Members and coaches at Vale Tridents Junior Triathlon Club received extra inspiration on Saturday (12 March) when Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Michael Taylor joined the club’s training day.
The PTS4 paratriathlete offered encouragement and advice to the club’s young athletes during their bike and run training sessions at Faringdon Leisure Centre, as well as answering their questions during a Q&A.
Over 30 of the club’s members, who are all aged 8-16, were present as they showcased and developed their swim, bike, run and transition skills following input from Taylor and the club’s coaches.
The training day included different coaching sessions and was organised as an expansion of Vale Tridents’ weekly Saturday afternoon training sessions which usually include bike or run coaching followed by a swim session.
Speaking during his visit to the club, Taylor said:
“It has been amazing to see all the enthusiasm and everyone getting stuck in especially seeing the skills they are developing at such a young age. It’s a sport that has become such a huge part of my life, so to come to Vale Tridents and see so many young people sharing this passion and enjoying swim, bike, run is fantastic.
“The way the club made their sessions fun and engaging throughout the day was brilliant to see and I was really impressed by the skills on show, it’s been such a pleasure to be here.”
Taylor’s visit to the club comes off the back of a medal-filled year for the 26-year-old, who ended the year with a silver-medal winning performance at the European Championships in Spain, just a few weeks after representing ParalympicsGB in Tokyo.
Last year also included medals for Taylor at World Triathlon Para Series events in Yokohama and Leeds, as well as victories at a World Triathlon Para Cup in Spain and last summer’s Paratriathlon National Championships.
Jenny Smith, Treasurer at Vale Tridents Junior Triathlon Club, said:
“It’s been a fantastic day of fun and inspiration for all our members – happy children and happy coaches. We cannot thank Michael enough for his visit today, it’s been great to have him supporting and motivating our children and I am sure they will put all his advice into practise as the race season gets underway.”
Club members and Young Activators, Ben Davies, aged 15, and Oliver Webber, aged 14, were two of the club’s members who were inspired by meeting and receiving advice from Taylor.
Davies said: “It was fantastic to have such an inspirational athlete come to visit us and it’s really motivated us as a club to succeed in triathlon.”
Webber added: “It was an eye-opener to hear from such an incredible athlete at the club and to hear where the sport of triathlon can take you.”
For more information about Vale Tridents Junior Triathlon Club, please visit https://clubs.britishtriathlon.org/ValeTridentsJuniorTriathlonClub