Scottish international triathlete recruited from Hong Kong as Edmonton's
inaugural coach

EDMONTON, Jan. 14 /CNW/ - A Scottish international triathlete, who has been training Hong Kong's developing international competitors for the past four years, will be the first Coach of the new Edmonton Triathlon Academy (ETA).

"Kevin Clark will arrive in Edmonton at the beginning of March to develop the Academy plans under the guidance of a professionally sport experienced board and commence the recruitment of initial athletes," said Brian Hetherington, the ETA's board communications director.

A native of Kilmarnock, 34-year old Clark has coached swimming and triathlon for ten years, partially while he was competing on the international triathlon circuit. He ended his own competitive career in 2006, when offered the position of Assistant Triathlon Coach with the Hong Kong Sports Institute, with the specific responsibility for the U-23 squad. As the holder of an ITU Level 2 coaching certificate, he has a successful track record as the sport development coach for Hong Kong, with the qualification of a number of his athletes to the world championships.

"The Academy Board is really excited at the potential we have to create one of the top triathlon training centres in the country - which goes along with our original ambition of helping the Edmonton region maintain its precedence in the national triathlon scene. Two local triathletes - Carolyn Murray and Paul Tichelaar - graduated from the successful decade of World Championship and World Cup events staged in Hawrelak Park to become a third of the national triathlon team in the Beijing Olympic Games. It is our goal to create opportunities for other local triathletes to achieve national and international success," said Hetherington.

Arrangements have already been made to use the Kinsmen Sports Centre as the training hub and relationships are being fostered with the Athletics department of the University of Alberta to create mutually beneficial programs.

After being offered the new post, Clark described it as "an unbelievable opportunity - to be able to start something from scratch, rather than fixing existing problems."

While Clark will arrive in Edmonton at the beginning of March, it is not anticipated that he will begin formal Academy training sessions until the beginning of June. His initial weeks in Edmonton will be spent in becoming acquainted with the facilities, meeting related coaches and administrators, organizing small participatory events, such as aquathlons, and commencing the recruitment of the initial Academy athletes.

He will return to his native Scotland in May to be married to his German-born fiancée, Saskia, who will then join him in Edmonton.

The ETA - the organization formed as a legacy of a decade of successfully organizing international triathlon events - began its search for a coach in August to build on the success of a decade of Edmonton's international triathlon events. Initially the focus for recruiting the new coach was in Canada, but was expanded after a few weeks to other countries. The initial contact with Kevin Clark was made by Sheila O'Kelly, an Academy director and former Executive Director of the Edmonton triathlon events, when they both attended the Canadian Sport Leadership Conference in Vancouver in mid-November last year.


For further information: For further information: Brian Hetherington - (780) 455-8208 or 886-6459

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