Whilst 2020 has seen a lot of swim, bike, run put on hold, there has still been plenty of action taking place and plenty of people helping others to take part across the region.
The regional awards allow these people to be celebrated as a way of recognising the hard work they have continued to put in. The East regional award winners are put forward against the winners from the other English regions to decide the national Triathlon England Award winners.
The 2020 awards have changed from previous years to reflect the way in which swim, bike, run has taken place this year with the introduction of awards to recognise virtual activities and coaches, as well as celebrate the dual role of key workers as valued members of the triathlon community alongside the crucial roles they have fulfilled during the pandemic.
Key Worker of the Year – Kate Bozianu
Kate is a nurse assistant on the critical care wards at a hospital in Cambridge as well as being club secretary at WaldenTRI for six years. During this time she has supported the club and its members, as well as become a key part of the team delivering their annual event, proposing and coordinating their response to the enforced cancellation of this year’s event to support the club, event volunteers and participants.
Quoting from the person who nominated her, they said: “The significant point being that Kate continued to achieve all this whilst working continuous and long night shifts on the ICU ward at Addenbrookes Hospital which was handling growing pressure from the Coronavirus pandemic”
Virtual Coach of the Year – Mark Fraser
As a coach at WaldenTRI, Mark responded quickly to the national lockdown to ensure that the club continued to operate and provide members with activities to take part in. One of the activities that Mark organised was an interclub 5km run for members to take part in as a way of providing a competitive opportunity for them.
Not only has he helped members to remain active and keep them training whilst at home, he has also helped to attract new members into the club.
Virtual Activity of the Year – Tri Force Juniors
The club ran twice-weekly online training sessions for their junior members covering turbo training, running, transition and strength and conditioning. Through this they were able to keep the children engaged with fun activities whilst they were unable to meet and train in person.
In addition to their regular activities, the club also organised a virtual triathlon that the children took part in simultaneously from their homes.
Coach of the Year – Craig Dyce
Since becoming head coach of WaldernTRI’s junior section in 2019, Craig has made a number of significant changes to allow wider access to the club’s activities and helped to reenergise the entire section including both participants and their parents.
As part of the club’s return to play sessions, Craig was able to recruit and support parents and older members of the section to undertake British Triathlon’s Activator Course to enable them to assist him in the sessions whilst ensuring that the necessary safety guidelines were followed for all participants and volunteers.
Club of the Year – Meridian Tri Club
During the national lockdown, the committee adapted the club’s activities to enable them to support all members and help them remain active. This included adapting swimming sessions for land activities, creating a month league of virtual multisport events that covered a variety of distances and a baton relay that involved members hiding a baton for another member to cycle to and find.
The club encourages members to be involved with all aspects of the club from participating to taking on positions of responsibility, as well as ensuring that there is provision for members of all ages, abilities and circumstances.
Lizzy Campbell, Triathlon England Regional Manager for the East of England, said: “Although 2020 has seen significant change to the lives of members and clubs and the ways in which they take part in swim, bike, run, there is still so much to celebrate.
“These five winners, along with all the nominees and countless other volunteers have done an incredible amount to enable the sport we all love to be accessible throughout this incredibly challenging time, and it’s only right that we should acknowledge them and recognise what they’ve done for so many people.”
The national Triathlon England Awards will take place on Saturday 14 November as part of the Triathlon England Conference which will be hosted virtually this year. You can find out more about the awards and conference, including the AGM, via the button below.