Both of the city’s leading universities have played a key role in the development of the world-class talent that Leeds can now boast.
The high-performance centre for British Triathlon is based at Leeds Met (now Leeds Beckett University) with the Brownlees, Gordon Benson, Non Stanford and Vicky Holland the leading athletes under the stewardship of head coaches Malcolm Brown and Jack Maitland.
At the University’s Carnegie campus the athletes regularly stage track training sessions.
And the University of Leeds also plays a role, with the squad holding frequent swimming sessions at The Edge Sports Centre, which is part of the Leeds Triathlon Centre, a joint project between the University of Leeds, British Triathlon, Leeds City Council and Leeds Beckett University for training elite athletes in the sport.
On top of their physical pursuits, all three of the GB men’s team for the Rio Olympics – Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and Gordon Benson – earned their degrees at the University of Leeds.
The two universities work side by side for the good of the project, alongside the sport’s governing body and the city council in a four-pronged partnership that has created such a successful programme.
The triathlon centre currently supports around 80 athletes in their aspirations to become the best in the world, 14 of which are part of an elite training squad. Between 2009 and 2014, athletes from Leeds won 17 medals in Olympic, Commonwealth and world championships.