YOUNG promising triathletes drawn from six African countries have been presented with the opportunity to enhance their chances of pursuing qualification for the 2024 Olympic Games as they are currently taking part in the ongoing ATU Under-19 Harare camp.
The camp got underway yesterday with 12 athletes from Tunisia, Egypt, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe being part of the programme.
They are camped in Greendale.
Zimbabwe's Pamela Fulton and Riana Robertson from South Africa, as head coaches, are leading the athletes through various sessions including stretch sessions, swim sessions and run drill sessions.
The camp is part of several developmental camps aimed at supporting potential young athletes. Some camps have already been held and the goal is to equip the triathletes with exposure and knowledge that will help them in pursuing qualification for the 2024 Olympics.
The camp is running until Thursday in Harare before the triathletes leave for Troutbeck where they will continue but now working with their respective coaches.
They will also compete in the 2020 Troutbeck ATU Triathlon Junior African Cup to take place on Saturday alongside the Troutbeck ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup and several other events lined-up for the day.
Fulton said the camp assists the athletes with the necessary knowledge that will enable them to prepare themselves to realise their target for 2024. "The camp is aimed at Under-19 athletes who are gearing up to Paris 2024. So it's Africa's top Under-19 triathletes and we have had a few camps, some in Greece and in France. And we have had some camps up north, in Tunisia and Morocco.
"There will be another camp for the same athletes in Egypt, which is immediately before the Africa Championships later this year. So it's aimed at basically the same athletes trying to give them exposure and experience, to give them the knowledge and understanding and prepare themselves to be able to qualify to get to Paris 2024," said Fulton.
Luke Hacker and Luke Steffens are the two Zimbabwean athletes participating in the camp.
Andie Kuipers, who is one of the young promising female triathletes in the country and has expressed her interest for 2024, could not make it for this camp due to other commitments. "We have two male athletes -- Luke Hacker and Luke Steffens. Unfortunately we don't have a female, they were unable to get off school. "Andie (Kuipers) has been made head of sport at school, so she has got too many commitments at school and she is unable to take time off to be able to attend all the camps. So she is going to be very selective on the camps that she does go to attend.
But she is still gearing up for 2024.
"She is still there on the running, she is focusing on the race at Troutbeck but unable to take time off school for the camp," Fulton said.
Other facilitators are Debi Jeans, Austin Jeans, Keegan Cooke, Gideon Benade and Dirk Viljoen who will lead in other sessions and topics related to sport.