaches alike are now benefiting from the ETPA racing service platform and the aggregated benefits of dual headquarters.
In the US, we have launched the Otters Swim Squad. As if the US head coach, Rae, isn’t busy enough, she has also won a cheeky world title! Mitchell Reiss has also stepped up a gear on the racing and coaching front. Mitchell is a key driver for the US group and supports Rae with solid scientific and coaching experience.
Our Junior program is in a rapid growth phase and producing solid performances across the board. Our feeder school program, at Williamstown High School, and internal junior development program are yielding consistent talent into our full program. We have now coached our first Elite Junior Australian champion and multiple national series athletes.
Our high performance program is also traveling well. We have coached multiple 70.3 top five finishes, including a 2nd. We have produced multiple professional license holders and an age group world champion. Not to mention more AG champions and podiums getters than we can count.
Two of our Melbourne coaches, myself and Jamie Edwards, are part of the team who deliver the coach education program on behalf of Triathlon Australia and Triathlon Victoria. We continue our commitment to education within our industry and the fulfilment of our overall mission of “Educating through Activity”.
Our Melbourne based swim squad now has three coaches working with over 50 athletes. Marcus Blake our head coach, Dom Scholtes our in water high performance mentor, and David Edwards our dedicated stroke development coach. We are now also taking advantage of our partnership with Elite Swimming and sharing high performance athletes between programs to provide a better pathway for these athletes. This package is perfectly positioned to assist all levels of athlete.
We have also entered into a long term partnership with Bounce Medical group. Bounce Medical group are experts in medical support and have been assisting our athletes at events and behind the scenes all summer. This combined with our resident Physiotherapist, Polly Dhar, and Podiatrist, Andrew Apolloni, produces a powerful mix of knowledge.
Career bike mechanic Vince Tuttobene has just been welcomed into our system as well. Vince is an exceptional mechanic and has a proud tradition of high quality mechanical work.
With all the noise and “Echo Chambers” in our industry now, it’s great seeing the real world outcomes from a smart program. No noise, the results are here, the results are real.
The success of our program is built on three core principles:
1. Consistent program delivery and structure, year in year out!
2. Commitment to servicing athletes at the highest level across all facets of our program.
3. High level of Coach Education and training.
I see the industry continuing to grow. The trend of individual or “silo” coaches operating in their unregulated echo chambers will continue at its own detriment. We will see more unchallenged statements of fiction come from supposed coaching professionals become the norm. Social media will be, as it currently is, the key driver of this mis-information. History from other industries shows us the problems created by this for the Triathlon Industry as a whole will not be significant, as these individuals will struggle to gain any real momentum.
The Triathlon Australia high performance program, I believe, will shrink in coming years and a shift in funding will see highly skilled coaching professionals like ETPA start producing the next generation of Olympians.
Standout results from the 16/17 summer season
International level results
· World champion - Female 45/49 age group – 70.3
· 2nd female pro – 70.3 Bintan
· 4th male pro – 70.3 Bintan
· 2nd male 55-59 years – Ironman NZ
· 1st overall – Australian ITU youth championships
· 1st overall – Australian ITU youth championship series 2016-2017
· 4th female pro – Challenger Shepparton
· 7th female pro – Challenge Shepparton
· 1st female 50-54 years – Challenge Shepparton
· 7th female pro – Cebu 70.3
· 4th female 40-44 years – Challenge Shepparton
· 4th male pro – Challenge Vietnam
· 5th male pro – Challenge Thailand
· 8th male pro – Western Sydney 70.3
· 5th male Ironman – WA 45-49 years
· 3rd male Ironman – WA 35-39 years
· 8th female pro - Ballarat 70.3
· 11th female pro - Ballarat 70.3
· 1st female 40-44 years – Ballarat 70.3
· 1st female 50-54 years – Ballarat 70.3
· 1st female 45-49 years – Geelong 70.3
· 4th male 45-49 years Ironman South Africa
· 1st male 25-29 years – Challenge Melbourne Asia Pacific Championships
· 1st female 50-55 years – Challenge Melbourne Asia Pacific Championships
· 3rd male 40-44 years – Challenge Melbourne Asia Pacific Championship
National level results
· 1st junior female draft legal – Active Tri Vic Champs
· 2nd male 25/29 years – Active Tri Vic Champs
· 3rd junior male draft legal – Active Tri Vic Champs
· 2nd overall male – Active Tri Vic Champs
· 1st youth male draft legal – Active Tri Vic Champs
· 2nd male 20-24 years – Gatorade Standard Distance Vic Champs
· 2nd female 50-54 years – Gatorade Standard Distance Vic Champs
· 3rd female Athena – Gatorade Standard Distance Vic Champs
· 3rd male 35-39 years – Gatorade Standard Distance Vic Champs
· 1st Male Junior A Gatorade Triathlon series
· 2nd male 20-24 years Gatorade Triathlon series
· 4th male 40-44 years Gatorade Triathlon series
Active Tri Series
· 1st Youth A draft legal – Active Tri Series
· 3rd Youth A draft legal – Active Tri Series
· 1st Junior draft legal – Active Tri Series
· 3rd Junior draft legal – Active Tri Series
Challenge Melbourne Sprint race
· 4th male overall
· 2nd female overall
Numbers of interest
· 18 world championship qualifiers (Ironman and Ironman 70.3)
· 8 juniors place into the state schools team
· 3 juniors placed into the National Series
· 4 professional licenses
· 20+ athletes introduced to the sport inc multiple first time IM/70.3 finishers
· 9 dedicated coaches in two countries
5 specialist support staff including, Physiotherapist, Masseur, Podiatrist, Dietician and Mechanic
All of us at ETPA are eager to move into the next phase of Triathlon growth in Australia. I hope you enjoyed reading my take on the summer that was.