Brave Brayden back in the saddle
Triathlete Brayden Clews-Proctor made a comeback after a bad accident to race in the nationals. Photo: Jay Cronan
If there's anything more impressive than Brayden Clews-Proctor's sporting family tree, it's the 17-year-old's healing powers.
Told by a doctor two months ago that his triathlon season was over after breaking his elbow and losing consciousness in a biking accident, Clews-Proctor is now aiming to win a second national sprint triathlon title in Canberra this month.
Clews-Proctor's genetic make-up could explain his speedy recovery, as well as his athletic ability.
Brayden Clews-Proctor after a bike accident in October 2012.
His mother Lacey Clews was an Australian cross country representative, his father and coach, Des Proctor, was a top collegiate cross country runner in the US, winning The Canberra Times Fun Run in 1996.
His aunty Gaylene Clews was a pioneer in Australian triathlon and was world No.1 in 1986, formerly married to 1983 world champion marathon runner Rob de Castella.
Even his 14-year-old cousin, Imogen Clews, is forging a sporting career in tennis as an ACT junior champion.
Brayden Clews-Proctor, 17. Photo: Jay Cronan
''There's definitely genetics from both sides of my family,'' Clews-Proctor said.
The National All Schools Champion in 2011, Clews-Proctor is targeting another national title to add to the family mantle at the Australian Sprint Championships in Canberra on the Australia Day long weekend. It is incredible he is even fit to race.
In late October, Clews-Proctor came off his bike at approximately 50km/h, tossed over his handlebars when his cleat snapped.
He was knocked unconscious, broke his elbow and required 15 stitches to his face.
''I woke up, I didn't know where I was at. It was crazy,'' Clews-Proctor said.
''My GP said it would be six months to fully recover and that basically my season was over … that wasn't going to be the case. I basically started walking up mountains, going for long walks to keep my bodyweight down and doing lots of [stationary bike] sessions. I slowly moved on to jogging with a sling and then swimming with basically one arm.''
Clews-Proctor returned to racing last month, finishing ninth at the Australia's Supersprint Triathlon weekend at Runaway Bay, Queensland. It comprised 74 of Australia's best under-19 triathletes contesting 10 races over three days. Clews-Proctor's performance earned him an invitation to Triathlon Australia's development camp.
In his final year at Canberra College, Clews-Proctor may suspend his triathlon ambitions from next year as he aims to follow in the footsteps of his parents and earn a cross country scholarship in the US. But his ambition is to return to triathlon and launch an Olympic bid.
''I think the Olympics is something I strive for, in 2020. We'll see how I go, Rio's pretty close. But 2020 will definitely be a goal of mine.''