Doing the hard yards

Mat Thompson has been named in the Sydney Academy of Sport Under-19  triathlon team.
Mat Thompson has been named in the Sydney Academy of Sport Under-19 triathlon team.

Sixteen-year-old McAuley Catholic College student, Mathew Thompson, covers almost 300 kilometres on the training track each week.

Imagine trying to fit this into your weekly schedule ? 16km in the pool, 250km on the bike and 30km running.

But each morning and afternoon, Thompson puts his body through this rigorous routine in the pursuit of one day becoming an Olympian, and it is beginning to pay off.

Thompson has been selected in the Sydney Academy of Sport Under-19 triathlon team to compete in the New Zealand Secondary All Schools Triathlon Championships on April 2 in Auckland.

Thompson has only been a member of the Grafton Triathlon Club for three years and made the academy last year as one of the most improved juniors in New South Wales. This followed a number of second placings in country area triathlons, and then a fifth placing in the Queensland All Schools Triathlon Championships in the Under-16 age division last year.

The Gulmarrad resident has a busy schedule of events this season culminating with the Australian All Schools Triathlon Championships later this year.

Thompson recently competed in the Bananacoast Credit Union World Qualifying Championships 16-19yrs held in Coffs Harbour, qualifying in ninth place.

The race consisted of a 1.5km swim, followed by a 40km bike ride and then a 10km run. Despite being the youngest competitor in the category, Thompson displayed an abundance of courage to finish the event in about 2.5 hours. Thompson's mother, Leanne, said her son's immediate ambition was to make the NSW Institute of Sport and then eventually make the Australian side and live the Olympic dream.

To assist Thompson with the cost of travelling expenses to New Zealand, the Grafton Triathlon Club is holding a raffle with many prizes including a threenight stay in a luxury suite at the Angourie Rainforest Resort, gift vouchers donated by Four Square Foodmart Maclean, Spar Maclean, Sassafras Restaurant Yamba, Joanna Bonnacorssi, and a bike helmet from Maclean Bicycle Centre.

Anyone wishing to purchase a ticket can contact Thompson on 6645 3794.