South West Talent Academy

The South West Regional Academy runs yearly swim and run performance trials for athletes interested in being part of the Academy set up the following year.  These trials usually take place in September shortly after the U20’s festival at a location fairly central to the region.

The distance athletes trial over is dependant on the athletes age on the day:11952854_816892205076201_1753038266251242537_o

14-16 years: 200m swim and 1500m run

17-18 years: 400m swim and 3000m run

As part of the British Triathlon performance pathway the South West Regional Academy has set entry criteria to ensure athletes coming into the academy.  These are introduced as the 3 A’s – Ability, Attitude and Attendance.  The final group of athletes is chosen by all the coaches shortly after the trials day.  For more information on the 3 A’s please see below.

Ability

Athletes abilities are tested in two ways;

1)  Yearly swim and run performance trials

2) Race performances over the previous season.

Yearly swim and run trials:

The swim and run times recorded are transferred into a points score.  The points scores are then added together and banded into Gold Plus, Gold, Silver, Bronze and unclassified.  The easiest method for calculating the scores is to use the BTF Talent ID app (available for apple products); a summary of the band boundaries at each age-group is available here.  Please note: Athletes are not able to score gold or gold plus unless they are able to achieve gold scores in both swim and run.

Race performances:

Some athletes perform better in races than in time trials and also demonstrate the ability to think and show racing skills that are not given the opportunity to be shown in a straight time trial.  Therefore race results are also taken into account when selecting athletes onto the academy.

South West Regional Academy athletes will:

  • Be of ‘Silver’ standard or above on the BTF talent ID standards*.
  • Continually post times competitive to their peers in the Regional Academy and other children their age nationally at national events such as swim galas, cross country and triathlons.
  • Perform promisingly at national super-series races by demonstrating ability to finish highly and think, act and perform as expected of a performance athlete.

*Final ability level will be dictated by the quality of other athletes involved within the South West Academy selection process.

Attitude

Athletes who have a desire to perform at an elite level often show particular characteristics.  These include perseverance, dedication and an openness to coaching. As such athlete on the South West Regional Academy will:

  • Help create a positive environment where they are open to furthering their own learning and development which will encourage their own potential and that of other academy athletes to thrive.
  • Demonstrate commitment and the willingness to train to the standard required to become a world class triathlete
  • Maintain in regular contact with the regional head coach to ensure development continues away from training weekends

Attendance

In order to fully benefit from the academy, athletes are expected to both physically and mentally attend activities both during and outside of academy weekends. It is important to remember that athletes who accept a place on the academy and do not attend are effectively preventing another athlete from benefitting from the services the academy provides.

We do appreciate that at this age athletes will have many commitments to swimming and running clubs as well as school however, we are very willing to take these into account and discuss suitable attendance across the activities the academy provides.  As a result South West Regional Academy athletes will:

  • Be expected to attend at least 5 out of the 6 training weekends from November to April every winter while they are part of the academy.

For more information on the South West Academy, visit their website here: