Kelly Smith from Brighton is on a mission to support other people of colour to explore triathlon and make the sport their own.
Smith, who has been engaged in swim, bike, run since the Covid pandemic, has set up an online community club to provide advice and encouragement to people of colour who want to get into triathlon, and will also be hosting an event in June that has been designed from the results of research undertaken in 2022.
The event, GO TRI Black Try a Tri, will take place in Brighton on Saturday 3 June and the distances, price and date have all come directly from the research.
“It was important to me to get other people’s opinions so that it was completely detached from myself,” Smith commented. “See what other people are thinking and feeling, what other people’s responses are and what their comfort levels are.
“Just under 70% [of the respondents] haven’t ever competed in a triathlon and most people are just about comfortable with a 100m swim. I collected some more data in the form of interviews, semi structured interviews, so the same questions but we got to have a bit more of a chat.”
There are two distances available for entrants to enter following Smith’s analysis of the results. The Green distance is the shorter of the two with a 100m swim, 10km bike and 1km run; whilst the slightly longer Red distance is a 300m swim, 12km bike and 3km run.
“One of the thing’s that was very important to us was to find out how much people are willing to pay,” Smith continued. “These are people that haven’t accessed triathlon before, either at all or they don’t know anyone who has competed in a triathlon.
“It’s really important to go back to the research and find out how much people were willing to pay and actually the £25-£50 was dead on what the majority of our responses said they’d be happy to fork out. The event is taking place in June because it was 54% that wanted the event in June.”
Supporting Smith on the journey from concept to bringing the event to life has been Jon Train, Triathlon England Regional Manager for the South East. Regional Manager’s are on hand to support clubs, event organisers, volunteers and those wanting to explore or develop in swim, bike, run, with Smith leaning on Train to help establish GO TRI Black Try a Tri.
“Jon is on the other end of the phone, every single minute of every single day,” Smith reflected. “I call Jon about every little thing, literally every tiny little thing Jon is on the end of the phone. He’s phenomenal. Jon sought me out, he found me on Instagram and was like ‘how can we help’.
“I wanted to do a sprint and standard length tri, but he was like let’s be realistic and let’s reign it in a little bit.”
This first event in Brighton is part of a five-year plan that Smith hopes will see similar events set up in cities across Britain. Find out more about GO TRI Black Try a Tri on 3 June and Black Tri Tribe on the buttons below.
“I find training very, very fun, I find it rewarding, it gives me a lot of structure, however, for a lot of people, swimming over 100 laps on a Tuesday evening at 8 o’clock isn’t riveting or running around in a circle on a Wednesday night in the rain is not appealing to a lot of people,” Smith said.
“I thought an event was the best way to get people in, you get the camaraderie of people cheering as well as compete and take part. There’s the opportunity for people to linger and watch other people have fun on the seafront, so that’s why we’re spearheading with the event and that’s also why the events are going to be followed with training and not the other way around.
“People have said ‘aren’t you supposed to be getting people ready for the triathlon’, but actually that can be done online. We’re releasing training plans every Monday via our Instagram page, and that doesn’t necessarily need to be done in a club.”
Find out more about GO TRI Black Try a Tri and The Black Tri Tribe via the buttons below: