Junior triathletes are the future of our sport and investment in their development is paramount to produce healthy performance outcomes and help budding young triathletes be their best, both on and off the course.
The Triathlon Victoria Development Program (TVDP) has been guiding and developing juniors since its inception by providing not just a pathway to the national ranks, but also skills and knowledge that can be applied off the training track.
Rebecca Henderson, Triathlon Victoria’s 2019 Female Junior Youth Athlete of the Year and recent recipient of School Sport Victoria’s Lindsay Gaze Award, has been part of the TVDP for five years and the young gun from Melbourne’s outer south-east has experienced first hand how beneficial the program can be both professionally and personally.
“The TVDP has been really helpful to my development as both an athlete and a person,” says Henderson.
“I’ve been able to meet and interact with so many amazing coaches and athletes which has allowed me to take away a lot of different ideas that I’ve been able to implement into my training, racing and daily life,”
“It’s not only about racing and doing well, but also about the experience and development.”
While the TVDP aims to provide a pathway to assist promising juniors in progressing within the sport, Henderson enjoys not only the diversity of the program but also the environment and friends she’s made on her journey through the program.
“The TVDP is such a fun group to be part of. Everything from the training days, to national races and the 2XU Triathlon Series, there is always something I look forward to.”
“The friendships I have made have probably been the most enjoyable part. Everyone is always so nice and accommodating to anyone who joins the group.”
“I’m always looking forward to going on to the training days, camps or national races and being of a team environment with so many great people, who I will probably be friends with for the rest of my life.”
TVDP delivers a nurturing and supportive environment for athletes aged 13 to 23, and Henderson feels every junior triathlete would benefit from the program.
“I think every junior who loves triathlon should get involved in the program. It doesn’t matter if you want to be the next world champion or compete for fun; it’s a great environment for any junior,”
“I know that without the supportive environment of TVDP I would definitely not be the athlete or person that I am today.”
The TVDP assists junior athletes with the skills and resources to participate and compete at state and national events and gain experience through dedicated coaches and affiliated experts who foster an inclusive team environment in which to flourish.
Image Credit: Nick Creely, Pakenham Star Community News.