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Tri for Recovery


Tri for Recovery’s addiction rehabilitation through swim, bike and run!

With their sights set on Bala Triathlon in September, Tri for Recovery are being supported by former world champion boxer, Derry Matthews and Mersey Tri club member, Andy Tutte as they use triathlon to aid their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and raise money for the housing support charities that helped them in their recovery journey.

Tutte has competed in triathlon since 2006, not only completing standard distance races, but also crossing the finish line at a 70.3 race and two 140.6 events. Aside from Tutte, the other members of the team are completely new to the sport and are targeting their first triathlon race at the Bala Standard Triathlon.

“Two of the group are veterans and have served with the British Army in various war locations prior to facing addiction challenges post service both have been in Tom Harrison House – rehab for service men in Liverpool. Three of the lads have accessed the supportive recovery housing we are raising money for with two still living there,” said Tutte.

“Tom Harrison House is a charity – it is residential rehab for veteran experiencing addiction issues and offers a programme of therapy for this cohort. Bridge House project is the sister project and provides housing support and move on accommodation for clients of the rehab and others in abstinent recovery from addictions.”

The group decided to sign up for Bala Triathlon after Ian McCarthy who works at Tom Harrison House and the Bridge Project as activity coordinator saw an advert for the event. Others in the group then followed with Lee Thomas, Tony Riley, Luke McCoy, John Ross, Brian Rimmer and Derry Matthews all signing up soon after.

“For me, Triathlon has played a major part in my life since 2006. I got clean from heroin and crack addiction in 2002 and completed Salford Tri in 2006. It is a perfect sport for an ‘addictive’ mind. I was able to use the sport in a positive manner to build my physical and mental fitness back. The hope is for the lads to achieve similar experiences and enter our triathlon family,” said Tutte.

“Talking openly and sharing about breaking away from addiction is an essential part of the recovery process. It gives hope to often destitute people who feel stuck and worthless with no idea or confidence to stop a lifestyle they hate. Sharing our experiences hopefully will reach someone else to try to change their life.”

Tutte believes that sport has been a great motivator in his life, aiding his recovery process, but he also recognised that everyone has different ways of coping, saying: “There are differing concepts for recovery – 12 steps and therapeutic community rehabs for example. Others use sport as a medium for recovery from addiction and mental health. The idea is finding your own path that works for you, there needs to be different recovery journeys.

“Staying clean for one day has been the most challenging experience I’ve ever had in my life. My life has gone from strength to strength over the last 19 years with some challenges along the way. I completed my very first Triathlon event in Salford in 2006 and found my new positive addiction. Since then I have completed 15 standard distance triathlons, 5 marathons and 2 full distance Ironman events - 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run.”

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