Up next in our Trinbago 2023 Sport Focus series, we are very excited to be hearing from our two Triathletes who have been selected to represent Team Scotland in the men’s, women’s, and mixed events at Trinbago 2023.
Triathlon makes its Commonwealth Youth Games debut at Trinbago 2023, and Alex and Jessica will be sure to step up to the challenge and aim to make their mark on the international stage.
Ahead of them heading out to Trinidad and Tobago we asked Alex and Jessica to tell us more about their sport and being selected for the Games:
Congratulations on becoming part of Team Scotland, how does it feel to be representing Scotland at your first Commonwealth Youth Games?
Alex: Obviously it’s a huge privilege to represent Scotland. It’s something I’ve worked extremely hard for, and I can’t wait to race and experience a big Games.
Jessica: I’m so excited to have been given the chance to represent Team Scotland in triathlon. For the opportunity to arise at such a big event makes me both nervous and excited and I just hope I can perform to the best of my ability and make the most of this chance.
How did you first get involved in Triathlon?
Alex: I started triathlon when I was 7 with Fusion Triathlon Club, the youngest age you were allowed to join. I remember seeing them training a few times and wanting to join in so badly, so naturally I was extremely excited when I was finally allowed to join. Meeting the minimum standard of being able to swim 2 lengths before being allowed to join provided me with that extra motivation in swimming lessons. From then I have progressed gradually through the performance pathway in place.
Jessica: I was a competitive swimmer from before I was 10. My mum started entering me for aquathons (swim then run) which I enjoyed participating in. Last year I took part in the Scottish National Youth Triathlon Championships and finished 4th. This year I decided to prioritise triathlon over swimming which I have enjoyed doing lots more than swimming on its own!
What’s been a highlight from your sporting journey so far?
Alex: My highlight so far has to be Super League Jersey in 2021. I raced the youth race, while in my first year of the 2-year age group and managed to win which was amazing. It was so cool to race on the same course as the pros did a few hours before and trying the new enduro format (three back-to-back mini triathlons) was also really fun and a great experience.
Jessica: Obviously getting selected for the Games is my number one highlight. Apart from that I’ve been taking part in the British Triathlon Super Series events and enjoyed the racing and moving up the rankings from the initial performance assessments and I have also enjoyed meeting new people.
How have you been training and preparing for the Games over the past weeks and months?
Alex: My training has been very disrupted having had a stress response in my ankle (which is ok now), and then a broken elbow which required surgery. I have been able to get in some heat training on the turbo while it was broken but I am only just getting back to swimming and running. However, I am confident I will be relatively fit in time for the race as I was in a similar situation last year and still managed to win the final British Triathlon Super Series race.
Jessica: This year I made a decision to prioritise triathlon over swimming and Tom my swimming coach, although probably disappointed, has been so supportive of that. I’m a member of a running club and have been to a few endurance cycles with a cycling club to familiarise myself with a bike, however because of my swimming times I don’t have much time to attend the training sessions of other clubs so my bike and run training is mainly self-directed. I’ll run before I go swimming and after I will cycle home with my mum driving behind me. Occasionally I give a swimming session up to attend the running club.