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3 years, 3 disciplines 3 coaches – meet triple-threat Derbyshire

26 September 2018

BUENOS AIRES 2018: Charlotte Derbyshire’s journey towards the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) started three years ago when she was just 14, but one major consideration needed to be made when dedicating up to 25 hours a week across three disciplines. The YOG also fell during her Year 12 HSC.

“The feeling I got when I qualified for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games was indescribable,” Derbyshire said. 

“I had been preparing for this moment for about three years, after I realised my date of birth matched perfectly for the next YOG’s age requirement. 

“I had just earnt bronze at the Schools Nationals, which was my first major triathlon, and I fell in love with the sport. 

“Once I’d decided that YOG was my goal, I had to carefully plan out my academic schedule, as Buenos Aires 2018 was going to fall during my HSC year,” the 17-year-old continued. 

“I’ve been lucky enough to attend a great school who have helped me plan years 10, 11 and 12. They’ve worked with me to spread out my study load and still graduate with my friends, all while gradually increasing my training across running, swimming and cycling. 

“On top of school and study, I usually train about 25 hours a week across all three disciplines, but it’s never boring!” she said. 

“It’s easy for me to stay focused and enjoy triathlon because of the variety in training. It’s a real combination of open-water swimming, pool swimming, long runs, track running at pace, pack riding, long rides along with gym and a bit of yoga when I have time.” 

The South Australian got into triathlon after dabbling in swimming, then progressing to running, before adding cycling to the trifecta and bringing her doting dad along for the ride. 

Charlotte Swim Exit

“I really loved swimming and surf lifesaving but found it difficult as I was always the smallest one out there!” she said. 

“I got into distance running which suited my size at the time. A teacher at my school found out that I also did swimming, so he suggested that I try a triathlon. 

“My Dad supported me so much that he actually took up the sport with me! We practiced our cycling together and I began to really love triathlon. Eventually I grew taller and it all just fell into place!” 

The teenager’s hard work has paid off so far, winning the Junior National Championships for the last three years running. 

Being strong and consistent over one discipline is challenging enough for an athlete but finding success across three calls for next level commitment and dedication. 

“Training across three disciplines and being able to master them all takes a special kind of athlete,” Derbyshire said. 

 “I hope to be able to showcase how hardworking triathletes are and show the hard work of those who have helped me in my journey to the YOG. 

“My swimming coach is Olympic swimmer Sally Hunter who has shared so much wisdom and advice with me. My running coach, Adam Didyk, who is the Australian Olympic middle and long-distance running coach has helped me grow immensely since I came to him as an enthusiastic 13-year-old.  

My cycling coach Gav Woodward is also so knowledgeable, he’s taught me so much about cycling and always has my best interests at heart. 

Derbyshire will be joined by fellow triathlete, 17-year-old Joshua Ferris as they head to the YOG in just 10 days. 

You can tune in to the live stream to watch your YOG athletes compete HERE

Liana Buratti

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