Building community through triathlon

Published:

GO TRI Brum is a community club in Handsworth, Birmingham. Set up to bring the community together to swim, bike, run and socialise; the club has helped to increase activity provision in the Handsworth area, with most of those now involved not originally from a sporty background.

Since July 2018 GO TRI Active Sessions have been run in the area, with coaches leading taster sessions in swimming, cycling and running. They have been supported by the club members (most of whom took part in previous sessions) and in partnership with Big Birmingham Bikes and Park Lives. The club now have weekly swimming, cycling and running sessions organised for club members and are open to anyone from the local community to come and get involved with. They’re also running their first community GO TRI event in July, with each of the three disciplines having a group leader to guide participants through their first swim, bike, run experience.

As a community, fears over crime and violence on the streets - weapons carrying gangs are prevalent in the area – has meant people are fearful of taking to the streets/park to exercise alone. To combat this, the club runs all of its group running and cycling session in the park during the day, with the swimming sessions taking place on Monday evenings in a local pool. The club has proved popular amongst women (a trend seen across the GO TRI programme), with many commenting on how they never thought they could do anything like this before the club was set up!

The club has a real community feel, with new members continuously commenting on how welcoming the club is and a strong core of people wanting to be involved in the club committee and drive the club forward. The club now has it’s first “home grown” coach, with one in the process of completing their qualification, and a further four wanting to take the course!

This team of coaches will help to make the club and their sessions more sustainable, having previously ‘borrowed’ coaches to lead the sessions. Being able to offer group sessions in swimming, cycling and running that are led by a coach, gives the club members and wider community the confidence to get involved with activities that they may otherwise have been too afraid to do alone.

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