For the past couple of Olympic and Paralympic years, Plymouth Tri Club have seen an increase in interest in children wanting to join the club, with 2021 seeing more adults keen to get involved in swim, bike, run.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games brought great success for British athletes across Team GB and ParalympicsGB.
Two silver medals for Alex Yee and Georgia Taylor-Brown in the individual races were backed up with team gold in the mixed relay race for Yee, Taylor-Brown, Jonny Brownlee and Jess Learmonth. The Paralympic team then got in on the medal action with gold, silver and bronze medals for Lauren Steadman, George Peasgood and Claire Cashmore all in the PTS5 classification.
This success has transferred to a growth in interest for Plymouth Tri Club, with the club seeing locals lining up to take part in free taster sessions in swim, bike, run.
“We had recognised from previous Olympic Games that we experience an increase in membership post previous Olympic Games,” commented Ian Lamerton, chair of the club.
“In the knowledge that we may expect a similar increase in enquiries of membership, we actively marketed ourselves this year. We had lost about half of our membership that we had had prior to lockdown.
“If you like, there was an increased need this year to rebuild our membership so one of the things we identified as a way that we could do that was to piggyback off the back of the Olympics.”
Having advertised that the club were offering two free sessions to anyone interested in giving triathlon a go, the club saw numbers increase by about a third.
“What we found this time, interestingly, was that it was more adults coming this time,” Lamerton added. “Before, the Olympics created an excitement and it was mainly juniors. This time it’s more adults and in particular, more female triathletes.
“I think there are two things. The emphasis on the success of the Olympics is not just about the Brownlee brothers but obviously we had Alex and Georgia so an equal gender split of the two silver medals and the very successful mixed relay team, which again, emphasised that it’s equally female and male. That it’s a mixed relay team that won the gold I think sends out a really positive message.”
Lamerton is confident that should those who are on their free trial join as full members, the club will be at or close to a 50/50 gender split.
“We always use to offer two free trial sessions to see if members like it,” Lamerton said. “It gave them an opportunity to get a feel for the club before they committed.
“Since Covid lockdown, now we’re back in activity again, we’ve had to develop a pre-booking system for the club. We therefore know who’s coming and whether they’re an existing member or a potential member on a free trial ticket.
“I’d say that of all the people that have come for the free trial sessions, we’ve converted about 80% of them into permanent, full time members.”
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Clubs like Plymouth Tri Club are a great way to get more involved with swim, bike, run, and provide opportunities for both juniors and seniors to hone their skills and connect with other triathletes. Find a club near you using the search below.