The Garth Prowd OAM Triathlon Scholarship was created in partnership with Noosa Triathlon and the Prowd family in honour of the man who revolutionised triathlon, running and cycling events in Australia, and who was an enthusiastic athlete advocate.
Garth was passionate about supporting rising athletes and his scholarship aims to unearth our future medallists and recognises, and creates, opportunities for young triathletes to develop not only their athletic ability, but also their business acumen at the outset of their careers.
The 2018 male recipient and Sunshine Coast resident, Jake Hynes, has put his scholarship to good use and is delighted to have the opportunity to be racing elite at Noosa this year, to highlight his progress over the past 12 months.
“The Garth Prowd Scholarship is a great thing and a really good opportunity. It is amazing that the Prowd family and the sponsors who support it, put in all the time and effort to help young triathletes like myself to unlock their true potential and find a path that they might not have been able to find without the scholarship,” Jake said.
Twenty year old Jake originally came from a rugby league background as a youngster and while he always had a strong swim/run background, it wasn’t until the family settled on the Sunshine Coast that he made the switch to triathlon.
“When I was 14 mum and dad caught up with Toby Coote at the Sunshine Coast Triathlon Academy (SCTA) and suggested I do something a bit different and something more of an individual sport.
“My first actual race was a Stroke and Stride at Lake Kawana, a run, swim, run I think. My first triathlon was a QTS race at Raby Bay in Brisbane. I loved it straight away and all the people around were so nice and so supportive. It was an awesome atmosphere.”
As he developed Jake has been progressing through the ranks, now racing ITU Asian and Continental Cup feeder events, with the long term goal of racing World Cup and hopefully the World Triathlon Series.
“People who I train with at the SCTA were telling me there was a scholarship for under 23s and they thought it would be a really good idea to apply for it. So, I did and I was very honoured to receive the scholarship, the funding, the bonuses of communicating with elite athletes who are a part of the scholarship program and all the sponsors that come with it. It has been a great help.”
“Courtney Atkinson is my main athlete mentor that I spend time with but there are also people like Emma Snowsill, who have been a part of the Noosa Triathlon and very strongly connected to Garth Prowd.
“What Garth did was absolutely amazing. Initially I had no real idea about his impact and then Toby Coote and the Prowd family gave me more in depth run down on what Garth achieved, what he did for the sport and some of the people in it. By the sound of things, he was an awesome bloke.”
“Triathlon can be an expensive sport and the sponsors really help out and the funding from the Garth Prowd Scholarship has been amazing to get me to places and travel overseas to get that vital experience to do more.
“So far it is pretty good and I had my first overseas race, the Osaka Castle Asian Cup in Japan in September.
“Pretty much the Garth Prowd Scholarship and funding that they gave me helped me to get over there. The feeling of going overseas to race and lining up along that pontoon is an awesome experience and I am very grateful for the opportunities the scholarship has provided,” he said.
Jake is balancing full time employment with 26 hours a week training and while it is hard work, he wouldn’t have it any other way.
After a tough debut year, he is looking forward to a strong finish at the Noosa Triathlon in front of a home crowd on Noosa Parade.
“Noosa is an amazing atmosphere and the wonderful people put together such an awesome event. I have raced there for four years and it has been unreal every time, even when I have just gone up to watch,” Jake said.
“It is awesome. I am racing in the elite field this year, so that is going to be exciting. It will be a hard day but if I can get a good swim to be thereabouts, we will see what happens,” he laughed.
All proceeds from the Tour de Noosa – Garth Prowd Ride (1 November) go towards the scholarship, to continue the legacy created by Garth at the Noosa Triathlon. The ride is open to everyone young and old, and is a brisk recreational tour over part of the Noosa Triathlon cycle course.
The Garth Prowd Triathlon Scholarship is open for applications for Australian triathletes aged between 15-23 years of age as of 31 December 2019. Athletes will need to race the 2019 Noosa Triathlon and apply for the scholarship.
A panel of selectors will review and agree on one male and one female worthy candidate. The Scholarship winners will be awarded at the Noosa Triathlon Presentations, Noosa Main Beach, Sunday 3 November 2019, 4pm.