Callum made his international debut in Andorra back in 2015 at the UCI XCO World Championships as a Junior and has steadily been progressing year upon year in the U23 ranks and represented Australia again at the World Championships in Cairns last year. I can best describe Callum as a quiet achiever but at the recent Port to Port, he certainly made is presence known with a tenacious ride and a never say die attitude finishing an incredible 4th place overall! We caught up with Callum at the end of the event and asked him a few questions about his racing and training.
1. How were you introduced to Mountain Biking?
The short answer is I don’t really know exactly. I think I began riding when I was about 10 or 11 years old, there were a few other kids at school who were also kind of getting into it as well and every now and then our dads would take us all out riding, we were all pretty terrible but it was always about the adventure and just being outside having fun, my memory of it though is just a lot of crashing.
I was always a pretty shy and quiet kid and mix that with an inability to catch, kick or throw a ball, sport wasn’t really my thing but eventually after attending a few Wollongong Mountain Bike Club races it was clear I had found my sport.
I don’t think anyone really introduced me to mountain biking I think I really discovered it on my own but I have many people in my life I can thank for contributing to and nurturing my love of the sport to get me where I am now.
2. How long have you been training with PCS?
I started training with Donna in 2015, at the time she was the MTBA head coach and I was beginning to prepare for U19 World Champs in Andorra. I had attended a few training camps run by Donna and I liked her style and her commitment to her athletes and thought that I really needed that to step up my riding.
3. What have been your best achievements to date?
I’ve had some good results over the years but I think just racing the Cairns World Champs was an achievement for me, I really wanted to race that race as it’s likely I’ll never race a home world champs again and to get there and do well it was pretty special.
When I think about great achievements though I like to think that the fact that I still absolutely love racing, the whole process from training to race day is a pretty great achievement in its self. After coming close to burning out at the end of U19’s like many riders do I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking it out.
4. What are you short term goals (6-12 months)?
My short-term goal at the moment is World Champs in Lenzerheide, Switzerland at the beginning of September. This year will be a bit more relaxed but I’m hoping to have an action packed 2019 as it will be my final year in U23’s and I’m hoping to give it a real crack with a bit more racing overseas.
5. What are your long-term goals?
Long term I think my goal will always be to enjoy riding my bike first. I want to be in this sport for the rest of my life so I think maintaining the love for the mountain biking is my goal.
Performance wise I’d like to be National Champion one day, for me having that green and gold jersey would be pretty special. I also like the idea that there is one day a year to get it, you have to get it just right on one particular day and you have limited attempts. It’s elusive and I want it.
6. What do you like about training with Donna from PCS?
First off I don’t think there’s anything not to like about training with Donna. For me I think of my training as a collaboration between Donna and myself, over the years we’ve learnt a lot about what works for me and what doesn’t and to this day we’re still figuring out more and more. She understands and accounts for different athletes needs and ability and it is clear that she really does care about each of her athlete’s wellbeing and performance. I always have full faith in Donna’s guidance and I think that is extremely valuable when it comes to an athlete and their coach and really does reflect in my performance.
7. Any other words you’d like to say?
I’d like to say a big thankyou to Donna for her guidance and support over the last few years I’ve been with PCS, being a athlete takes a Village and I’m pretty glad Donna is a part of mine. I’d also like to thank said Village, my Mum and Dad, my family, friends, my team Trek-Shimano Australia and our sponsors and the man behind it Peter Dowse I couldn’t do it without you guys.