Meridian Triathlon Club (“The Time Bandits”) organised a socially distant baton relay across the region to connect their members and help them keep active during lockdown.
Having been appointed as men’s Club Captain, Trevor Lunnon was out on a solo ride during lockdown when he had the idea for the challenge.
“With races cancelled and given the current situation, I was trying to figure out the role of Club Captain” Trevor said. “I’m not sure where the idea came from, but my mind started wandering, how to join members together and keep everyone incorporated in Club life.
“Coaching sessions and online competitive challenges were already being planned, but I really wanted something that was less competitive and would give everyone a chance to take part.”
His idea, a Bandit Baton Relay that would see a baton hidden in different locations for members to find and pass from one-to-another without having to meet up.
“It broadly followed geo-caching,” commented Trevor. “A member would hide the baton and provide the next member on the list the location using what3words.
“It was then onto the next member to ride out and find it, before doing the same for the next person. We’ve got members spread out across the area, and this was a way of helping everyone to feel included regardless of where they lived.”
By creating an order of who was passing to who, the baton could pass between members from Cambridge to Baldock, with 38 of the 60 club members taking part.
“It took 47 days to complete the relay,” Trevor added. “We used a drinks bottle for ease of transport on bikes, but it also meant that members could hide energy gels, sweets and even a miniature bottle of wine!”
Trevor created a map each week of where the bottle had gone, with members sharing where they’d found it and what had been hidden inside for them.
“The bottle was hidden in various locations,” he said. “With the finding member taking a selfie once they’d found it and posting it in our Facebook group, we were able to track it’s progress and help everyone stay connected.
“We had some great feedback and members really enjoyed being part of it and having the fun element of finding the bottle and then hiding it again, but also of being part of a wider challenge of moving the baton from one end of the relay to the other.”
British Triathlon have created guidance and support for clubs to help them to start face-to-face activities and coaching sessions.