Peter Ledwidge from Navan who is now living in Brisbane, Australia, competing in the Bribie Island triathlon in March. Peter will represent Ireland in the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland in October.
Local man Peter Ledwidge has qualified to represent Ireland in the World Triathlon Championships in Auckland next October.
As well as competing in the world championships, Peter has also set himself another challenge - to raise funds for the 'Smiling for Smiddy' cancer research charity.
Originally from Johnstown, Navan, Peter (28) is a son of Joe and Madeline Ledwidge. He went to school in St Patrick's Classical School, Navan, and played football for Simonstown Gaels.
In 2008, he began competing in triathlons and says he quickly developed a passion for and dedication to the sport. After undertaking his first proper triathlon in April 2008, Peter was hooked on the sport and got into serious training.
He joined the Tri an Mhi triathlon club and that year did a few duathlons aquathlons and sprint triathlons. In 2009, Peter decided to move to Australia to pursue his interest in triathlons in a more agreeable climate.
"It was in 2009 that I decided to move to Australia. It was something that I had thought of for a few years but had always put off.
"None of my friends were that interested in going. I had spent a few years changing jobs a few times but couldn't find the one that was right for me. So in May 2009, I bit the bullet and applied for my Australian visa. It was quite a quick decision in the end."
He added: "Now that I was fully engrossed in triathlon, all I could think about was training and the weather in Ireland wasn't always conducive to that. I knew Australia was a mecca for triathlon and so I thought 'let's give it a go, see if life over there suits me and if I can make a life of it'. And it hasn't disappointed."
Peter inititally moved to the Gold Coast where he was amazed by the access to pools, the beach, cycling up Springbrook and was in "triathlon heaven".
He spent a few months working in bar and restaurant jobs while looking for full-time work where he wanted to get into sport and event management-type roles.
In December 2009, he secured a job with Triathlon Queensland as a sports administrator and has been there ever since.
"I moved to Brisbane in January 2010 and Australia was turning out to be all that I had hoped. I knew very early on after arriving in Australia that this where I would be making a life for myself and what a life I have had since moving here. I've met so many great people through this sport since moving here," he added.
In 2009, Peter was the team manager for the Irish team which travelled to the Gold Coast to compete in the Triathlon World Championships.
In October this year, he will compete for Ireland in the Triathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. He has launched a fundraising drive to cover his travel expenses and also to raise money for the Smiling for Smiddy charity.
"Triathlon is a very indiviudal sport. We do it for our own reasons and, most of the time, are competing more against ourselves than the rest of the field. With that in mind, I thought it would be worthwhile to combine my sporting endeavours with highlighting and trying to help a worthy cause. Therefore I have signed up for 'Tri to Fight Cancer', an initiative of Smiling for Smiddy. Funds raised go towards cancer research and support services."
Peter has set himself a goal to raise $4,500 dollars with a minimum of $3,000 to go towards the Smiling for Smiddy charity.
To follow his progress as he prepares for the ITU World Triathlon Championships or to make a donation, see www.peterledwidge.blogspot.com.au
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