Letter from CEO Adam Wicks to NSW members
I write this to you all, our vital members, as the sun sets prematurely on season 2019 / 2020 due to the unexpected and unprecedented COVID-19.
On behalf of the Board and Staff of Triathlon NSW, thank you for your support of the sport of triathlon in our state and for your understanding of the necessary changes and disruptions made in order to keep our communities safe.
Our thoughts are with everyone in the Triathlon NSW community who have no doubt been impacted in some way by this global pandemic.
Prior to COVID-19, Triathlon NSW was on track to have a very successful year across a wide range of metrics and indicators and interest in our sport had never been higher.
Membership numbers stabilised following two years of decline and our race starts were up across both commercial and club races. All clubs and volunteers are to be congratulated for the work undertaken to attract and maintain members along with the great events, training programs and social calendars.
The supportive collegiate environment that clubs create is a key part of our sport and that sense of belonging is a key driver for attracting and maintaining interest, and it has never been more important than now. Staying connected during COVID19 is vital and the ways in which our sport and clubs have adapted is something of which we can all be very proud.
In the state of NSW, we are fortunate to have a full-time resource, only possible due to the revenue provided through our 5,700 members. Members and clubs are the lifeblood of our sport and the key focus for our Operations Manager, Chris Cunningham.
Chris continues to work with and provide support to club committees in a variety of ways such as: assistance to make their volunteer roles easy and efficient, membership recruitment and retention, governance support and the delivery of the Interclub Series.
Interclub Series 02
A large focus for Chris was the successful delivery of the Interclub Series 02 (ICS2) which was a revamped Sydney league system this season that included promotion and relegation. Something we hope to embed into the system next season.
The Interclub Series remains a key priority for TNSW which also affords us the opportunity to work closely with all our Race Directors Partners around NSW. It is our hope and vision that in time, this Series will become as important to our members as our highly successful annual ‘Club Championships’ event.
Discounts and Offers
When planning out this season’s membership a clear objective was for TNSW to seek out opportunities to drive greater value and benefit into your membership.
Through our relationships with Race Directors we were able to negotiate discounted entry fees to commercial races that operate in NSW and increase the number of free entries we were able to give away to members.
Over the past season, we are proud to have offered:
• XMAS Gift, featuring a bonus 20% added onto any gift voucher purchased for entries into Elite Energy Races.
• Thanks to our wonderful partner NXsports, 30 free race entries were given away to North Coast Members for Yamba Tri Festival, Kingscliff Triathlon Festival and Tweed Enduro events.
• Discounted entries for Multiple Race Pack courtesy of NXsports and Elite Energy.
• Thanks to Elite Energy, we have given away three (3) free entries to the Club Championships event, now scheduled for September 19th.
• Given away a free Bike to one random Junior Member (valued at $1,300)
Junior Development continues to be a priority for Triathlon NSW and something in which we continually invest. A welcomed addition and support in this space on a part-time basis this season was Alana Leabeater. With a continued goal of growing Junior Participation (both in affiliated club land and through schools). She has continued our ‘Triathlon in Schools’ program and thanks to the generous support of Billigence and their CEO Jana Kapr, Alana was also able to oversee the delivery of the ‘Billigence Talent ID Academy’ in December 2019. This new concept, supported by our Coach and Education Pathway Manager, Mick Delamotte, brought together 37 new talent transfer athletes into the sport, providing a ‘first touch’ experience which will hopefully set them on their journey and lifelong enjoyment of the sport of Triathlon.
Mick has continued his great work in Junior Development through the successful delivery of a number of programs, camps and clinics before the season was cut short. Prior to COVID-19 athletes had the opportunity to travel around Australia furthering their experience racing under ITU rules, a pathway for our highest performing juniors to have a chance at representing Australia in the future.
Our sanctioning officer, Dave Williams, continued to work with our Club networks and commercial Race Directors to provide sanctioning to over 450 races across the state.
Research tells us that this is the most important benefit to clubs members, yet at the same time, is least understood benefit. This remains a free service to our clubs, and we are happy to provide support and guidance to ensure races are run fairly and safely.
TNSW Club Championships
Despite being on track to deliver what would have more than likely been the largest TNSW Club Championships in its 20+ year history, we were forced to postpone the event, in conjunction with our Race Director Partner Elite Energy due to COVID-19.
We are closely monitoring the information and advice from Government and relevant health authorities and have not given up hope on being able to conduct this event in September 2020. We are hopeful that we can use this event as a reintroduction and springboard into the 2020-2021 season.
With membership renewals fast approaching, I though it important to take this opportunity to highlight some of the ways in which Triathlon NSW utilise Membership funds to support the sport across the state.
In summary, your membership money goes directly towards supporting clubs and individuals across the state, of all ages and abilities.
We acknowledge the difficult economic climate in which we currently live and operate but ask that if and where possible, you consider maintaining your membership and investment, to help secure and ensure the future for your club and sport. With the recent easing of NSW restrictions, we are cautiously optimistic that Season 2020/2021 will be a year full of club training and opportunities to race, both in local club-delivered events and hopefully, at large commercial events too.