The British Triathlon Home Nation Pathway supports next generation athletes such as Lizzy Edge and Hamish Reilly to help them develop and fulfil their potential.
As members of the England Next Generation Programme (ENG), both Edge and Reilly benefit from training camps and racing opportunities at home and overseas. These experiences are all tailored by coaches and support staff to help them grow and test themselves against the top talent in their age group.
Edge, now in her second year on the programme, said: “The main thing I’ve benefitted from is being able to train as part of a team and learn from the older, more experienced athletes.”
During the season, the ENG squad attended a training week at the Brownlee Centre in Leeds where the young athletes were put through their paces. About the week, Reilly commented: “I love going to the ENG camps and training alongside other like-minded, quality athletes. It’s not something I take for granted, as I have come from a background of having to do a lot of my training on my own.
“Getting to train alongside top athletes like Alex Yee, the Brownlees and Mark Buckingham was pretty inspirational. I learnt loads from drafting techniques through to nutrition advice.”
As well as high quality training experiences, ENG athletes are given a number of racing opportunities to test out how they’re developing against other top athletes. One of these is the British Triathlon Youth and Junior Super Series, which comprises seven events throughout the year and brings together the best developing talent from across Britain.
“The racing at the Super Series is always competitive which is good to push us on” commented Edge: “We all have to consistently work hard to ensure we can compete throughout the season and progress year-on-year”. Reilly, who finished first in 2019, added: “The Super Series is unlike any other. It gives us the opportunity to compete against the top youth and junior athletes across multiple events.”
The squad also have the opportunity to qualify to represent Great Britain against youth and junior athletes from other nations. Both Edge and Reilly had their first taste of this when they competed at the 2019 ETU Triathlon Youth European Championships in Kitzbühel, Austria.
Reflecting on the experience of being selected, Edge commented: “I massively enjoyed my experience of representing Great Britain, it was really exciting to be selected and travel and race with the team. Receiving my kit was an amazing feeling and made me feel so proud.
“We all learned loads about racing internationally and being away together. None of us had represented Britain before, so to have the guidance and experience from the staff team made a massive difference. To have a physio, coaches and staff to make sure we were in the right place at the right time was a huge support in helping us race well.”
Following on from Kitzbühel, Reilly won bronze at the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in Riga, Latvia: “After Kitzbühel, I knew I wanted to race at the European level again. The racing was extremely tough, and I went into the race with no big expectations. After a good bike leg I pushed as hard as I could on the run knowing I had a medal in my sights, managing to hold on for third place.”
The pathway squads for Triathlon England, Triathlon Scotland and Welsh Triathlon were announced in October and are a key step on the British Triathlon Pathway. Supporting athletes with potential to achieve world class success, the pathway gives them the opportunity to develop with coaching, support staff and training and racing experiences.
You can view the squad from each Home Nation via the buttons below.