Hunt is on for the next Brownlee brothers as triathlon coaching campaign is launched


Caterham triathlete Jim Burdett hopes to find the next Brownlee brothers through Gillette’s 2012 Great Starts campaign.


By Ryan Walters, Sportsbeat

Caterham triathlete Jim Burdett hopes to find the next Brownlee brothers through Gillette’s 2012 Great Starts campaign.

What started out as a bit of fun for Burdett almost a decade ago has turned into something very serious indeed, the South London Harrier representing Great Britain at the 2007 Hamburg BG Triathlon World Championships.

And now Burdett is keen to help others get as much out of triathlon as he has, seeing the 2012 Gillette Great Starts campaign as the ideal competition to do just that, a programme working in partnership with Sports Coach UK to sponsor a significant number of coaching qualifications.

After entering via Gillette’s Facebook page the campaign concluded at an event attended by ambassadors Sir Chris Hoy, winner of six Olympic gold medals, and swimmer Liam Tancock who celebrated with the successful recipients of this year’s grants in London, taking place on Burdett’s 44th birthday.

Also in attendance in the capital were Loughborough swimming coach Ben Titley and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton, and Burdett admitted it was a birthday to remember.

“I have been doing triathlon for about eight or nine years now and having started out with no real aim I have gradually got more and more serious and even competed abroad for GB,” he said.

“I get people asking me for advice and I enjoy talking about it so I thought I would get the coaching qualification so that I could officially advise them. 

“It is quite a financial investment to get certain qualifications and given that you are helping other people the fact the grant will cover the cost makes a large difference. 

“I hope to help out with the coaching at my club bringing on young athletes as well as people coming into it later in life. 

“Triathlon has given me a lot of satisfaction and if some of people can have the same feeling it will be brilliant and I want to help give that to them.”

Triathlon within Great Britain has never been bigger with Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee winning gold and bronze respectively at London 2012.

But Burdett insists there is still plenty more that the sport can give, and he is determined to play his part.

“Participation is growing all the time. We have a lot of people interested and they are looking for support and help,” he added.

“I think it’s a bit early to say what sort of effect London 2012 has had. The profile is massive. When I talk to people outside of the club they are all still asking me technical questions that you didn’t used to get.

“Whether we can turn the awareness, which is massive, into participation will be the big thing.

“We have certainly got some talented young triathletes who have aspirations of emulating the Brownlee’s and perhaps with the right nurturing they can one day do so.”

The 2012 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications. 

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