All Africa Games legacy starts with ITU Level 1 Club and Community Coaching Course in Mozambique

By Merryn Sherwood | 27 Nov, 2011

Triathlon’s first appearance in the All Africa Games in Maputo has already left a powerful legacy for the sport in Mozambique, with the first ITU Level 1 Club and Community Coaching Course this month helping to turn the interest sparked by the Games into a new generation of coaches.

ITU coaching facilitator Rodrigo Milazzo, from Brazil, presented the course to 12 coaches from the newly established National Federation from November 16 to 19.

The four-day course attracted coaches from a wide from a wide variety of backgrounds. ITU Development Co-ordinator for ATU, Travis Campbell, said that each participant couldn’t wait to learn.

“The participants were 100% committed and hungry for knowledge. It was clear from the very first session that the people participating really wanted to be there and this made for a great four days,” he said. “I believe the course was a great success and will go a long way to growing the sport of triathlon in Mozambique.”

Photo: The first ever ITU Level 1 Club and Community Coaching Course in Mozambique.

Another important part of the course was that Milazzo presented in Portuguese, the official language of Mozambique. African Triathlon Union President Liesbeth Stoltz said that this hadn’t only been an important part of delivering the course successfully, but a representation of triathlon’s international reach.

“The great work done by ATU along with UMT (Mozambique Triathlon Federation) during this year in the lead up to the All African Games has sparked incredible interest in the sport in Mozambique and we are delighted to be able to continue to work with UMT in making sure they reach their objective of becoming a major force in triathlon in Africa,” Burrell said. “I have no doubt that with the enthusiasm of Mr. Rodrigo Rocha at the helm of this new federation their objective can become a reality.” ITU Director of Development, Libby Burrell.

“While we manage triathlon according to the world’s geographical regions, we had the opportunity to recognise language diversity and share in intercontinental co-operation when ITU facilitator Rodrigo Milazzo presented the course in Portuguese, the official language of Mozambique,” she said.

Overall, the participants in the course covered the basics of swim, bike, run and transitions along with teaching and learning theories. Rodrigo Rocha, President of Mozambique Triathlon (UMT), said he hoped that all of the participants would continue to be involved from now on.

“The course was fantastic. The whole group is happy with the course and, whether we will have or not the certificate, I do believe that quite a few of the participants will be involved with the sport from now on. On behalf of UMT and on my personal behalf, I must thank you all for letting this course happen and, consequently, promoting the sport.”

Maputo hosted it’s first major event earlier this year, with the 2011 ATU African Triathlon Championships in July. That was then followed by the 2011 All Africa Games that were held in September this year. Triathlon made its historic games debut on September 4 and South Africa’s Erhard Wolfaardt and Carlyn Fischer took the elite men’s and women’s titles, but the diversity of Africa was on show with seven different countries represented in the women’s and men’s top-10 results. Three athletes from Mozambique competed in the men’s event, Ivan Do Rosario, Edelson Remane and Iassine Selemane and Stoltz believes the success of those games and the passion shown by the local community combined with some perfect triathlon conditions could lead to a thriving multisport community.

Photo:The 2011 African championships in Maputo.

“The successful debut of triathlon in September 2011 at the African Games in Mozambique exposed the new sport to the people of Mozambique who enthusiastically embraced it and asked for more,” Stoltz said. “Blessed with all year good weather, beautiful beaches, local support and big triathlon dreams this course was the key to unlock the local potential.”

For more on Triathlon in Africa, please click here. For more information on the ITU’s coach education programmes, please click here.