VICTORIA—Many of Canada’s top triathletes will be on the start line for the first time this year at the Sarasota CAMTRI event, while one Victoria resident also made the trip south to begin her triathlon journey at the ITU’s Para-Triathlon Classifier Training course this week.
Thanks to the financial support provided by Triathlon British Columbia, Sarah Black will be representing Canada at the unique course that outlines and educates all that goes into being a certified ITU Classifier.
When certified, classifiers are responsible for assessing athletes and categorizing each as eligible or non-eligible into one of six ITU Para-triathlon classifications to compete internationally.
Still a relatively new Paralympic discipline, the ITU is implementing a new system this year that will require all athletes to be reclassified into one of the six classifications. Having a Canadian with the necessary certification and knowledge will play a critical role in helping Triathlon Canada with recruitment, and guiding athletes into particular classifications.
“The sport of Para-triathlon is growing at a rapid pace around the world, and the performance bar is constantly being raised,” said Carolyn Murray, who coached Canada’s Stefan Daniel to a silver medal at the sport’s Paralympic debut in Rio this past summer. “Through the help of our sport and provincial partners, Triathlon Canada is committed to playing a leading role in the continued development of the sport around the world, while also growing our athlete pool at home which is critical to delivering more medals for Canada. We can’t thank Triathlon BC enough for making this happen.”
Working with Triathlon BC, Triathlon Canada’s goal of sending Black to the training course is threefold:
Increase the number of certified Canadian Classifiers in the ITU;
Have a Victoria-based expert in Classification to support Canada’s high-performance Para-triathlon program;
Introduce more athletes in British Columbia into Para-triathlon who will be supported and guided by a classifier at home.
“Triathlon BC is committed to increasing the visibility and number of Para-triathlon events in the province, which is why we are pleased to support Triathlon Canada in developing resources that are trained in the International Paralympic Classification system,” said Duncan Wood, Chair of Triathlon BC’s Board of Directors. “With the National Triathlon Centre based in Victoria, and the development of Para- triathlon being one of Triathlon BC’s strategic pillars, supporting this effort made perfect sense.”
Black is no stranger to Canada’s high-performance sport world. A professional in athletic and exercise therapy, Black was recently the lead therapist on Rowing Canada’s high-performance integrated support team. More importantly is Black’s extensive experience in para-sport while working for a variety of disability organizations and clubs from the grassroots to elite levels, including the Victoria Wheelchair Sports Club and the OneAbility Collective Impact Group. Black has been a lifelong athlete herself, having played competitively in a variety of sports, including wheelchair basketball.
The ITU Para-triathlon season gets underway in Sarasota, Florida with the Para-triathlon American Championships on Saturday.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body of for the sport in the country. Triathlon Canada’s more than 22,000 members include athletes, coaches and officials from the grassroots to elite levels. With the support of its valued corporate partners –Project, Training Peaks, Zizu Optics, Flight Centre, and Polar – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Own the Podium, Triathlon Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world Champions in all race disciplines. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.