A new performance triathlon centre designed to develop the next generation of world-class Scottish and British athletes, has launched at the University of Stirling.
The National Triathlon Centre is a joint partnership between the University, British Triathlon and Triathlon Scotland which will see the University’s existing scholarship programme integrate with the governing bodies’ performance pathways.
With shared funding provision and strategic overview across the partners, Stirling becomes one of five centres within British Triathlon’s performance pathway, alongside Loughborough, Leeds, Bath and Cardiff, tasked with supporting the long-term development of talented athletes whilst providing a dual-career pathway through academia.
Crawford Whyte has been named Lead Performance Coach for the Centre and looks forward to his task of preparing athletes to compete at a senior world level.
Whyte, who was part of the Team Scotland coaching staff at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, said: “It’s a great opportunity to be leading the National Triathlon Centre. As a key part of both the Scottish and British Performance Pathway for many years, the centre at the University of Stirling has a rich history in triathlon. I look forward to taking on the challenge of developing the centre and supporting athletes that have chosen to train here in Stirling.”
Whyte will be assisted by Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Marc Austin, who trained and studied at the University of Stirling which has also seen several other notable Team Scotland athletes come through including World Duathlon champion, Catriona Morrison, World Ironman bronze medallist, David McNamee and World University champion, Grant Sheldon, among others.
Commenting on the partnership, University of Stirling Executive Director of Sport, Cathy Gallagher, said: “The establishment of the new National Triathlon Centre marks the start of an exciting journey for the University, Triathlon Scotland and British Triathlon to develop and support the next generation of top-class triathletes from Scotland and across the UK.
“Whilst Triathlon has enjoyed a long association with Stirling, the success of the new centre will be founded on a different focus, culture and environment, led by excellent coaches and located within an institution with a proven record for success at the highest international levels. The effectiveness of the partnership will be the cornerstone upon which the centre will thrive.”
Mike Cavendish, British Triathlon Performance Director, added: “We are thrilled to be part of this partnership with Triathlon Scotland and University of Stirling to launch the National Training Centre at the university.
“This partnership is part of our wider strategy to deliver a broader range of high-quality daily training environments for elite triathletes and paratriathletes across the pathway. I look forward to seeing the centre and our partnership grow in the years to come.”
Fiona Lothian, Triathlon Scotland Head of Performance Pathways said: "Having had Triathlon Scotland performance squads based in Stirling since 2001, we know that it is one of the best environments in the world for training.
“This agreement with the University of Stirling and British Triathlon provides stability and a clear structure which will enable the next generation of athletes to follow in the footsteps of Commonwealth Games athletes David McNamee, Catriona Morrison, Grant Sheldon, Natalie Milne, Marc Austin, Sophia Green and Cameron Main, all of whom are University of Stirling graduates."