You couldn't say she hasn't deserved it!
Being relatively new to the sport of triathlon, this incredible woman has gone on to compete in various high profile events all over the world as well as represent her country. In the process she also started her own triathlon club - SBR Triathlon - and quickly rose through the ranks of triathlon Queensland and Australia.
Of course we're talking about none other than Michelle Cooper!
Find out what the future holds for the sport of Triathlon with it's first ever female president at the helm!
What does being president of the Australian Triathlon mean to you?
To me it means the sport has embraced the future opportunities and is ready to take the next leap in participation and inclusion. Being president, the first female president and if I am correct the youngest ever president, shows others that leadership is about skills and attitude, not about age or gender. It is the ultimate way I can give back to a sport that has truly changed my life.
How did the trajectory to president come about?
I got involved fairly quickly once I started the sport as part of the Triathlon Queensland state board. I had an excellent mentor and he encouraged me and helped me do my due diligence on board appointments. I was then very well supported by the CEO at the time Anne Gripper who helped guide me through the national election process a few years later. I was appointed by the board as Vice President during an unexpected leadership change mid-term and have been getting acquainted with our national and international profiles ever since.
What is the presidents role? What sort of president will you be? What will be your focus / goals whilst being president?
The President's role is one of guidance around the strategic plan nationally and to represent Triathlon Australia internationally. The person is the sounding board for the CEO and provides leadership to the board in order to make effective decisions about the direction of the sport. I will be a president who listens, engages with our state and territory boards and teams and who is able to then support the necessary processes to drive our sport forward. My focus will be around growing our membership, providing strong participation opportunities particularly in the areas of women and striving towards an efficient operating model.
Will this impact your race schedule? (fitting it all in)
I hope not! I have a huge year planned so the goal is to be able to continue that whilst making myself available to the relevant stakeholders. I like to think I am a fairly well organised person and already juggle a number of obligations so this will just have to slot in! I may have to get a housekeeper though as I'm not sure Dave can possibly take on any more chores!!
Michelle is an inspiration and someone who we are sure many young athletes will look up to over the years. Congratulations!