Triathlon clubs are great for camaraderie, support, advice, coaching and local events, and most of us should be able to find a club near us.
However if you can’t, don’t despair as you could always form your own. It’s not as complicated as you might think, and there is plenty of advice and support from the British Triathlon Federation. Here we outline the steps to take:
1. Research what clubs are in the area, including single discipline swim, bike and running clubs. Consider local events, and which clubs local people represent. If you feel there’s a gap (and this may cover a specific aspect of the sport such as a children’s club, or one focused on novices), then start to plan out the objectives of the club. You’ll almost certainly need several others to help you establish and administer the club (consider a ‘chair’, treasurer and secretary as a minimum). You may think about forming links to existing single discipline clubs, which I found worked well for the club I formed in Chippenham. Although many clubs are of the traditional form, there are other options to think about, such as a purely internet based club/affiliation.
2. Without introducing too much bureaucracy, it is worth writing down the purpose of the club and how it will be governed. This will then help form a constitution, which will identify key roles, both of which you will need for affiliation. Other formalities to consider are a code of conduct, how the club will be funded and ideally a development plan. There are templates available for these documents, for example a club constitution template is available here.
3. You will probably require a bank account, which will require a written constitution as mentioned above. As part of the financial aspects, you will need to consider how the club will be funded.
4. Depending then on your objectives for the club and your development plan, you will then need to consider: How will you promote the club (a website and social media are essential these days)? How will people join? How will you communicate with members? Will you provide training sessions, and how many coaches will you need? Will you have club kit?
5. If the club is to include children, you will need safeguarding measures in place, such a code of conduct, a safeguarding policy, and the nomination of a trained Welfare Officer.
6. There are many benefits for affiliating the club to the Home Nation governing body of BTF, not least insurance. Registration is relatively straightforward once you have the formalities above in place. The online form and annual payment of £105 can be submitted via www.britishtriathlon.org/clubs/registration
7. Once you have the above steps in place, you are ready to go! If you get the basic structure in place, start small and have the right people supporting you, given the interest in triathlon right now, the club will develop rapidly. However never lose sight that we are all in sport for enjoyment, fulfilment and fun! Good luck!
Chris of Maxwell Coaching, set up Chippenham Triathlon and is now their head coach. In addition, Chris is a GB Age group triathlete and double Ironman.