In November 2022, Shorty Clark found success in the World Triathlon Championships in Abu Dhabi, coming first in the 70-74 year age group.
Shorty overcame some major challenges leading up to the championships. “A back injury in October 2021 turned into a major issue where I ended up bedridden for 3 weeks. The other challenge was training through a New Zealand winter and spring, as we knew temperatures in the United Arab Emirates would be above 30 degrees. I wore thermals, heavy shirts, arm warmers, beanies and gloves when training to simulate running in hot conditions.”
$1,500 from Toi Foundation individual grant fund assisted with the costs of the trip. “The overall cost of the trip to Abu Dhabi was around $5k, which included the international flights and accommodation, transfers, food and insurance. The funding from the Toi Foundation took an incredible amount of stress and worry off me, allowing me to focus totally on my training.”
“Eventually I overcame the injury through some very detailed and precise rehab work by my team at BodySmart. Here, both Joe Rowley for strength and conditioning, and Roger Gooch for massage, excelled, which meant the total difference between making the start line or not,” Shorty said.
“I had a brilliant race, and, against all the odds, pulled off a stunning victory to become the new world champion in my age group. I am incredibly proud of this result. To do it also for our province and country makes it so much better.”
“For our sport, I'm sure that my success raises the profile. It shows that at any age, we can set goals and dreams which are more than achievable with the right attitude, honesty, resilience, dedication and motivation. If my performance and results inspire just one person to give any sport, not just triathlon, a go, then this is all positive,” Shorty said.