Within the next few weeks, each of our Triathlon NSW members will be making the decision if you choose to re-join our association and your local club again for season 2022/2023.
Given that it’s Triathlon NSW members who are the reason our association exists and remain in operation, renewal is the perfect time to provide you all an update on where your membership fees have been invested for the betterment of the sport.
I’m really proud of the small but dedicated staff we have at Triathlon NSW. Our organisational staffing structure is simple and effective at delivering the services required to those who need it most – clubs and members. We work directly with our clubs at the grass roots. We work hard to understand the challenges of the volunteers who run our clubs and our goal is make their lives as easy as possible allowing them to focus on what matters to them most – Swim, Bike and Run. We also work hand in glove with our Commercial Race Director partners, irrespective of whether they are large or small. They are all critical parts of the triathlon ecosystem. If they are strong, the sport of triathlon is strong as are our clubs.
Allow me to start by thanking each one of you for your ongoing commitment to the sport of triathlon, your club and putting your trust and faith in us. No doubt this has been the toughest year for the sport of triathlon. The continued impacts of the pandemic, floods and heavy rain (the likes of which I’ve not seen before!) has made this a season for the ages. A lot has been thrown at us, but we’ve survived!
The Forager Interclub Leagues (ICL) continued this season, after a stunted ICL03 season due to COVID-19. The competition has once again been well received by our members, with clubs chasing points (performance and participation) across a wide range of events across the state. It has provided support to our commercial race director partners and given Triathlon NSW a greater opportunity to reward & recognise members who race regularly. As a result, the concept has been replicated across the country – most notably, with the ACT launching their own League this season. The Interclub competition has evolved overtime and continues to ingrain itself within the club the landscape – proving hugely successful amongst clubs by assisting in member recruitment and retention. Like any program or initiative, the ICL sees a significant investment of time and effort from of our Operations Manager Chris Cunningham and we thank Chris for his efforts and the TNSW community for their continued support.
This season has seen a staffing change in our Development Pathway with Robyn Low-Hart coming in and continuing to drive the program forward. The Rest of State Talent Academy (ROSTA) continued to work in parallel with our Regional Academy of Sport Programs and we also launched a new partnership with the Triathlon ACT. Despite the late start due to COVID, we were able to successfully coordinate the Billigence Pathway Championships Series. Regular draft legal and mixed gender racing has given NSW and ACT athletes invaluable experience leading into national events. Similar to the ICL, the BPCS has become the benchmark for what Triathlon Australia is seeking for the rest of the country with national staff around the country replicating the concept. We extend a huge thanks to Jana and Michael Kapr (Billigence) and Phillip Hoare (Palladium Property) for their continued confidence and investment into Development Pathway – which we hope will see us set up for success in further Olympics and International Triathlon events.
We continue to invest into Regional Academies of Sports, which gives more juniors across NSW more opportunities to be supported in their lofty triathlon goals and welcomed a program into the Central West and Northern Inland Academy – offering more opportunities to more junior athletes in NSW with eth addition of the Northern Inland Academy of Sport into the pathway. This investment is a direct result of membership revenue received and has given opportunities to juniors in New England the chance to excel.
Gender equity remains a critical strategic goal for Triathlon NSW. On International Women’s Day, Triathlon NSW launched a new coach leadership program focused on working toward breaking the gender imbalance and inspiring the next generation of female leaders. We also continued the ‘Finish Lines…Not Finish Times’ program which was delivered through 22 of our affiliated clubs. This program remains at the heart of our club centric model. Clubs delivering low cost event, reducing barriers to participation and promoting inclusive sport experiences. It also ensured that our clubs were the shop front for new people coming into the sport and resulted in more interest amongst female athletes and continues to have strong conversation into annual membership.
Our sanctioning officer, Dave Williams, continues to work with our Club networks and commercial Race Directors to provide sanctioning to over 450 races across the state. This remains a free service to our clubs, and we are happy to provide guidance to ensure races are run fairly and safely. For the majority of our members, this service remains the biggest benefit of their membership, although for most, this is often the least understood. Dave also manages the TNSW Technical Program, which ensures that every Commercial run and sanctioned event in NSW has a technical presence.
Whilst I could continue with many more examples of the great work being done by the Triathlon NSW staff, this has just been an overview, to provide an insight into where your membership money goes. In essence, membership money allows us to hire staff, which allows us to develop the sport across the state, support our clubs and achieve our constitutionally mandated outcomes.
Lastly, a reminder to all members that a 13 month membership will be on sale from the 1st June 2022 with renewal for returning or current members being available from the 15th June - and annual membership across Australia is up for renewal on the 1st July 2022.
We look forward to seeing all our wonderful members returning for a hugely successful 2022/2023 season full of friendship and great times!
CEO, Adam Wicks