File size must be less than 2Mb
You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image
File types (jpg, png, gif)
29 April 2020
By Sarah MATTHEWS
Horsham’s Walsgott sisters are embracing the positives of online training despite disappointment over missing out on representing their state.
Ella, 16, and Sienna, 13, won selection to represent Team Vic at the 2020 Australian Schools Triathlon Championships in Hervey Bay in March.
Four days before they were due to leave, the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Article continues below
Sienna had qualified for the School Sport Victoria team for the first time, with Ella named team captain.
The girls’ mother, Katie Walsgott, said she was not only proud of her daughters’ efforts to make the team, but the positive attitude they had maintained in the wake of COVID-19 restrictions.
Ella and Sienna are completing various training sessions at home and are using video communication platform Zoom to train with their Team Vic counterparts.
“For Ella, it’s not that different from normal,” Mrs Walsgott said.
“She actually has more input from the team than usual thanks to the Zoom sessions.
“The girls are getting together with their team-mates twice a week for Zoom cycling sessions.
“In some ways, social distancing is providing benefits for remote people. We will be putting our hands up at the end to see if it can continue. It would certainly be great for our girls in particular.”
Mrs Walsgott said the girls remained focused on their training, particularly Ella, who has her sights set on competing internationally.
“They have said the event is postponed, but I think it will get to the point where nothing can go ahead,” she said.
“The triathlon season is a bit different to other sports. Tryouts run from October to February, so there won’t be enough time to have the championships before they need to start tryouts for next year.
“It is disappointing for some of the people on the team, because they are in year 12 and it’s their last chance to compete in the schools competition. Ella is in year 11 so she has another chance.
“Sienna is top-age in her division this year, which means she will be bottom age next year. She might need to wait another year for an opportunity or she might just need to train a bit harder.
“Sienna has lots of opportunities in front of her.”
Sienna completes five to six training sessions a week across the three disciplines – swimming, cycling and running – with Ella averaging 10.
“Ella is obviously older so we need to make sure Sienna is not trying to keep up with her. We tailor her training to her level,” Mrs Walsgott said.
“At the moment, swimming is obviously a bit hard unless you have your own pool, but the girls are doing running and cycling.”
Mrs Walsgott said Team Vic was traditionally weaker in national triathlon events than teams from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.
“I think they benefit from the weather and can train year-round, whereas Victoria has a colder climate,” she said. “The aim this year was for Team Vic to break into the top three overall – there are both individual and team events
“For Sienna, we had no expectations. Being her first national event, it didn’t matter if she came last, it’s all about the experience.
“Once you get to national level there are much stricter rules and it’s more stressful, so it’s about getting that first competition under your belt.
“Ella competes in up to four national events a year, so she will just continue on with her training.”
Mrs Walsgott said Ella had her sights set on competing internationally.
“There is an event in New Zealand Ella could have attended and there are opportunities for world championships, but they are for ages 15 to 19,” she said.
“Ella’s goal is to look at competing in a world championship when she is 18 or 19.
“People competing in triathlons are expected to peak in their mid-20s. Any good coach looks long term.
“When Ella started triathlons she was given a 15-year plan, so her training plans have always been long term.
“There will be lots of opportunities for the girls when the world reopens and things go back to normal.
“For now it’s great that they are continuing on with their training and don’t have the attitude that there’s nothing to train for, so what’s the point?”
Mrs Walsgott said Ella and Sienna were both desperately missing netball, with Wimmera and Horsham District seasons on hold until at least the end of May.
“They play for Horsham Saints and they love it,” she said.
“Sienna’s coach is doing Zoom training sessions with her netball team and we have a netball ring at home, so the girls are doing drills in the back yard.
“It’s Ella’s last year as a junior so she’s hoping to get some netball in.”
The entire April 29, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire April 29, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!