On the Road to Rio with Canberra's athletes
The road to the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio has been made a little easier for 30 local athletes who've received a financial grant to help with costs of training, competition and equipment as they strive to represent Australia.
We caught up with local athlete Nic Beveridge as he prepares to compete in the paratriathlon in Rio.
How does the grant make a difference to your dream of competing in Rio?
I'm so glad I've found a sport I enjoy as much as I do with paratriathlon. The only limiting factor is equipment - the sport has three disciplines, and for my class I require a recumbent hand cycle and racing wheelchair. These two items are quite costly, and cost associated with maintenance and upgrading items from wear and tear is also. The grant has enabled me to maintain my equipment in the best operating order for training and racing, while also upgrading some essential parts.
What advice would you give to budding sport stars?
I'm someone who likes to keep to themselves, so when I first identified paratriathlon as the sport I wanted to get involved in, the truth is I had little idea about how best to go about it. I feel a support network is an athlete's best asset - it's worth building a good one - the knowledge you can learn from the people in it will better you in the long run, plus in experience the people in it will stick with you through thick and thin. It makes a difference.
What’s the best thing about being an elite athlete?
The comradery. I've never felt more part of a team as I do in paratriathlon, and it's an individual sport. The training is hard work, so crossing the finish line and getting to catch up with your team mates, hear about how they went, and the general aura of everyone's best efforts being left out on the course is an atmosphere I value. It's certainly the best part of competing as an elite paratriathlete for mine.
What’s been your favourite moment in your sporting career to date?
Finishing my first triathlon, and competing at my first world championships in London 2013.
What’s your favourite thing about Canberra?
The scenery and surrounds - the terrain makes for great training physically, and it's a beautiful place to take in on long rides.