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Bayside - Speed Team Rider


Matilda (Tilly) Wanless

: 16 Hometown: Plenty, Victoria
Skating Since: 2009 (18 months old)
Club: Speed Skaterz Eltham 

Skating Acheivements:
My most memorable skating achievements include 5 national titles, 15 state titles and a 
bronze at my first Oceania’s. Last year I was fortunate enough to be the recipient of Majorie Sorenson Eltham Speed Skaterz award for performance and sportsmanship along with the Pauline Robertson Perpetual Trophy. This year in 2024, I was also awarded the Dennis Harris Cup which has been a goal of mine ever since I first competed in the event. In 2019 I won the Lester Mclure Rising Star award which was a huge surprise and a big motivation for my skating.

How did you get into skating?
I got into skating at a general session when I was just 18 months old. My brother was already taking speed skating lessons.

What do you love most about skating? 
I love the feeling you get when you cross the finish line, and all your hard work has paid off. I feel so proud of myself and just want to experience more. 

What made you choose speed skating as your sport? 
I chose speed skating as my family was heavily involved with skating. My mum taught adults and tot’s classes and my brother skated too. Now nearly every member of my family is involved with skating in some form as my mum, sister and I work at the rink. Speed skating has taught me so many lessons and I wouldn’t change it for the world. 

Skating takes a lot of dedication for training, what keeps you motivated?
My friends, family and results motivate me to train. Both my friends and family are very supportive of me which makes me want to race well, and to race well I have to train effectively. My results whether they are good or bad show me what to improve on and they make me want to do better. My coach Mick is also a big motivator. He pushes me and keeps me on track for achieving my goals and I am very lucky to have him as a coach under all his experience. 

Do you have a favourite race format? 
 I love all distances, although some can be challenging. If I had to pick, I would say the 5k points/elimination. This is because so much can happen within the distance but then it is over before you know it. Another favourite is the 42km marathon because I love the challenge of pushing myself. 

What are your goals for the future: 
 My goals are to represent Bayside at as many racing events as possible with the goal of winning. I would also love to compete at a world championship and potentially bring home a gold medal. I also want to help increase inline speed skating’s recognition as a sport because it often lacks the credit it deserves.

Do you have any other hobbies?
When I am not skating, my other hobbies include playing basketball, running and hanging out with friends.