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NSW Coaches Shine During National Coach Appreciation Week

Coach Appreciation Week 2020


While we appreciate our NSW coaches every week of the year, last week was national Coach Appreciation Week, which gave all Triathlon Australia members an opportunity to thank their coaches for their time, effort and dedication to the sport and to developing athletes as a whole.

At Triathlon NSW, we used this week as an opportunity to put a spotlight on the four nominees we received for the Age Group Coach of the Year Award (2019/20). While this awards ceremony will no longer be going ahead, we think all four coaches are deserving of some appreciation and thanks for the integral role they play in their respective communities.

Introducing the four nominees:

JAMES SWEENEY – Winner of NSW nominations


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James Sweeney of Panthers Triathlon Club and Atmosphere Health & Fitness is an outstanding coach who embodies the values of Triathlon Australia, which was recognised in his selection as the NSW nominee for the Age Group Coach of the Year Award (2019/20).

This is what one of his star athletes, Aimee Carlin, had to say about James in her application for the award.

“James is always at our sessions at 4am when we do not start until 5am. He is never late and holds us accountable if we are late. The programs are written for all the juniors and age group athletes at least two days before the week begins. Even if he is sick he still turns up to make sure we all are.

James not only writes our program he supports with bike skilled days and open water swims and runs all on his own time free of charge. He is an amazing support for all of us even if we are the back runners of races. He believes in self development and PB’s are more important than the placing.

James is a part of the Western Sydney Academy of Sport and has a major developmental role there. He is an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach and is happy to show other coaches his knowledge.

James is always encouraging us and even does some sessions with us. He will cater for school, uni and work to make sure we get done what we need to. Without James' guidance and advice I am not sure where I would be.”

Thank you James for your dedication and commitment to the sport and for developing some truly fantastic athletes. We are delighted to have nominated you to Triathlon Australia as the NSW nominee this year.



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Project M Training and Illawarra Tri Club coach Nathan Miller has built a fantastic team of well-rounded athletes in addition to continuing to achieve great results as a pro athlete himself.

Long time athletes of Nate’s, Emma Wright and Jay Gaffey, wrote the following about him in their application for the award.

“Nate's main aim has been towards helping us find our personal limits and growing them. His team has grown in confidence as we've discovered that our greatest limits are self imposed.

Nathan always wants to hear from everyone and he isn't the type to lead from the front without consideration to others. All the club members have brought family and friends to his training sessions, where his proud athletes want to show their family what a calm, respectful & inspiring man he is.

Nathan has always said ‘train grateful and appreciate life’. This we all do. Nathan is also training and racing the Pro field; not only does he dedicate his time to the team, he also gets out and trains with us every day. We love everything that Nathan does for us and the club and are grateful for him being part of our tri family. That's exactly what we are, one big family.”

Thank you Emma and Jay for nominating Nate, and thank you Nathan for your stellar work as a coach and upstanding member of the Illawarra community.



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Nicole Ward of Ward Coaching is a well-known member of our triathlon community, an ex-pro triathlete, super mum and competitive age grouper who embodies a love and passion for the sport.

Two of Nic’s athletes, Emily Kempson and Mark Wyatt, had this to say about their awesome coach in their applications:

“Nic promotes a balanced lifestyle and lives this way herself making an excellent role model. She coaches the “whole athlete” - physical, mental, emotional, spiritual.

Nic tailors an approach to each athlete in her group. She ensures longevity in the sport and the balance of performance with enjoyment.

Nic is one of the most professional yet down to earth people I have ever met. She genuinely takes concerns seriously from all parties and gives everyone the respect of her time and attention when required.

Nic has been an awesome coach for a long time but has really picked up her commitment over the last 12 months attending events on behalf of TriNSW including junior camps and women’s sports announcements. She is not in this sport for the money but simply wants everyone to get the opportunity to experience how great triathlon really is!”

We couldn’t put it better ourselves. Thank you Nic for your ongoing support and dedication to our great sport, and we hope you never slow down!



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Chris Hanrahan of the Eastern Suburbs Triathlon Club and PB3 Coaching has almost 20 years coaching experience with athletes ranging from first triathlon all the way through to Kona.

Chris’ athlete George Stemmer had this to say about his coach in his application:

“Chris is dedicated to his athletes and takes the time to guide them through each of their own weaknesses - turning these into strengths. He's done this with myself and a number of members. He's always improving and making you do your best.”

We thank Chris for his commitment to the eastern suburbs triathlon community, and for his continued support of our organisation.

Share your appreciation of your coach and tag #ThanksCoachTA, #triathlonnsw and #triathlonaustralia to be reposted!


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