School Sport: Coopers Tri so hard for England
PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 June 2015
Pupils impress at World Schools' event
Coopers Coborn students shone while on England duty at the World Schools’ Triathlon Championships in France during the half-term break.
A squad of six travelled to Versailles for the first staging of the event, having been selected to compete as England due to their national success in cross-country, swimming and biathlon events.
And Lois Wyatt produced a superb display in the 1997/98 age group to finish fourth in the world after clocking one hour eight minutes two seconds for the 750m swim around the lake of the Palace of Versailles, 20k bike ride and 5k run.
Jack Ayling (1:15.29) was 14th in the boys’ event, while Brianna Cummins was 14th in the 1999/2000 girls’ event with a time of 54.26 for the 400m swim, 20k bike and 5k run.
Oliver Morter (50.15) was 17th for the boys, with Oscar Martin (54.22) one place behind.
A total of 14 nations were involved, including Germany and Russia among others, and teams competed in a mixed relay, with each athlete completing a sprint triathlon of 200m swim, 5k bike and 1.5k run before passing on to the next member.
Wyatt (25.19) and Ayling (24.55) combined with a pair from South Africa to finish second in their age group event, while Cummins (28.49), Martin (31.50), Victoria Bishop (31.44) and Morter (23.39) were seventh.
Assistant head Mark Duncan said: “These were absolutely phenomenal results, considering the elite field we were competing against.
“We felt exceptionally proud of the students as they represented their country and themselves so well. Aside from the skills they picked up from the competition, they also learnt so much about themselves, from coping and performing under immense pressure to appreciating the richness of other cultures and developing their confidence levels.
“It was inspiring to see them grow so much in this journey.”
Students trained for two days prior to the two-day competition and also took part in various cultural events, which included performing a dance to represent their country.
The Coopers pupils taught their rivals the traditional English pastime of country dancing, while also visiting the Palace of Versailles and Paris.
“The whole delegation stayed in one hotel, which was similar to an Olympic village, and proudly wore their national tracksuits,” added Duncan. “It was a stunning setting, with the backdrop of the Palace, and Jack even said he had to stop at one point when swimming and just take a look around to say ‘wow!’
“After the individual triathlon the athletes had some spare energy somehow and all started to play football together, definitely showing the power sport has to bring people together. It was great to sit back and watch with the Palace in the background!
“It was certainly the best sporting experience myself, Amy and Richard Wilkes and the students have ever had. We’re now looking to build triathlon into the extra curricular programme for next year and aiming to be at the next World Schools’ event in two years time in Puerto Rico!”