Telford Triathlon Club are ensuring athletes within the newly formed junior squad and committee have a valued voice within the club as they continue to look to the future.
The West Midlands club was formed in 2017, primarily focused on adults, but last summer the club took over Wrekin Triathlon Club including creating what club chair Luke Mills describes as a “vibrant junior section”.
“Our training sessions have actually boomed in the last three to four months,” Mills said. “The numbers for our track and swim sessions have jumped up from where there were and it’s a mix of both junior and adults.
“The junior section is definitely something we’re developing at the moment and it’s a really exciting position to be in. There’s something on at the club every single day and there’s a lot of things that we’re also trying to do. A lot of it is listening to the juniors and seeing what they want as well as the adults.
“Their opinions and thoughts are a really important focus for the club going forward and it’s a great way for them to develop skills that they can then take forward into their professional or coaching life. We want to give them the skills and opportunities not just in triathlon but in the club as well.”
One of the ways the club is ensuring the juniors have a voice is through the creation of a junior committee which was set-up in August last year following the influx of juniors joining the club.
The committee, which is headed up by junior members Isabel and Callum, is a key link between the club’s junior squad, known as #TTCjuniorsquad, and the club’s committee.
They’ve already taken an active role in setting up new social media pages, increasing attendance rates and providing a wider range of training sessions for junior members.
“They’re able to make decisions and bring it to the wider club committee where they’re able to have a say in the direction of the club and share what they want to see,” Mills explained.
“They have meetings every couple of weeks and it’s always really interesting to read the minutes from their meetings to hear what they would like to see. Some of their most recent discussions have been around access to turbo trainers for junior members who don’t have their own.
“Within the juniors they have held a poster competition to see who can design the best poster to advertise the club and that’s now being used. They also wanted access to England Athletics for the cross-country season, so we did that. Telford Tri has never been a member of England Athletics until the juniors asked for it.
“We’ve got a specific #TTCjuniorsquad flag which they can take for events and we’re also looking to add in bike skills sessions which the juniors have asked for, which is also important for the adults as well.”
Another focus for the club is Much Wenlock Aquathlon on Sunday 8 May, an event that’s open to children from age eight upwards all the way through to adults. The club is hoping the event will be added to the junior race calendar next year.
“One of the things we want to do for the juniors is get an event that’s going to be in the junior series for next year,” Mills said. “That’s goal number one for us this year and we’re putting on the event this May to hopefully get it off the ground with the hope of the event then being included as part of the junior series.
“It should be a fantastic event and we’re really looking forward to putting it on and hopefully seeing lots of people there.”