Lifelong dream for tri team

Sarah Armstrong, Jane Ryder, Dave Porter, Trish Foxall and Andrew Fisher are jetting off to Europe this week for the ITU World Triathlon Championships in the Netherlands.
Sarah Armstrong, Jane Ryder, Dave Porter, Trish Foxall and Andrew Fisher are jetting off to Europe this week for the ITU World Triathlon Championships in the Netherlands.

Cowra triathlete Dave Porter will realise a lifelong dream when he wears the green and gold of Australia at Rotterdam in the Netherlands on Sunday.

Porter will be joined by fellow Cowra Triathlon Club members Trish Foxall, Bron Porter, Andrew Fisher and mother and daughter combination Jane Ryder and Sarah Armstrong as part of the Australian team competing in the International Triathlon Union world titles.

All are members of the Sprint team which will compete in age group categories over a course which includes a 750 open water swim, a 20km bike ride and a 5km run.

Dave Porter said before departing for Rotterdam that he had wanted to wear the Australian colours since being introduced to the sport of triathlon.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never thought possible,” Porter said.

“It’s taken me 20 years to get to this level.

“It will be particularly special to compete for Australia with my wife Bron and the rest of the Cowra Triathlon Club members,” he said.

Realising his dream started to take shape for Porter in mid 2016 when he joined a training squad consisting his wife Bron, Andrew Fisher and Leah Weedan with the aim of making this year’s Australian team.

They were later joined by Trish Foxall and Grenfell’s Jane Ryder and Sarah Armstrong in their quest for representative honours.

The strength of the Australian team is underlined by the inclusion of Sydney Olympics silver medalist Michellie Jones, a member of the 45 to 49 year age group.

Jones is a two time ITU World Championships and won the 2006 Ironman World Championship.

The Cowra contingent trained together last winter while the Grenfell pair trained together in Grenfell, “when everyone else went into hibernation,” Dave said, “in an effort to get fit for the series of qualifying races which began in late 2016”.

The team’s training involved hours of riding and running in freezing Cowra conditions and twice weekly trips to Blayney’s indoor pool for swim sessions.

Qualifying commenced with a race in Adelaide before further qualifiers in Canberra, Kurnell and then Melbourne.

Fisher and Armstrong finished the qualifying series with podium finishes, Sarah finishing second in a qualifying event in Canberra and Andrew third in an event in Adelaide.

Confident they had accumulated enough points to make the team they all took a break from the sport from March before receiving official notification in May that they were on the plane for Rotterdam.

“The hard work then began again,” Dave said, with another long and hard Cowra winter to endure.

Dave and Bron also had to contend with a move to Canowindra which interrupted their training.

Meeting up in Cowra before flying out this week all of the team agreed that they are excited about representing Cowra, Grenfell and Australia and are looking forward to warmer conditions in Rotterdam, even though it will be early Autumn when they arrive for their event, which will be held on Sunday, September 17.

Foxall and Fisher both thanked remedial muscle therapist Adele Horsfall and Cowra Shire Council for their assistance in preparation for the event.

Dave Porter will compete in the 45 to 49 year division, Andrew Fisher in the 50 to 54 division, Bron Porter in the 40 to 44 division, Trish Foxall in the 45 to 49 division, Jane Ryder in the 50 to 54 division and Sarah Armstrong in the 30 to 34 division.

Leah Weeden was selected in the team but won’t be making the trip.