Eight young lads and two girls from Ballarat Specialist School are raring to give the TRYathlon a go at this year’s Energy Breakthough, having after previously only ever participated in the 24-hour Secondary HPV Trial.

In the beginning …

The Energy Breakthrough program was ignited at Ballarat Specialist School by Luke Belcher, who had previously lived and taught in Maryborough and later joined the teaching team.
Several of the lads have been in the competition for three years now, and certainly know what is expected during their time at the event in Maryborough.

The weekly bush ride … goes ahead rain, hail, shine or snow!

Teachers, Matt, Adrian and Scott have continued building on the team’s strength and fitness with rides around the Ballarat bush each Friday. Rain, hail, shine or even snow won’t hold this team back. They are always eager to get out on their 30 km ride from the school to their farm base and then into the bush.]

Above: (L-R) Ethan, Jack & Austin ready for their ride, on the day we visited it was fine and sunny! But on other days there’s been rain, hail and even snow!

Above: (L-R) Ethan, Jack & Austin ready for their ride, on the day we visited it was fine and sunny! But on other days there’s been rain, hail and even snow!

The vehicle is … being ‘brought back to new’

As the school does not have the technology facilities to produce their own human powered vehicle, they purchased a second hand one and they have got it going very fast. The lads told us that “at the moment the vehicle is being ‘brought back to new’ after a very rigorous 2017 race”!
As the Maryborough is the only event that the school participates in they have plenty of time to get their bike repaired.

Preparations are … going well

The team are working together to plan and prepare for the Display & Presentation and Design & Construction sections too, where each member of the team will have the knowledge to share about their journey to the event and vehicle itself.

The TRYathlon is …

The TRYathlon is our most widely assessed category at the Energy Breakthrough where entrants use the same design requirements as for Human Powered Vehicles (HPVs). Quick pit stops, fast acceleration and smooth handling are the key to success in the Time Trial and Obstacle Rally, whilst the 8 Hour Endurance Trial is a chance to really stretch the riders legs.

The Ballarat Specialist School students are really forward to the challenges of the TRYathlon Obstacles event: the rumble strip and the ramp in particular. They will have a ‘practice set up’ at school as they haven’t done that type of challenge in a race before, but they will be ready to go on the Friday in Maryborough.

The last word

We’ll leave the last word to Travis, who was the Captain of the team last year and has also been in the team for three years:

“All the team really enjoyed being in the competition, especially as it’s a great way to get fit, we get to be part of a team and find some great healthy food to eat,” Travis said. “We also like having lots of friends and family come and cheer us on over the weekend.”