St Mary’s launches new Triathlon Academy

Group pictured at St. Mary's this week. Front Row L-R, Bronagh McGilloway, Ciara Doherty, Rhea McAnaney, Eimear Devine, Kori-Leigh Long, Cara McGlinchey and Kara Jane Robinson-McBride. Middle Row, Bikes L-R, Aobhe McLaughlin, Rachel McLaren, Abigail Harkin and Mia McKinney, Back Row L-R, Tara Mullan, Abbie Hamilton, Claire Devlin, Eabha McCallion, Colleen Morrin, Emilie Hagan, Jamie McLaughlin, Caitlin Bulloch, Nicole Morrison, Mollie McMonagle, Aoife McCallion, Grace McGeeNina Margey, Orla O'Doherty and Juste Astrauskyte.

Group pictured at St. Mary's this week. Front Row L-R, Bronagh McGilloway, Ciara Doherty, Rhea McAnaney, Eimear Devine, Kori-Leigh Long, Cara McGlinchey and Kara Jane Robinson-McBride. Middle Row, Bikes L-R, Aobhe McLaughlin, Rachel McLaren, Abigail Harkin and Mia McKinney, Back Row L-R, Tara Mullan, Abbie Hamilton, Claire Devlin, Eabha McCallion, Colleen Morrin, Emilie Hagan, Jamie McLaughlin, Caitlin Bulloch, Nicole Morrison, Mollie McMonagle, Aoife McCallion, Grace McGeeNina Margey, Orla O'Doherty and Juste Astrauskyte.

A Derry school has become the first in Ireland to form its own swim and triathlon academy.

St. Mary’s College have been training 30 pupils since the start of 2016 to take part in aquathons, duathlons and triathlons.

The St. Mary's College Triathlon Squad pictured last week. Front row, left to right, Nicole Morrison, Kori-Leigh Long, Eabha McCallion. Back row left to right, Nina Margey, Abigail Harkin, Gerard Curran (Triathlon Coach), Colleen Gibbons (Head of PE) Triathlon Coach, Aobhe McLaughlin and Mia McKinney. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

The St. Mary's College Triathlon Squad pictured last week. Front row, left to right, Nicole Morrison, Kori-Leigh Long, Eabha McCallion. Back row left to right, Nina Margey, Abigail Harkin, Gerard Curran (Triathlon Coach), Colleen Gibbons (Head of PE) Triathlon Coach, Aobhe McLaughlin and Mia McKinney. (Photos: Jim McCafferty Photography)

And last week they launched their new programme - ‘Triheroes’, backed by Triathlon Ireland. The official launch was attended by Michael Black, club and coach development manager with Triathlon Ireland.

The swim and triathlon academy allows the girls to train in all aspects of swimming, cycling and running on a weekly schedule.

St. Mary’s teachers, Colleen Gibbons and Gerard Curran, who lead the academy, recently took the girls on a specialist training camp to Slaughtmanus where they trained on watt bikes and in the endless pool, replicating outside conditions.

Colleen Gormley explained that from the cameras in the pool they are able to use video analysis to use to develop training programmes so the girls can have a tailored programme to enhance their swimming.

And the school is already seeing results. Last week they held their first ever swimming gala after all the Year 8s and 9s completed a five week swimming programme.

Several pupils also recently competed in the Ulster Schools Championships.