Ath­letes Canada bound

Multisport Mecca - - News -

CALOUN­DRA’S Anas­ta­sia Heikkila (Tash) is suit­ing up and get­ting ready to take on the world’s best.

The 16-year-old will be go­ing head-to-head with the best ju­nior swim­mers and run­ners from across the globe in the aquathlon events as a part of a strong Coast con­tin­gent rep­re­sent­ing Aus­tralian team in Penticton, Canada.

Ath­letes will take part in the week-long ITU Age Group World Multi-Sport Cham­pi­onships which in­cor­po­rates sprint, stan­dard, long and off-road triathlons, as well as aquathlon and aquabike dis­ci­plines.

Tash’s race in­cludes of a 1km ocean swim in Okana­gan Lake, and a 5km run along the fore­shore.

Hav­ing only taken up com­pet­i­tive triathlon rac­ing four years ago, this is a huge achieve­ment for the 16-year old. Com­ing from a pre­dom­i­nantly cross-coun­try back­ground, Tash is hop­ing the flat, fast run course will be to her ad­van­tage.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to the fast run course and see­ing how I can mix it with the best of the best,” she said.

With the sup­port of lo­cal train­ing groups such as John Wal­lace High Per­for­mance Swim Squad, Ma­roochy Ath­let­ics Club and Caloun­dra Triathlon Club, Tash has been ex­posed to some high-in­ten­sity train­ing lead­ing up to the cham­pi­onships.

It’s quite daunt­ing lin­ing up along­side some of the best ju­nior ath­letes in the world, but the ex­pe­ri­ence is all worth it,” the Unity Col­lege stu­dent said.

Both Tash and her mother now face the im­mense task of jug­gling work, school/study, and bal­anc­ing the bud­get to en­sure they can travel to Canada to at­tend the cham­pi­onships. Her fam­ily’s pride in their daugh­ter’s achieve­ments and earn­ing the right to wear the ‘green and gold’ is some­thing that was only ever dreamed.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

Caloun­dra teen Anas­ta­sia Heikkila will rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in aquathlon in Canada.

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