Ayesha Rollinson is a Canadian professional triathlete based in Toronto. Born in Midland, ON, Ayesha raced on the International Triathlon Union’s World Cup circuit for five years and is now adding longer course events to her repertoire. She also competes in running and open-water swimming competitions.
Ayesha in her own words
I grew up in Midland Ontario on what I now affectionately call the Funny Farm. My parents made sure they exposed us to as much as they could when I was young. I competed in chess tournaments, I took Jazz lessons, I cooked by my mom’s side (ok, I mostly measured ingredients and licked the bowl), I went to nature camps… but it was the sports that I loved. The competitive sports. I loved the feeling of winning. I loved setting tangible goals and reaching them. I loved the unbiased result of timed sports.Sport is the frame if my life is a picture. It has always been there and it has held everything together. From age 8 until 12 I swam competitively, then I decided to run with a competitive track team from 12 until 16. At the age of 16 I was recruited by the national triathlon team coach at the time and turned my focus to triathlon. I competed seriously for 4 years, once winning the Junior National Triathlon title and racing on the national team at 3 World Championships.
Once I started studying Engineering at University I could not continue to excel at the sport of triathlon with the time I had available to train. Instead I decided that swimming with the U of T Varsity Team was more manageable. This turned out to be a good decision for many reasons. First, I excelled under Byron MacDonald and Linda Keiffer. I came away from my four years having qualified for and medaling at CIAUs. Second, the sport of triathlon became draft legal, which meant to be a top competitor you had to be a top swimmer.
Upon graduating, I took two years to get back into the sport at a local and national level, winning a provincial age group title in the process. Working under several amazing coaches, bike fit specialist, doctors, a sport psychologist, nutritionists and naturopaths, the magic men and women at Urban Athlete – on every facet of my race I have been able to move up from being globally ‘unranked’ to being in the top 50 in the world in a few short years. I have raced to a World Champs bronze medal, three ITU podium placements, several top 20 World Cup placings and was named to the 2005 World Championships National Team and was named to the 2006 Canadian National Elite Team.
Moving to the longer distances I qualified for the World 70.3 Champs within the first 8 months of vying for a spot. I have raced to several top 10 placings at competitive 70.3 races. I capped off 2010 with a bronze at Muskoka 70.3.