By Alex Gosman
Just a brief note to ensure we do not disrupt your training in the lead up to the first triathlon events of the 2018-19 ACT season. The weather is warming up and it is great to see more attendees at the various club’s training sessions.
At the Triathlon ACT Board level we held our first meeting with the two new members – Alex Hoitink and Matt Haustead. It was great to have them on board and to listen to their perspective on current issues and strategic actions required. Both Amanda Power and I are acting as mentors to participants within the ACT Government’s Audrey Fagan Board Traineeship program, which is designed to provide women with exposure to the workings of Boards, to increase their skill and experience levels. Two of the participants, Sara and Julia , sat in our last Board meeting, providing some good feedback on how we conducted the meeting. Participating in the Traineeship program is consistent with Triathlon ACT’s strategy of encouraging female participation in our sport – not just at the racing level, but also in administration.
Craig and I both attended a series of ‘Whole of Sport’ meetings under the umbrella of Triathlon Australia at the Gold Coast during the week of the ITU World Championships. At the State & Territory Triathlon Association (STTA) President’s meeting, the focus was on how to turn around the fall in membership within triathlon over the past three years, despite increasing levels of participation. It is quite a challenge due to many inter-related factors that influence membership. It is apparent that triathlon is not a unique sport in facing these challenges.
The Triathlon Australia AGM will be held in Melbourne on Saturday 10th November, with the Presidents and two general Board vacancies available, and a number of constitutional changes proposed to improve governance.
What was gratifying from an ACT perspective was to see our strong membership and financial performance as an Association. Triathlon ACT produced 20% of the financial return at a Whole of Sport level in 2017-18, despite being the second smallest STTA, based on population. This is a reflection of our good governance, great staff and reducing risk through outsourcing events, where possible.
To date membership renewals for the 2018-19 season are 864, which is similar to the last 3 years.
The ACT and region had a first class contingent of athletes at the worlds and congratulations to all participants. It was good to see our existing treasurer Polly Templeton and her predecessor Robyn McClelland participating. Emily Tapp (T3C) retained her ITU World Paratriathlon Championship PTWC. In the Sprint Triathlon, 3 ACT athletes stood on the podium with Ellie Hoitink (JT Multisport - coach James Thorp) taking 2nd in the 16-19 female age group, Angharad Llewellyn (T3C - coach Megan Hall) 2nd in the 20-24 female age group and Tom Driscoll (PTC - coach Corey Bacon) claiming 3rd in the 20-24 male age group.
Preparations are well underway for first Combined Club / Triathlon ACT delivered triathlon event, Canberra Club Triathlon, on the 15th December, and we are always on lookout for volunteers. The Capital Trilogy Triathlon will also roll around quite quickly, on the 19-20th January so keep the training up.
It is positive to see an influx of new participants into the sport through the various club novices programs being organised by Bilbys, FIT and Vikings.
With financial assistance under the ACT Government’s Inclusive Participation Funding Program, as well as support from the Kambah Lions, Triathlon ACT recently took possession of two RaceRunners. RaceRunner’s assist disabled athletes in participating in the run leg of a triathlon and are essential to encouraging increased participation in our sport. I avoided the assembly operation based on my Ikea experiences (thanks Craig) and the RaceRunners will, in particular, be a great acquisition for the Triathlon ACT inclusion athletes participating in the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon on the 10th February 2019.
Be safe and enjoy the warmer weather.