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The BIG Active to increase physical activity through swim, bike and run


Triathlon England’s new development strategy, The BIG Active, is designed to increase access to and participation in the three disciplines of triathlon by taking swim, bike and run to new people, places and communities. As well as growing the sport and its disciplines, the strategy aims to tackle some of society’s most persisting inequalities through the power of involvement, in all its forms, in the three biggest participation activities in the country.

Having launched at the end of September, the aim of The BIG Active is to break down triathlon into swim, bike and run and make it easier for people across the country to get active. The strategy aims to change perceptions of what the sport is and ensure there are opportunities to access the three disciplines regardless of who you are or where you live.

The BIG Active will help to connect more people to swim, bike and run activities in England across the existing triathlon network of events and clubs but will also develop new opportunities for individuals, families and those living and working in places where access to sport and physical is more difficult to take part in more ways.

Community-led activities are at the heart of the strategy, with Triathlon England working directly with local stakeholders, agencies and community organisations and leaders in 17 places to support the availability, access and long-term sustainability of swim, bike and run activities in the heart of communities across England.

In these places, swim, bike and run will become embedded in local communities, with local people and assets being supported to lead delivery, meeting the needs and wants of the people who live there.

Alongside this targeted, place-based approach to growing physical activity, Triathlon England have been working on school and local authority provision for children and young people through Active Skills for Life; a programme of activities that aligns with the national curriculum to develop physical literacy for primary school-aged children through swim, bike and run.

Empowering and working alongside current triathletes, coaches, volunteers, event organisers and clubs to deliver great experiences through swim, bike, run remains a crucial part of the strategy, with the existing triathlon community having a key role to play in making the sport open and accessible.

Breaking down barriers, tackling inequalities in access to and promoting participation in swim, bike and run across England are the key drivers behind The BIG Active and how Triathlon England will work with the triathlon community and new partners engaging in delivering swim, bike and run.

Connecting with British Triathlon’s new major events strategy, The BIG Active will work to deliver social impact in and around the host cities, ensuring a long-term sustainable effect is achieved for local people. Triathlon England will work with local organisations and partners to ensure opportunities for people to get active through swim, bike, run and develop lasting, positive changes in local communities through our major events.

Helen Marney, Director for Participation at British Triathlon, said: “For too long, the perception of triathlon has been that it is an inaccessible sport with high entry requirements. The BIG Active is here to show that that is not the case, and that swim, bike and run is for everyone.

“We’re really excited to be working directly with the local stakeholders and delivery partners, both new and old, in our 17 priority places to bring swim, bike and run to new people, places and lives. Each of these has been specifically chosen because of the potential impact that physical activity can have within the community and the passion shown by those already working there.

“Bringing swim, bike and run to new people and places, whilst also supporting our existing triathlon network is something I’m extremely excited about. This is our opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives through physical activity and is a journey we’ve already begun.”

To find out more about The BIG Active and how you can get involved, visit the webpage below.

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