The European Triathlon Union are delighted with the progress of our new Athlete Scholarship Fund which now sees more opportunities than ever to make the start line of a European International triathlon race.
In December, the ETU wrote to all National Federations with our strategic development plan. The main focus on athlete development was to bridge the gap between Junior and U23 athletes and the top end elite performers.
The opportunities, particularly for athletes from developing Federations, to close this gap is considerable and the ETU announced a new structure to allow high performing athletes from developing Federations funding to compete in ETU races, earn ranking points and offer the opportunity for athletes to qualify for higher level races and senior competition.
Following their outstanding performances in 2012, Ivana Kuriackova (SVK), Kaidi Kivioja (EST), Tea Milos (CRO), Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR), Amitai Yonah (ISR) and Shahar Sagir (ISR) – have all received competition grants and places in the ETU Sprint races in Cremona (ITA) and Tartu (EST).
These young athletes will benefit from a competition grant of 2,000€, which allow them to prepare, travel and compete in Cremona and Tartu later this year.
Such is the ETU ’s commitment to developing these opportunities for athletes that the programme will be continued through to 2014.
For this year, the ETU will continue to monitor the potential of our younger athletes and we have identified a further six athletes, through their ranking performances, who are eligible for a race grant of £1,000€ for the sprint races in Cremona and Tartu.
Monica Orazem (SLO), Hrista Stoyneva (BUL), Lotte Miller (NOR), Bob Haller (LUX), Henrik Goesch (FIN), Dakhno Aliaksander (BLR) have all been offered this grant, 500€ per race.
All National Federations have been contacted by the ETU and will need to confirm acceptance of the competition grants by 18th February 2013.
There remain further opportunities for athletes of developing Federations to compete in 2013.
Athletes from category 2/3 National Federations can apply for a place in an ITU European Cup of their choice and they will receive a competition grant of 250€ per race to compete in an elite race.
Athletes from category 4/5 Federations can also apply for a spot in any ITU European Cup race of their choice, however, there is no ETU grant.
Application forms have been issued to all National federations and the deadline is Friday, 1st March.
The ETU is excited by these development opportunities and look forward to seeing the developing Nations compete at the highest level.