In its bid to sustain and nurture the triathletes of the younger generations, the Malta Triathlon Federation has, in the past couple of years, embarked on a partnership programme with the European Triathlon Union (ETU) to have young athletes among its ranks train in a professional manner under some of the best Triathlon Coaches in the continent. In the past two seasons, 4 young triathletes from Malta have attended such courses in Croatia, Slovenia and Lithuania, while 3 Maltese coaches who train children and athletes in the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy – MYTA have participated in coaching courses and obtained Level 1 Triathlon Coaching certification.
The momentum was kept in the past weeks when 3 other young athletes attended a training camp in Alicante, Spain, once again organised by the European Triathlon Union. Matthaeus Sciberras, Mattea Grech and Jake Vella joined a group of other young triathletes from all over the continent and had an intense camp of 6 days where they attended lectures and training sessions under professional mentoring and coaching. The three budding athletes were accompanied by MYTA Coach, Matthew Azzopardi who joined a good number of triathlon coaches during the camp.
During the week they spent in Spain, the athletes were training swimming, cycling and running and also had sessions of mountain-biking, velodrome-cycling and open-water swimming. They were treated to a theoretical session each morning followed by three training session a day.
‘It was an unforgettable experience full of fun and learning opportunities. Coaches were amazing and I really learnt a lot from this camp, while making new friends from all over Europe. It made me eager to train more and better on my return home’ said Mattea Grech. Mattheus was on the same wave-lenght when he admitted that ‘it was a lifetime experience which opened my eyes to what being a professional triathlete really means. I will never forget this experience and the knowledge I gained’. Jake Vella stated that he was particulary impressed by the facilities in Spain and that the highlight of the experience was cycling in a velodrome. The athletes were particulary thankful for coach Matt Azzopardi who supported them and made sure everything went plain-sailing.
Cyp Dalli, President of the Malta Triathlon Federation stated that ‘In order for Triathlon in Malta to grow and develop, we need to go out of our shores, learn from those with a wealth of experience and expose our athletes to the the most advanced training opportunuties. This partnership with the European Triathlon Union and its Development Board has been successful as we have seen 7 of our youngest triathletes and three coaches train and be at par with our continental counterparts. We are very thankful to the ETU for these opportunities which will definetly result in a huge investment in the futire of Triathlon in Malta’
The importance of youth-development in Triathlon continues by the flourishing of the Malta Youth Triathlon Academy – MYTA, which is coordinated by the Malta Triathlon Federation through its National Caoch, Dermot Galea. Session for children and youths between 6 and 16 are held every week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. More information can be obtained by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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