IRON INTAKE: Jarrod Harvey and partner Bree Hamilton make a formidable team in Harvey’s bid to become a professional ironman triathlete.
IRON INTAKE: Jarrod Harvey and partner Bree Hamilton make a formidable team in Harvey’s bid to become a professional ironman triathlete. David Nielsen

Europe in sight for sports star

IPSWICH Australia Day Sportsperson of the Year Jarrod Harvey is ticking all the right boxes in his bid to become a professional ironman triathlete.

Even his girlfriend, Bree Hamilton, plays a crucial role in his development.

Harvey admits that to get to the level he needs to be to turn pro he needs to improve his diet and nutrition.

That's where Hamilton comes in.

She is studying to be a dietician and should finish her degree this year.

Once completed the pair plan to move to Europe so Harvey can compete on the European circuit.

Despite being the current City of Ipswich Sports Star of the year Harvey was surprised to be invited to the Ipswich City Council Australia Day awards function, let alone win the award.

The two awards are nominated for separately and judged by a different panel.

"I went over seas so I got back and didn't know too much about it," he said. So I just went along not expecting anything."

Harvey, a maths and health and physical education teacher at Glenala High, was using his holidays to explore Europe and potential sites to base himself when he turns pro.

"I wanted to have a look at it, if all goes well, for nice places to live and train," he said. "I went to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Italy, Portugal, which was my favourite and flew out of Spain."

Harvey's aim for 2015 is to use the year to get close to his goal of turning professional.

Once he's done that he can consider a move to Europe, which he hopes to do in mid-2017.

"I've got to get my professional license here first," he said.

"I can't do it too soon.

"Bree is still finishing uni.

"I've got to put good performances on the board this year and race well as an amateur."

That means strong showings at half ironman triathlons (1.9km swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run) at Pottsville, Sunshine Coast, Sydney and Port Macquarie before testing himself in a full ironman triathlon at Busselton, WA in December.

That is a 3.86km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km (marathon) run.

"I've got the whole year to get ready for it and I'll probably need it," Harvey said. "You've got to be positing really good times for the half ironman. It's going from four-and-a-half hours to nine to 10 hours. I need to learn more and read about nutrition."

With Hamilton by his side, there's nothing to stop him.