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2015 News from the Chair

On a regular basis we try to keep you updated on the activities of those helping to run Triathlon London - the committee process, the plans and the actions. Read on...

This is a regular installment of news from the Chair of the region.  I try to do the updates after each committee meeting and after each of the three Triathlon England Council meetings.  The objective is to demystify what goes on and spread awareness and openness.

Post TE Council meeting Sept 5th 

The Triathlon England (TE) Council Meeting minutes are available on the TE website but I thought I’d set out the overall discussions through the meeting.  

Round the table the interesting items were:

- Creating a volunteer ethos in TE.  So many races rely on volunteers for marshals in order for us all to race safely and fairly.  It was felt that if TE helped promote the value of volunteering and facilitated it by for example a central register it would support the growing amount of races.  ParkRun are exemplars of this message and it supports and thanks its volunteer base.

- Junior races; these consistently are the most troublesome races for event managers to run.  They require more marshals to guide the athletes and then the organiser is liable to receive a storm of correspondence from parents post-event, which leads organisers to query whether they should run the event.  Some regions have managed parental expectations well by getting them to sign an agreement pre-race which sets out acceptable behaviour levels.  It seems extraordinary that we need such a thing but we’re not alone as a sport.  This article HERE shows how swimming and other sports have also suffered.

- Coach Education: the price keeps going up for Level 1 and 2 courses – this isn’t sustainable and at odds with the aim of growing the sport.  Promises were made to analyse again the royalties and payments necessary.

- Academies; it emerged from chats pre-meeting and during the meeting that the Academies are all managed in slightly different ways.  Some regions are very hands off – some very involved in the finances etc.  The appropriate TE staff will pick up this theme.

- Regional finance; the basic system is that TE provides the region with a grant which is supplemented by the profits of the coaching education.  With a new program coming called Skills School that will require regional finance, plus with the Academy discussion above and coach education surplus being so important to the regions it was a felt a working group should revisit this relationship.

The regional AGM is on October 13th – Jack Buckner the CEO of the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) and TE is attending and will give a presentation on the latest developments in the BTF and of course the plans for 2016 which of course includes the Olympics.

TE London Region AGM - 7-9pm

Institute of Sport Exercise and Health (ISEH)

170 Tottenham Court Rd, London, W1T 7HA

May and June News

The Triathlon England (TE) Council meets three times a year.  Its objective is to provide oversight of TE Management Board activities.  The Board manages the sport in the England and   each region has a representative on the board, usually the Chair, providing the member input .

The first half of the meeting covered procedural and high level governance discussions and then we moved on to broader issues.

The newer members of the Council have realised that each region runs approximately the same activities, but in most cases we are all running everything differently.  In order for us newer Council members to be aware and learn from the other regions I was able to get “information sharing and best practice sharing” on the agenda.  The subject chosen was the Senior Race series that we all run.  Richard Fuller, the Council rep from the East region and also the “Super-Rep” for the East, London and South East at TE Management Board, gave a presentation on their series.  In the East:

• They have one off Regional Championships in Sprint, Standard and Middle Distances.  Junior’s get a one-off Champs.

• The Junior League is very strong.

• They have been able to charge race organisers to have races in the League – approx £50.

• They have a series across the Region supporting Club and Commercial events

• Event organisers bid for Events in September and the League is announced in December.

• The race series awards are presented as part of the AGM

• They have an under 40 and over 40 categorisation – no further Age Group breakdown.  They don’t get enough entries for true age group competition.

• All the Regions suffer with analysing results and creating fast accurate results on-line via each of the Regional web sites.

We are planning a London race organiser get together in June and the above points will provide some good discussion as we review our Leagues and what we’d like to see in 2016.

The other major talking point was the TE Awards (Coaches, Volunteers etc).  These have been reviewed following a few years of low levels of entries at the national and regional levels.  Work has been carried out to simplify the entry process, slim down the number of categories and therefore encourage more entries.  It all looks positive and on track for a July launch.  Jack Buckner, British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Chief Executive and Bill James, Chair of TE joined the meeting towards the end and updated the group on staff changes at the BTF and TE with a number of staff recently leaving and new Directors coming in shortly.  Positive developments are en route.

If you’ve got questions on London – get in touch

April News

There’s been a bit a gap in proceedings with this I’m afraid but with the race season underway I thought I’d better seize the opportunity.  With Clubs having different AGM dates it may also be that someone else needs to see this so please put them in touch.

As the Chair of the London Region I sit on Triathlon England’s (TE) Council along with the Chairs of the other 9 regions.  The role is one of oversight of the TE Management Board, the body that manages TE.

Updates from the recent Council meeting:

•    I discussed the idea of spreading awareness of Regional Clubs at large events that TE are supporting.  It seemed to not quite hit home as an idea, but might have gained some traction in other regions.  I ventured it as an idea because I’m aware of how many London athletes and Clubs enter the London Triathlon.  Apparently only 20% of athletes attending BTF/TE events like Liverpool are TE members.

•    TE are looking to align with British Cycling and the gearing restrictions they use for young athletes.  It is being trialled at two races this season with the idea of it coming into force for 2016.

•    As it was on the TE Management Board (TEMB) agenda we briefly talked about the fact that only about 20% of Club members are TE members.  I believe a new promotion is coming out to encourage Club members to join.

•    The TE Annual Awards are up for discussion: basically how can TE get more engagement with them.  Too few clubs and athletes enter these.

Jack Buckner, BTF CEO, is now the main Director at TE after the departure of TE Director of Operations.

No news update these days is worth its salt if it doesn’t have a Jobs section – so here’s mine.  If you’re in the sports sector have a look at these. Some exciting new roles at TE. 

As always, please let me know if there are issues you think we could work on regionally.

First instalment for 2015

We’ve managed to have a couple of meetings already this year.  We needed an extra one in early January to sort out the program and its budget for the coming year.  With some changes to the way the region generates surplus income via the coaching program, we now have reduced income and therefore we needed to revisit our original plans and budget. The new program and budget sit within the 2015 strategy, which has been refreshed and reviewed and agreed by the committee.  

Please access the new strategy and program document here.

At the second meeting on February 24th we were joined by Bill James, Chair of Triathlon England and Stefan Pearce from Triathlon England.  They set out a re-organisation and re-prioritisation of the British Triathlon Federation and the Home Nations relationship with the objective being less or no duplication of services and no waste of resources.

The committee is keen to have a presence at the London Triathlon to engage with and support London clubs and their events.  So many Londoners do the event and we feel it is a good opportunity to show our faces and help clubs find new members and get more entrants for their races.

We’ve got new faces on the committee with Ian Wilson taking on the Treasurer role from Ian King.  Many thanks to Ian for staying with us whilst a new Treasurer was found – it took a while.  Joe Wilson (no relation to Ian) has joined with the aim of taking on the Secretary role from Andrzej at the next AGM in October.  Much thanks to them for showing the interest and taking the time.

We also have a new media team who are currently in the process of revitalising the social media and news content on the website.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the results with race reports, club focus and many more ideas for interesting updates.

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