With just a few events left this season, I felt it timely to provide you, our member, some information on where membership revenue has been invested this season. This is particularly relevant because it is membership revenue that is the reason our organisation even exists.
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 by joining or renewing your membership in this unprecedented and strange time we all find ourselves in.
In a season which started with so much uncertainty and ended up being better than we could ever have expected, the membership remains strong and healthy, a sign of positive things to come for the future.
The Triathlon NSW - Forager Interclub Leagues recommenced this season, after it’s abrupt ending in ICL02 due to COVID-19. The season has once again proven to be well received by our members, with clubs chasing points (performance and participation) across a wide range of events. This program takes significant investment of time and effort on behalf of our Operations Manager Chris Cunningham, but we are confident that over time, this will become a much loved and critical piece of the Triathlon NSW Club landscape, as it continues to grow in stature and importance.
This season has seen huge progress and continued improvement in our Development Pathway. Driven forward by Mick Delamotte, TNSW Coach and Pathway Manager, we relaunched the Rest of State Talent Academy (ROSTA). This program, replacing the previously named Talent ID Program, allowed us to realign the program for what it was – a parallel offering to our Regional Academy of Sport Programs. 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.
When COVID-19 restrictions eased and club racing returned, Triathlon NSW seized the opportunity and launched the Billigence Pathway Championship Series. This six-race series utilised NSW affiliated clubs to deliver safe, cost effective events exclusively for NSW Pathway Development and other invited athletes. With various race formats to challenge tactical nous and technical skills, the Series was designed to bridge the gap between state level competition and national & international racing.
Gender equity remains a critical strategic goal for Triathlon NSW. In partnership with the NSW Office of Sports “Her Sport Her Way” (HSHW) program, in September 2020 we were proud to fund eleven of our fantastic clubs to deliver events designed to grow the sport for women and girls, lower barriers to participation, and promote inclusive sport experiences. Everything about the program is great. It allows local clubs to engage with their local community and offer a cheap first-touch opportunity in a sport with a long and successful history of being mixed gender.
Despite only having funding for 8 clubs via the NSW Government, the Triathlon NSW board unanimously voted to invest membership revenue to ensure all the clubs who applied received funding, rather than excluding some. This exciting decision allowed thirteen women’s-only events to go ahead in the first round of funding, with over 650 women in total attending all the events. We are proud to confirm that transfer to annual membership in club land was strong off the back of this program.
In fact, the first round of funding was such a success that the TNSW Board launched a second round of funding in March 2021 – investing a further $25,000 into this concept and building on the momentum and success of the first round.
With international travel off the cards and even interstate not an option for some, we took this opportunity to increase the number of Foundation Coaching Courses delivered across the state. We were welcomed by strong numbers at courses in Orange in the Central West, Maitland in the Hunter, Sutherland in the south of Sydney and Armidale in the New England Region. Offering more opportunities to more members remains critical to ensuring we service athletes across the entire state, not simply in Sydney.
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.
Whilst I could 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 grow.
Lastly, a reminder to all members that a 13 month membership will be on sale from the 1st June 2021 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 2021.
We look forward to seeing all our wonderful members returning for a hugely successful 2021/22 season full of friendship and great times!