When Triathlon NSW conducted a survey of female members earlier this year, we were overwhelmed by suggestions of how to encourage women and girls to try a triathlon – from race day ‘chaperones’ and helpful volunteers, to social women’s rides and the potential for friendly formats like relay teams and ‘non-swim’ entries.
Underlining the survey responses was a sense that triathlon is all too often perceived as being ‘male dominated’ and intimidating for first-timers – a perception that we are trying to shake with our series of women’s only triathlon events this November and December.
In partnership with the NSW Office of Sport program ‘Her Sport Her Way’, we have funded eleven clubs across NSW to run their own women’s event and attract first-timers to their club, particularly females aged 13-25.
The first event on the calendar is Armidale Tri Club, who already run regularly triathlon and duathlon events from their base at The Armidale School. With a pool swim and a run enclosed within school grounds, the course is beginner-friendly and will certainly attract school aged entrants. The club are hosting two women’s only events, with the first on November 15th and the second on December 6th.
One of Sydney’s largest clubs, Warringah Tri Club are gearing up for a bumper women’s program of events, starting with a ‘Transition Secrets’ clinic on November 7th with ex-pro athlete and super mum Nicole Ward. November 21st will be a course familiarisation and swim with race director Deanna Waters, a great idea to get participants comfortable with the idea of swimming and racing at North Head, Manly. These skills will be tested out in a special women’s only wave at their club races on both November 22nd and December 13th.
Bolstering triathlon participation in the Hunter Region is Scone Tri Club, headed up by coach & competitive athlete Nicky Western. A $10 registration gives each participant access to four weeks of training with Nicky, event entry, a t-shirt and a coffee voucher – now that’s value! Training has already commenced but entries for the event on November 22nd, held at Scone Swimming Pool, are more than welcome.
Experienced race directors Hills Tri Club are taking the reigns for Sydney’s North West, running a sold out event on November 22nd at Penrith International Regatta Centre. The 200m swim, 10k bike and 2k run/walk emphasises the theme ‘Finish Lines, not Finish Times’, and is championed by the enthusiastic Hills committee members Jess Edwards & Joanne Lum. The two have set up a Facebook group to share advice and event information with the 150 women who have registered, a great idea to quell some of the pre-event nerves and drum up excitement for the event.
November 22nd is a busy weekend for Clarence Valley Tri Club too, who will be hosting their first women’s-only event at Yamba Community Pool. A family friendly club with a good cohort of juniors, the event will feature Sprint & Enticer distance races, and is being led by enthusiastic club committee members Kim Elvery and Darren Adams.
Later that week on November 26th will be the Balance & UTS Tri Club’s “Pink Aquathon”, a 300m swim/3km run or walk/100m swim event with a free splash & dash race for littlies. The $10 entry price covers pool entry at Drummoyne Swimming Centre, and a skills session with swim coach Jocie Evison prior to the event. Plus there are lucky draw prizes and best dressed prizes on offer on the night!
Sydney is spoilt for choice because November 29th will be the Bondi Running & Triathlon Club’s Women’s Triathlon at Heffron Park, Maroubra. There will be Sprint & Enticer distance events on offer, plus Junior races for the kids. With a sunny pool swim and a closed bike track, the course is perfect for beginners and should attract plenty of first timers from Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.
The first weekend of December will see Tomaree Tri Club step up to the plate, with their Women’s Only Trifest on December 6th. The short course triathlon takes place on a picturesque course at Salamander Bay, but if that’s not enough to entice you, the event is also FREE to enter, and participants will get free breakfast and a free entry into the following Tomaree TC race on December 13th!
On December 12th, Cronulla Tri Club have designated one of their great Saturday morning aquathons at Gunnamatta Bay as a women’s only event. It will be the culmination of a six week swim & run skills training block, led by coach Bree Anderson. For the cost of just $10, participants get access to all training sessions, the aquathon race and a training shirt and swim cap!
Keeping the Riverina region happy is Wagga Tri Club, who are hosting a women’s only triathlon on December 12th at Oasis Aquatic Centre. Marking a triumphant return to racing for the club, the event will welcome beginners with a pool swim, stationary bike ride and a nice run around Bolton Park. Training sessions will be conducted by the club in the lead up to the event; more details soon.
Finally, rounding out the year will be Newcastle Tri Club, who – like Hills TC – have sold out 150 spaces to their Women’s Triathlon on December 13th at Stockton Foreshore. Starting with a 200m pool swim, participants get an 8km ride and 2km to take in the sweeping views across to Newcastle’s CBD and Nobbys Headland.
It is sure to be a busy end of the year for these eleven clubs, but we hope to see some new faces giving our sport a crack in these friendly & supportive events.
For more details or registration for all the above events, go to the Women’s Triathlon Events Page.
If you take part in the events, make sure to tag @triathlonnsw or #triathlonnsw so we can reshare your photos!