Super League Triathlon take on Harlem Globetrotters and explore Singapore
The Super League Triathletes headed out on a sunny day in Singapore, and you bet it was full of activities… and training, of course!
“Singapore is the perfect mix of buildings, nature, and culture, but they keep the best of everything, it’s really cool. It’s an inspiration.” Vincent Luis
A Brief Briefing
The morning commenced with the athletes’ welcome presentation by Michael Dhulst and the SLT team, a prime time opportunity to lay out the plans for the week ahead. The excitement was palpable as the reality of the weekend’s challenge roared into view.
A Mental Download
Next up, athletes had an opportunity to attend an Elite Minds Relaxation Session hosted by Super League. In particular, Hayden Wilde, fifth place athlete in the Men’s field, made good use of the session to learn more about relaxation and breathing techniques to push his game for the
Championship Finale. Hayden quipped, “relaxation is not something I consider often, but this certainly adds a new dimension to the idea of mindset.”
A Slam Dunk Or A Track Stand?
The afternoon started off with a bang when triathlon met basketball, the two world’s colliding to the benefit of both! At the iconic Fullerton Bay, our world class athletes, Richard Murray, Summer Rappaport, Léo Bergere, and Kim Kilgroe, met with the Harlem Globetrotters crew, Dragon and Ice, two of the Globetrotters’ star performers, to share tips and tricks on the two sports.
Dragon, 6’4” tall, commented, “One thing about being a triathlete is that you’ve gotta have endurance and you’ve got to have leg strength. It’s very similar to basketball because we play up to 10 to 12 games a week, and your endurance has got to be on a high level too.”
“So when we were doing tricks with them, they were in shape and they picked up on it so fast, it was an amazing opportunity to be able to play with them.”
To end the session, Léo Bergere impressed the basketball superstars by completing a successful shot while track standing on his racing bike! Both sets of elite performers went away having learnt how to improve their game.
See The Wood For The Trees
A visit to Singapore would not be complete without taking the time to marvel at the stunning nature park, Gardens By The Bay, which covers 250 acres built on reclaimed land. The park consists of three waterfront gardens with the Flower Dome being the largest glass greenhouse in the world. With such an intense weekend of racing looming on the horizon, it gave the athletes time out to enjoy the surroundings and find some peace before getting into race mode.
Our men’s series leader Vincent Luis was particularly impressed with the sight.
“This is crazy, you wouldn’t expect to have this in the centre of a city like Singapore, and then all of a sudden you’re in the middle of a jungle. It is a good education for people that in the middle of a city you can build a walled garden and teach people anything is possible”.
Having never visited Singapore before, women’s series leader Katie Zaferes felt strangely at home in the city. “It’s just so different because there is so much diversity, it reminds me of a lot of the different places we have been, it’s pretty cool because it is a mixture of everything we experience as we travel around but in one place.”
Caffeine? Only The Best Will Do!
Endurance sport and coffee, coffee and endurance sport; it’s a match made in heaven for most athletes. As the afternoon came to a close, we visited one of our key partners, Dimbulah Coffee, to let our athletes have a go on a smoothie making bike… and also try their hand at coffee art!
Ben Kanute and Ashleigh Gentle, our resident coffee fanatics, were on hand to offer their services. Ashleigh was first onto the smoothie bike. Making a coffee and banana drink for the first time, she was a little concerned she’d put out more power than the bike could handle!
“I wasn’t sure how hard to push it, but the drink was made pretty easily!” said Ashleigh Gentle
Ben seemed more at home decorating the intricate cups of coffee with foam. Being a perfectionist, he was not happy until he perfected the finer details and he sure got there by the end of the session.
Director of Dimbulah Coffee, Chris Wanden, was on hand to meet the athletes and commented on his excitement about the partnership with SLT. “This is the first time Dimbulah Coffee has participated in such a big event. It is going to show that besides coffee, people can also choose healthy food here, so it fits together perfectly.”
Sharing the Knowledge
Our final trip had a group of our Pro athletes attending a track session at the National University of Singapore with 75 athletes from five local tertiary institutions. Henri Schoeman, Desirae Ridenour, Ollie Turner, Cassandre Beaugrand, Dorian Coninx, and Hilda Choi, took the time to lead small groups in individual training sessions, before coaching their teams in a relay race. The athletes always relish the opportunity to pass on some of their knowledge to the next generation and it was a truly humbling experience to see the young athletes in the presence of their heroes.
A Different Kind Of Competition!
It’s not an end until it’s TRIVIA NIGHT, a night where all athletes closed one eye towards their rivals and enjoyed some quality time together. Also, it was a great way to get the triathletes familiarised with Singapore before they moved on to the adventure this weekend.