This week we sat down with Triathlon Squad Member Matthew Engesser to talk about all things triathlon and his journey in the sport!

How long have you been involved in triathlon and what attracted you to join?

As a little kid, I did the Weet-Bix triathlon every year and I trained with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Triathlon squad.

But it wasn’t until I was watching the 2020 Paralympics that I realised that triathlon was a Paralympic sport. So my mum and I looked into how to compete in triathlon and that’s how we were led to WSAS, it was my first time this year competing.

Are there any athletes you look up to and who?

I look up to triathletes Jeremy Peacock and Liam Twomey as they are both the same classification as I am which is a PTS4. 

Matthew at the ‘Your Local Club’ 2022 Academy Games Triathlon Medal ceremony with Southern Sports Academy CEO Mark Calverley

What has been your favourite experience as an Academy athlete?

My favourite experience in the Academy has been making loads of friends within WSAS and other academies at the Billigence Series Championship races.

I also enjoyed my coach James Sweeney teaching me triathlon skills that I never knew until I started to do triathlons with WSAS. 

Do you have any pre-race rituals?

Not really, I just set up my bike in transition and do my normal warm up, I also prepare my mind when I am about to swim. But the night before I make sure to eat some pasta and on the morning of the race I always have a banana.

If you weren’t a triathlete what sport would you play/be involved with?

I would have focused more on my soccer as I have been training with the NSW Cerebral Palsy Football team for the past 4 years. I also would have trained for cross country as I still love my running.

Matthew competing at the Australian Junior Paratriathlon Championships in Runaway Bay in April.

What is the best advice you have been given?

I have to say it came from my WSAS coach, James Sweeney and he said, “Always make sure your bike is clean”,  also, a quote I always train to is “no pain no gain”. 

What has been your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement so far in triathlon is competing at the Australian Junior Paratriathlon Championships in Runaway Bay in April this year where I met my idols and competed against other Para-triathletes. I also placed 1st in the Junior PTS4 class and 2nd All Around Junior Para-triathlete.

If you could have one super power what would you choose?

 The one super power I would like to have would be super strength because then I could be stronger than my brother.