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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 22 December, 2014

Anxious wait for Reid and Noble as Triathlon funding cuts considered

Despite qualifying two athletes for London 2012, the Sports Council of Ireland may reduce backing for the sporting hopefuls.

Aileen Reid and Gavin Noble competed at London 2012.
Aileen Reid and Gavin Noble competed at London 2012.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

AILEEN REID IS in Australia training for the 2013 triathlon season after the best year of her sporting life.

Reid, formerly Morrison, finished second on two occasions in the ITU World Series last year and represented Ireland at London 2012.

She kicked off the new season with a third place finish at the Davenport Triathlon in Tasmania.

Her podium plans for the Commonwealth Games [she hopes to represent Northern Ireland] and Rio 2016, with Team Ireland, are on track. Funding trouble, however, may be on the horizon.

Reid, and fellow Olympian Gavin Noble among others, receive funding from sports councils in Northern Ireland and the Republic but the Sports Council of Ireland, due to a budget constraints, are considering a cut in funding for triathletes.

All change

Reid told TheScore.ie, “It’s all changing this year. They are going to take into consideration what people would receive from the north and south.

My funding, unfortunately, could get cut. It would be drastic measures for Triathlon Ireland, who have built up such a fantastic set of results.

“Not only results, but what they have achieved in terms of junior championships and challenge events abroad.”

She added, “A lot of work has been put in by a lot of coaches, junior coaches, Chris [Jones - Performance Director], the CEO and everyone who is behind the scenes in Triathlon Ireland.

“It would be a big blow whereby to lose some funding for sending juniors to camps, games and weekends away where they would do cyclo-cross.”

Reid credits the funding for developing the talents of young Irish triathletes such as Russell White, Emma Sharkey and Con Doherty, who won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships last year.

A spokesperson for Triathlon Ireland was recently in discussion with the Sports Council of Ireland. The council indicated there should be an announcement around mid March.

Reid added, “I hope the funding won’t be cut as it hasn’t been announced.

“It would be a great shame if anyone was to lose out, whether it was high performance, development of junior athletes.”

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