Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club were amongst the beneficiaries of Triathlon England and Triathlon Trust’s £40,000 Club Support Fund as part of 'The Big Reboot' campaign.
The club used the funding to provide subsidised coached swim sessions, hosting two 45-minute sessions every Friday over a period of four weeks for no cost to the members who attended. The sessions used three lanes, labelled ‘gold’, ‘silver’ and ‘bronze’ which allowed for all abilities to take part.
“Needless to say, they loved it, not just because it was free, but it got them some much-needed coaching on some rather rusty techniques. Every session was near-capacity; we've managed to engage so many members - newbies, regulars and several who we rarely see,” said club chair, Richard Bysouth.
“We have had an influx of new members recently. This has got them involved in club activities straight away at no further cost to them. Several members we hadn't seen for a long time reappeared or re-engaged with the club via these sessions. Also, some of our members have been experiencing financial difficulties, so this certainly helped to encourage them back to the pool.”
Earlier in the year, Triathlon England and the Triathlon Trust created a £40,000 fund which allowed affiliated community clubs to apply for grants of up to £400. The initiative was a part of the British Triathlon and Home Nation’s ‘The Big Reboot’ campaign which provided the triathlon community with tools, advice and opportunities throughout the sport’s return to in-person activity.
Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club sent a survey to obtain feedback from members, and one of the answers the club received read: “The sessions really kick-started my swimming and was a great way to get back into swimming after such a long break. The session covered all abilities and were well tailored to everyone's swim fitness.”
Another member commented: “Being a new member of TWTC [Tunbridge Wells Triathlon Club], I was delighted to hear of the free swimming coaching sessions provided by British Triathlon. I have found these sessions so valuable.
“Jane Wiley is an amazing coach and with her tips and guidance, feel my swimming has improved in just a few sessions. Very grateful to be given this amazing opportunity. I will be continuing as I approach my adventure into triathlons at 55-years-old.”
Reflecting on the support that the funding offered to the club at a difficult period, Richard Bysouth said: “Although we have had excellent attendance to our weekly club rides and runs, there's always members that we don't see so often. Every swim session was near-capacity, we've managed to engage so many members - newbies, regulars and several who we rarely see. The funding has really helped us to get these swim sessions going again and is much appreciated by everyone.”