Formed in 1989, Taff Ely Triathlon Club, based in central South Wales valleys, is a thriving triathlon cub which has both adult and junior sections. With over 150 members of all ages the club facilitates a number of weekly sessions for all abilities which are supported by 12 coaches, with qualifications ranging from Level 1 to 3. As a club Taff Ely are dedicated to providing guidance, encouragement and direction for all no matter what ability or previous experience.
What has the process of achieving bronze accreditation taught you about your club?
The achievement of Insport Tri Bronze has enabled Taff Ely triathlon club to reflect on everything they do as a club, how they provide a quality service for their members as well as how they attract new members and impact their local community. The process of going through accreditation has provided the club with an opportunity to be more professional when outward facing as well as ensure that they are publically visible to the wider community.
What has the achievement of bronze taught you about your club?
Taff Ely were extremely pleased with being one of the first clubs to achieve the bronze award. The process gave the club the opportunity to realise that they are in fact well organised, after having recurring jokes that they could be the worst triathlon club in Wales. The process allowed the club the opportunity to look at what policies and procedures they had in place as well as look to develop in areas where they were lacking. They managed to achieve this after taking the task of running a triathlon club more seriously as they previously did not have a lot of key documentation and resources in place to run the club effectively and provide a quality experience for participants. Taff Ely would like to use their change in governance to inspire newer clubs to get their policies in place so that they can support members better.
Was it difficult to get the rest of your members on board with this?
In terms of getting the membership to support and get involved this was easy, as members were pleased to help out and happy to sign off on any key changes which would impact the way the club was run. Discussions were held at AGMs and committee meetings where there were no objections raised. The process of completing the award was led by a sub-committee, made up of the club chair, secretary, welfare officer and head coach/membership secretary. These individuals collectively made sure that documentation was written and understood by all members of the club.
If anything, what else made the process difficult?
While the process of going through accreditation was excellent, there were a few challenges which the club faced. The first being the coordination and arranging for coaches to complete additional courses such as DIT training and safeguarding courses. The challenge here was fitting in coach availability as well as availability of the courses in Wales. A second challenge was ensuring that the club had evidence against each criteria. In some respects, this required a lot of thinking and ingenuity to ensure that the club met the criteria and have the means to continue making sure that they are providing a quality environment for its members.
What advice would you give other clubs looking to achieve this?
For other clubs in the process or starting the Insport Tri accreditation process Taff Ely recommend starting as soon as possible. In making sure that it is worthwhile and contrbuting to the development of the club, the process was long and required a lot of work. Having a compliant set of coaches, volunteers and a supportive committee also aided in ensuring that the process was completed properly. It is key to get these people on board to support the process.