A national award has kickstarted Louth Triathlon Club’s 10th anniversary celebrations as they were named Club of the Year at the 2023 HUUB Triathlon England Awards.
The Lincolnshire-based club are celebrating 10 years since they first started, with the warmth and welcoming feel highlighted when they were recognised with the Club of the Year Award.
“By pure chance, this is our 10th anniversary year,” said Martin Ball, Chair of Louth Triathlon Club. “Our club was actually set-up in 2012, but the very back end of 2012. Our first full year racing was in 2013, so we've chosen 2023 as our 10th anniversary. We've been going 10 years and it's grown steadily.
“I think 10 years ago there was quite a buzz around the sport because of the Olympics [in London] and various things at the time. It was quite popular, and it had a good initial surge and then settled down and it's just steadily grown from there since.
“We're very much grassroots. We're about being a community club and being accessible to everybody and locally, certainly, since Covid there's been less and less opportunity for people to race locally and affordably.
"We've always put a lot of events on just to give people a taster of the sport in a more friendly, low key, affordable way than maybe a big event. We've always tried hard to put on local events to give people a taste of the various distances and disciplines.”
The club host a number of training sessions each week with their main base being the Meridian Leisure Centre in Louth. Their club sessions are focused on the swim and run disciplines of triathlon including both coached and uncoached swim sessions.
Their calendar also includes a busy events programme with a 70.3 weekend in May, a standard distance triathlon, a longest day bike ride, and cycling time-trials throughout the summer all part of this year’s schedule.
“I think the only thing we haven't put on is a full iron distance,” Ball added. “This year we're even putting on a similar event to the Tenby weekend format and doing it as part of the club's 10th anniversary.
“We try and engage with people as much as we can, so we run a club league where every club event gets points for participation as well as volunteering. The points are weighted so you can’t win the league without marshalling because that’s an important part of it.
“We’ve got events from January right the way through to November and December. We do something every month, often more sprint triathlons, TT [time-trial] races, swimming, aquathlons. We've got about 80 members at the minute that is a little bit down since before Covid, but we've picked up a lot of new members, people that are keen and new to get into the sport, that are really coming into their own now.”
Louth Triathlon Club were recognised in 2020 as Triathlon England’s East Midlands Club of the Year, an award they won again earlier this year before going on to win the national award.
On receiving the national recognition, Ball said: “It's fantastic, it was unexpected. I think we quietly try to do a good job, but we're all just people trying to enjoy the sport. To be quietly getting on with it and we know we've got a good thing going on, but to have that recognised and to hear that people appreciate it, I think it just means an awful lot to all the volunteers and all the members to know that they're part of that.
“You really can feel the buzz. Since we've won it, people are like, yeah, we know it's good here and even more than ever now. It's good to have that recognised and it's great for all the committee members. They put a lot of time and effort in and do the best they can do, and it’s the same with the coaches, so for them to get that as well it is great.”
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