Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games.
Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games. Raymund Mallary

Hervey Bay grown athletes play games

HOUSEHOLD name and elite cyclist Jordan Kerby, 25 and up-and-coming 19-year-old triathlete Matthew Hauser will represent the Fraser Coast and are expected to do the region proud.

Both Hervey Bay products are excited for the looming event and attribute their success to the coastal, laid back lifestyle of Hervey Bay.

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Kerby said it was the quieter nature of the coastal town that harnessed his ability to become a world-class athlete.

"There's not lots of traffic everywhere, there's not a massive city CBD that you have to work your way around," he said.

 

Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games.
Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games. Raymund Mallary

"You can get out of town quite easily and do cycling, swimming etcetera.

"The weather is very kind to us up there, so from that perspective it was great for training and being outdoors."

Hauser agreed the Bay nurtured his talent, and said living so close to his training ground provided a self-motivating platform to train.

 

Champion triathlete, Matt Hauser.
Champion triathlete, Matt Hauser. Valerie Horton

"My first triathlon was when I was about 12... and my first club was the Hervey Bay triathlon club and they ran their base out of the Seafront Oval, which was just down the road from me," he said.

"They'd put on monthly races during the season and I would ride down from home with my backpack of my runners and swimmers and everything so it was really nice and convenient.

"It got to the stage when I was old enough that I was just riding everywhere to training and stuff like that as well.

"It definitely made it a bit easier on Mum and Dad, having everything within a 5 to a 10-minute ride for training and racing."

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Both athletes named their dads among their role models, both of whom were into sports too.

Kerby's father always had an interest in cycling, while Hauser's dad, Darren Hauser, is a Surf Life Saving Club life member.

 

Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games.
Hervey Bay's own Jordan Kerby will compete at the 2018 Gold Coast Olympic Games. Raymund Mallary

Hauser said his dad grew up in surf lifesaving.

"He was a multiple, national junior beach sprinter winner, so it was kind of nice to grow up having a mum and dad who were both so passionate about sport," he said.

"I am very grateful that they've nurtured me into the sport and didn't push me into anything, but allowed me the opportunity to pursue my dreams."

Kerby said he wouldn't have accomplished everything he had if it wasn't for his dad.

"He's always been a role model," he said.

"I think I owe a lot to him for the sacrifices he made when I was younger, getting me to bike races and that kind of thing.

"But my whole family as well... my dad, my mum, my grandparents, they've all contributed to making it happen and while, at the moment, I am a lot more self-sustainable then I was when I was 15, 16, 17, they had a huge part in me getting to where I am today."

For Kerby, his interest in sport started with rugby, but a knee injury in Year 8 saw his career go in a different direction.

"I played a lot of rugby and through school, some swimming and all that kind of stuff and in about grade 8 I hit my knee and I couldn't run or anything for a little while," he said.

"I started with a few triathlons with the Hervey Bay Triathlon Club, so swimming and riding were alright, but I couldn't really run to save my life, the bike was definitely my strongest leg."

"I started racing with what at the time was called the Maryborough Cycling Club, and now it is the Fraser Coast Cycling club.

"I started on the little velodrome they've got there in Maryborough, so we'd drive to Maryborough every Tuesday and Friday night to do some training and racing out there and then from then I think I competed at every state title."

To date, Kerby said his biggest accomplishment was just last year, when he won gold in the pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships held in Hong Kong.

"It was surreal," he said.

"I didn't know I would win.

"I've never had the confidence to go in say 'yeah I am going to win this'.

"So, when I do achieve something like that, it's a bit of surprise, a bit of a relief, a general sense of happiness."

For Hauser, it was becoming the Junior World Champion at 2017 ITU World Grand Final Rotterdam.

 

Matthew Hauser racing on the Gold Coast in February 2018.
Matthew Hauser racing on the Gold Coast in February 2018. Barry Alsop

"It was coming off the back of a disappointing year...when I attempted to win the junior triathlon world championships in New Mexico and I got very humbled.

"I got 45th and placed well down the ranks of what I was expected to do.

"I kind of re-set and re-focused and trying to work on the one percenters and just being a whole lot more professional and more diligent in everything I do, whether it be training or what I do outside training as well.

"I think coming to Rotterdam and getting the job done finally I think it was more of a relief and excitement now I'd won that junior title, I could transition on to the elite stage now, coming of age and moving out of that age category as well.

"It was relief and also excitement for the start of my career."

Of the future, Kerby has already started making the steps to become a world class coach.

"At the moment, among all this stuff I am doing, I'm also coaching," he said.

"I look after about 20 athletes myself, so in 10 years' time I am probably going to carry that on and try to move into a high-performance coaching role at an academy or an institute."

In his personal life, he hopes to have another dog and buy a house in Brisbane.

For Hauser, he should be at the peak of his career.

"I love this sport and it's really driving me at the moment and I think it will only continue for the next 10 years," he said.

"I think as triathletes we only begin to peak at mid-to-late 20s, early 30s, so I'm really excited to see where I can go.

"It's an exciting prospect for me and at the end of the day I want to do the best for my country.

"Whether that be in the Olympics, or up there on the world stage in the world championships, but I really want to be up there with the best in the world come those later years in my career.

"It's what is really driving me at the moment."

For other regional youth wanting to perform at an elite level, Kerby said his best advice was to just "stick at it".

"I know it gets tough, and sometimes it feels like it's not going to work out, you're not going to achieve what you want to achieve, but you just got to stick at it," he said.

"I have had more downs than I've had ups in my sporting career.

"But the ups outweigh the downs.

"Stick at it until you definitely know that you've had enough.

"That would be my greatest piece of advice, because you never know what can happen."

Hauser's advice was to enjoy what you do.

"I think just as long as you enjoy the sport, whatever you choose to do," he said.

"If you love what you do it's not really work, it's a lifestyle, especially with triathlon as it takes up so much of your life.

"You need to consider sacrifices as decisions and not sacrifices, it's a step-by-step plan, getting you to be the best athlete you want to be and whatever you have to do to get there - do it."

After the Commonwealth Games, both will take a much-earned break.

For Kerby, it will be his first holiday as he has made plans to travel to Fiji with his partner Alysa in July.

For Hauser, he will be returning to Hervey Bay to catch up with his friends and family before heading to Japan to race the ITU World Triathlon in Yokohama.

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