Great Britain call on Gylly five for World Championships
In 2008, a handful of people had a vision to create a club in Falmouth that could teach the sports of surf life saving and triathlon to the local community. Almost five years later five members of Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club have been selected to represent Great Britain on the world stage.
On September 13, London will host the World Triathlon Championships in Hyde Park. Gylly’s own Melissa Reid (22), Rebecca Walters (22), Kieran Townsend (18), Courtney-Lee Reid (16) and Lowenna Hawkey (15) will be travelling up to the capital after being selected by British Triathlon to take part in the championships and represent their country.
The event is the highlight of the triathlon calendar with the best in the world competing. This includes Olympic gold and bronze medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Also heading to London will be the club's co-founder, chairman and head coach Allan Reid.
He said: "From grassroots to world class performance, that's how I have seen Gylly grow from its beginnings in 2008.
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"With over 200 members aged between 7-75, inclusivity is the key. Although you could say our philosophy is 'it's not just about taking part, it's about taking part and being the best you can be."
With this in mind the club captain, Melissa Reid, has proven it is possible to raise your ambitions and succeed even if nature throws you a 'curve ball’.
Melissa will be competing in the elite Paratriathlon event, in the Tri6B category (visually impaired). Following a gold in the British and European Championships earlier this year, she is aiming to carry on her form and claim victory in London. Melissa finished second at the 2012 World Championships in Auckland, but she has already beaten the reigning world champion at the European Championships in Turkey this year. Also racing in Turkey was fellow club member, Matthew Casey (16), who represented GBR in the U19 age-group and finished in ninth place.
Along with the Elite and the Paratriathlon there is a World Championships for age-group athletes in London. This year the competition has been very fierce to qualify for the Great Britain age-group slots due to the championships being in the UK. For a relatively new remote Cornish club to get five athletes to the World Championships is astounding.
"Allan Reid said: "Melissa has inspired the whole club to aim high and achieve their goals.
Melissa Reid’s sister, Courtney-Lee, will be competing in the 16-19 age-group race, as will Lowenna and Kieran; Rebecca will be racing in the 20-24 category.
Allan Reid said: "I really believe the recent success of the club is down to the inspiration from Melissa and the support network that Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club can provide. We owe a lot to the financial help of local businesses - Gylly Beach Cafe, Oliver Hughes Physiotherapy and Falmouth Cycle."
Club president Matthew Stone said: "The club would like to wish Melissa, Rebecca, Kieran, Courtney-Lee and Lowenna good luck in London. You’ve already made us all very proud just getting selected for the World Championships."
To follow the journey of the five Cornish athletes as they take centre stage in London, you can visit the clubs website www.gyllysurf.org.uk or follow their twitter feed @gyllysurf.