A SUCCESSFUL athlete who was inspired by a Keighley club will be part of the 2020 Paratriathlon Talent Squad.

Bingley's Stuart Meikle, who had his right leg amputated at the knee when he was just six months old due to complications following his birth, will take his place alongside Georgina Lord, Joshua Landmann, Finley Jakes and Oscar Kelly.

Having been selected for the squad, the athletes are provided with the training opportunities and support to develop their performance behaviours and skills.

These athletes have demonstrated their ability and the potential to become part of the British Triathlon Paratriathlon Performance Squad through the support they will receive.

In addition to domestic paratriathlon racing, where appropriate for their development, the squad may also represent Great Britain in international races.

One of these opportunities saw Meikle, who was inspired to take up running after taking his children to Keighley & Craven Athletics Club training sessions at University Academy Keighley, claim second place at the 2019 Paratriathlon World Cup in Funchal, Portugal.

He said: “Funchal was an awesome race for me and is the second year I’ve had success there. The British Triathlon staff team were incredibly supportive throughout the weekend and it was great to be able to race alongside an experienced athlete like Andy Lewis and learn from him.”

Throughout the year, the five athletes are supported in their home training environments but have the opportunity to train together and receive expert coaching and advice during residential training camps at various locations, including the British Triathlon Performance Centre in Loughborough.

These camps give them face-to-face access to British Triathlon coaches, who maintain contact with them when they return home.

Jakes said: “We get help and advice from the coaching team in Loughborough across all three disciplines, as well as support staff. It’s great to have the support in nutrition, strength and conditioning, physio and other areas to go alongside the technical triathlon coaching.”

The British Paratriathlon Super Series and British Championships are the main competition focus for the athletes, giving them the chance to test themselves throughout the year against the nation’s best and developing para-triathletes.

The Super Series is raced across four events, with the British Paraduathlon, Paratriathlon and Paratriathlon Super Sprint Championships all forming part of the series.

Alasdair Donaldson, British Triathlon Paralympic Talent and Development Manager, said: “To have a strong talent squad of athletes is really exciting and shows the depth of paratriathlon in Britain. Through being part of the squad, these five will be supported to fulfil their potential with a range of opportunities afforded to them.

“The squad will have their sights firmly set on the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and being the best athletes and people they can be leading up to it. For them, their focus will be on using the next four years to develop and be in a position to challenge for qualification for Paris.”