Posted on August 27, 2013
In 2008, a handful of people had a vision to create a club in Falmouth that could teach the sports of surf life saving and triathlon to the local community. Almost five years later five members of Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club have been selected to represent Great Britain at the world stage.
On 13th September, London will host the World Triathlon Championships in Hyde Park. Gylly’s own Melissa Reid (22), Rebecca Walters (22), Kieran Townsend (18), Courtney-Lee Reid (16) and Lowenna Hawkey (15) will be travelling up to the capital after being selected by British Triathlon to take part in the championships and represent their country.
The event is the highlight of the triathlon calendar with the best in the world competing. This includes Olympic Gold and Bronze medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Also heading to London will be Gylly’s co-founder, chairman and head coach Allan Reid.
‘From grassroots to world class performance, that’s how I have seen Gylly grow from its beginnings in 2008,’ says Allan.
‘With over 200 members aged between 7-75, inclusivity is the key. Although you could say our philosophy is ‘it’s not just about taking part, it’s about taking part and being the best you can be!’
With this in mind the club captain, Melissa Reid, has proven it is possible to raise your ambitions and succeed.
Melissa will be competing in the elite Paratriathlon event, in the Tri6B category (visually impaired). Following a gold in the British and European Championships earlier this year, she is aiming to carry on her form and claim victory in London. Melissa finished second at the 2012 World Championships in Aukland, but she has already beaten the reigning world champion at the European champs in Turkey this year. Also racing in Turkey was fellow club member, Matthew Casey (16), who represented GBR in the u19 age-group and finished in ninth place.
Along with the Elite and the Paratriathlon there is a World Championships for age-group athletes in London. This year the competition has been very fierce to qualify for the Great Britain age-group slots due to the championships being in the UK. For a relatively new remote Cornish club to get five athletes to the World Championships is astounding.
‘Melissa has inspired the whole club to aim high and achieve their goals,’ continues Allan.
Melissa’s sister, Courtney-Lee, will be competing in the 16-19 age-group race, as will Lowenna and Kieran; Rebecca will be racing in the 20-24 category.
‘I really believe the recent success of the club is down to the inspiration from Melissa and the support network that Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club can provide. We owe a lot to the financial help of local businesses – Gylly Beach Cafe, Oliver Hughes Physiotherapy and Falmouth Cycle,’ says Allan.
‘The club would like to wish Melissa, Rebecca, Kieran, Courtney-Lee and Lowenna good luck in London. You’ve already made us all very proud just getting selected for the World Championships!’ says Matthew Stone, club president.