WA Paratriathletes Nige Young and Justine Dawson have become the first Australian para athletes to commence their triathlon coaching journey at the recent Development Coaches Course held by Triathlon WA.
Not only did they develop their own coaching skills at the course, they also gave other coaches in attendance a unique insight into the paratriathlete experience, discussing their challenges in training and racing and showing the different equipment they use when racing.
The move into coaching has been inspired by a desire to encourage young people into paratriathlon.
“We want to encourage more kids and adults, into para sport in general but triathlon specifically,” said Justine. “It’s important to us to lead by example both as athletes and coaches. Para sport, as an adult is very challenging and very expensive but for kids under 18 there is much more opportunity.
“I think it’s important to have para coaches coaching para athletes. It’s hard for able bodied coaches to understand the challenges for para triathletes and it’s great to be able to demonstrate what you want to athletes.”
Justine had been involved in triathlon in her 20s, as an able-bodied athlete. She became a below the knee amputee just over a year ago and came back to triathlon as a para athlete just six months ago, after some persuasion from Nige.
Nige and Justine will be working with Perth Triathlon Club’s Paratriathlon Program and hope to develop a squad of junior and adult para athletes.