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Volunteering for you me and the club


UK Coaching Week took place between 7-13 June to celebrate and recognise the work of coaches across the UK. For coaches and volunteers around England, the reasons for getting involved are varied, and Claire Allison, it was her daughter who led her into triathlon.

“We had moved from Mansfield Swimming Club to the fledgling junior section of Mansfield Triathlon Club when my daughter was in Year 7 at secondary school,” she said.

“Her PE teacher had noted she was a good runner and knew she was a competitive swimmer. He felt that adding the bike element would be easy.”

As with many parents, Claire found herself attending training sessions in a watching and supporting capacity, however, with the club still young and in need of coaching support, she put herself forward.

“I had previously been the secretary of Mansfield Swimming Club, but never done any coaching,” Claire commented.

“I completed my Level 1 [coaching qualification] in 2011 and was more than happy to be an assistant coach until we had a coaching crisis, and I completed my Level 2 in 2018 to ensure the club continued.

“By this point it was a family affair as my partner was a Level 2 British Cycling coach and my daughter had completed her Level 1 too. He has also completed his British Triathlon Level 2 now and so provide a good spread of skills to the coaching team.”

British Triathlon run a coaching pathway that provides coaches and aspiring coaches with the skills and opportunities to learn, develop and grow their coaching ability to support triathletes.

The first step on the pathway is Level 1 which allows the coach to lead and deliver sessions within a club environment and has been developed to teach the fundamentals of sport coaching. You can find out more about Level 1 coaching qualification by clicking here.

“I have met so many friendly people whilst volunteering for the club and it provides me with some time outside of work to make a difference and recharge my batteries,” said Claire. “I have worked though the pandemic for the NHS and have really missed the junior tri training sessions.

“I have nurtured lots of young people to enjoy their sport regardless of their ability and to see them flourish, increase in confidence and boost their self-esteem is priceless. It has a positive effect on my mental health, and I have learnt a heap of new transferable skills.”

As well as coaching, Claire is also the secretary at the club and has helped them to attain British Triathlon TriMark Club Silver. You can find out more about TriMark club accreditation here.

“As a parent I needed to know a club was professionally managed and took seriously the safety of our children whilst they were training and racing,” she added.

“The TriMark standards provide a recognised set of standards that should give confidence to parents that the club takes safety seriously with responsibility and openness. Plus, my competitiveness kicked in and wanted to be the first in the region to gain the silver standard.”

To find out more about coaching in triathlon and how you can get involved or further your skills, check out the coaching section of the British Triathlon website by clicking on the button below.


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