GANDER, N.L. — Dylan Morawski is a dedicated multi-sport athlete who was proud to race in the triathlon in the 2017 Canada Games.
“Qualifying and competing at the 2017 Canada Games was the highlight of my triathlon career so far,” Morawski said. “To work so hard for so many years in the build-up to these games and to finally see that hard work pay-off is a great feeling.”
The 17-year-old is a recent recipient of a Premier’s Athletic Award. Receiving a Premier’s Athletic Award is another high point for Morawski.
“Winning a Premier’s Athletic Award is a huge honour that I take with a lot of pride,” he said. “I think the province supporting athletes like us with these awards is always a step in the right direction.”
Morawski plans to use the funds that came with the award to offset some of the costs of attending swim meets and triathlons, and to help his parents, who have been his emotional and financial support system throughout his training.
Morawski’s initial goal was to compete as a swimmer in the Canada Games, but a change in the age regulations meant he was no longer eligible. Instead of becoming discouraged, he expanded his focus and began training for the triathlon. He found that he enjoyed the challenge.
“I definitely think the adrenaline rush I get competing is what I love about triathlon,” Morawski said. “You’re never resting, and always racing hard. It’s that excitement that will always bring me back to this sport.”
During the peak of training, he was completing four bike rides, four runs, and eight swims a week along with three weights sessions — over 30 hours of activity — each week. It was a busy but well-designed schedule that kept his training on track.
“I had a specific plan that I followed, supplied by my coaches in St. John’s (Rob Gamburg and Christianne Martin),” Morawski said. ”I found that helped to keep me disciplined and focused leading up to the Games.“
Morawski was part of a development squad in the years leading up to the 2017 Canada Summer Games. The combination of a training cohort and great coaches helped him stay motivated and work toward his goal.
In addition to his gratitude for the coaching he received from Gamburg and Martin, Morawski is grateful for the mentoring and support from Mike Dwyer, who organizes the Kids of Steel Triathlon in Gander; Derrick Pittman, cross-country running and track and field coach; Tim Rowsell, swim coach; and Paul Collett, cycling mentor.
Morawski intends to continue training in his various sports. He will be on the MUN Varsity Swim Team in the fall. He plans to compete in triathlons in the province, and will increase his cycling training in hopes of participating in the 2021 Canada Games in that sport.
Morawski says because of everything he has learned, he will always challenge himself in sports.
“Sports have truly taught me that it is not all about the medals, but about friendships you make, lessons you learn, and goals you achieve,” Morawski said. “Triathlon has been all that and more for me, and I am very grateful to receive this award for my efforts and journey through this sport.”