ITU-ETU development camp breaks new ground in Spain

By Merryn Sherwood | 26 Jul, 2011

Some of the next generation of ITU athletes and coaches have converged on the University of Alicante in Spain to participate in an ITU-ETU Development camp.

A total of 21 athletes, nine coaches and five staff members – from 12 different countries - are taking part in the development camp from July 23 to 30 that aims to help new athletes and coaches help develop their triathlon careers.

It’s the first camp of its kind, as athletes and coaches from European and Northern African countries, like Croatia, Egypt, Spain, Israel, Morocco, Macedonia, Norway, Slovenia, Serbia and Tunisia, come together.

The staff leading the camp include cycling coach Luc Morin (CAN), running coach Bobby McGee (RSA), swimming coach Grega Zore (SLO), the ITU’s Continental Coordinator for Europe Zeljko Bijuk (CRO) and Roberto Cejuela Anta (ESP) from the University of Alicante.  Former Olympian and current ETU Executive Board Member Kathleen Smet (BEL) also dropped in to the camp.

The young coaches, including Vladimir Žic (CRO), Alberto García (ESP), Vicente Beltran (ESP), Vanessa Huessa (ESP), Uri Zilberman (ISR), Ivan Mihajlovski (MKD), Espen Laaveg (NOR), Wahid Abdelmalek (TUN) and Ahmed Maher (EGY), are very open to sharing knowledge and each day’s coaching meeting have lively and enthusiastic discussions.

The athletes have varied triathlon skills and are very open-minded and motivated to try new ideas.  Most of them are preparing for the ITU Junior World Championship races, which will be held in Beijing in September as part of the 2011 Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series Grand Final. The athletes include Tea Miloš (CRO), Ana Skific (CRO), Ivan Jakovac (CRO), Eugen Jagust (CRO), Mohamed Khaled (EGY), Mohamed Zakaria (EGY), Avital Gez (ISR), Hadar Aharoni (ISR), Amitai Yonah (ISR), Shachar Sagiv (ISR), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Jorgen Gundersen (NOR), Samia Zahidi (MAR), Luka Garevski (MKD), Katarina Ogrin (SLO), Matija Meden (SLO), Vladimir Stojsavljevic (SRB), Ognjen Stojanovic (SRB), Petar Ivackovic (SRB) and Kais Baccour (TUN).

The camp is held at the University of Alicante in Spain, which was also the site of the first World Conference of Science in Triathlon earlier this year, and in the summer becomes a hub for elite athletes to train with accommodation, meals and training venues all within walking distance. The training venues included a 25m pool, track and field facilities and parks for running and hilly and flat bike courses around the city.

Each contintential region holds development camps with the ITU annually or bi-annually, the ATU staged its camp earlier this month while the Asian Triathlon Confederation (ATSC) will hold its camp in South Korea later in 2011.

Click here for more on ITU Development