WORLD BEATERS: Our little club takes on the world's best
TRIATHLON: It is not often the Clarence Valley Triathlon Club is represented on the world stage, but with 13 members lining up for their shot at world glory this week, it is next to unbelievable for club stalwart Brian Elvery.
The unabashed pride could not be hidden by the masters competitor who will be one of the 13-strong crew taking on the ITU World Triathlon Championships, which kick off on the Gold Coast today.
"We're as ready as we will ever be,” Elvery said.
"It is just so exciting to see such a big contingent taking on this event. I would say it is unprecedented for our club.
"I think it just goes to show how enthusiastic our members are when it comes to competing at their best.”
The group also shows the diversity of the local club with athletes in their teens all the way up to their 70s taking on the challenger.
The oldest competitor for the club will be Ray Hunt, who continues to excel at the sport, despite his age.
"Sometimes it is just incredible to see what our athletes can achieve, Ray is well past 75, and to think he still takes on every challenge head-on is amazing,” Elvery said.
"I know how much it can hurt at my age, but for Ray, who has more than a decade on me, he just keeps going. I guess it just keeps you going.”
Elvery said it was also encouraging to some some of the club's newer members also making the step up.
"One of our guys Jason Culton, he only started in the sport two years ago,” Elvery said.
"He has gone from it being just a hobby, to competing in the world championships in that time. It is great to see that kind of development, and he is definitely not alone.”
The club will hold high hopes for all 13 competitors, but Elvery said there were no expectations placed on them.
"As with any race, the first idea is always to finish, anything after that is a bonus,” he said. "It is a great feeling to pull on the green and gold, but we need to remember we are taking on the best in the world.”