The Hamilton Hammerheads Youth Triathlon Team is saluting Clara Hughes and her close connection to Sydenham Hill in Dundas.
Photo: Hamilton Hammerheads
Hughes will be honoured by a ceremony and plaque unveiling at the summit of Sydenham on April 27 at 11 a.m. Affectionately called Clara’s Climb, the steep hill is the home training ground for the Hammerheads club. Together with their community, the Hammerheads will be celebrating the achievement of an outstanding athlete and compassionate humanitarian, and the privilege of claiming a small part of Clara’s history as their own. Even more, they will be soaking up some inspiration from the icon who started out just as they are – training on the Sydenham Hill.
Hamilton Hammerheads is a youth triathlon club dedicated to fun workouts and team spirit. Cycling is just one part of their training regimen and the quad burning, lung heaving, nail biting battle all the way up, and a dizzying daredevil dive of a descent back down the Sydenham Hill, is a challenge no matter the skill level of an athlete. Clara’s Climb is often incorporated into Hammerhead training rides. These riders express the satisfying feeling of reaching the top of the hill and head out into the gently rolling landscape of Dundas and West Flamborough for a good long ride with the team. Their true reward comes with flying decent back down that hill after a good workout!
Hughes, who clocked plenty of time grinding up the hill, won her first two Olympic medals while living and training in Hamilton and Dundas, and went on to become the only Olympian in history to win multiple medals at both the Summer and Winter Games. Inspiring seems an insufficient word. The value of such an example of excellence to young athletes is immeasurable, and the Hamilton Hammerheads take that sentiment to heart. The kids are coached to be the best they can be with every step they take in training, competition and in life. The club’s philosophy is that the measure of a true athlete isn’t his or her athleticism, top finishes and awards – it’s the personal story of perseverance, courage and determination. As the oldest youth triathlon club in the Golden Horseshoe, the Hammerheads continue to pursue these goals – goals that Hughes represents so well.
For more information on the Hamilton Hammerheads, visit www.hamiltonhammerheads.com.