How could we surpass the previous years’ rapid club development and performance in 2017? Well the answer is we smashed it! 2017 built on the previous 2 years and turned out to be another great year for the orange and blues,
The club again nearly doubled in size growing from 71 members to 125, and yet kept the balance of novices and experienced triathletes competing at the sharp end, and the male-female mix.
The level of training, coaching, ‘socializing’ and racing was truly inspirational!
The growth and strength of the club is of course reliant on the dedication and commitment of our committee and coaching team. Particular thanks to the coaching team (referenced below), David Moxham (Treasurer), Lucy Williams (Secretary, Kit and club champs), Mark Robson (Club championship), David Walker (website), Claire Frances (Club Development; Social), Fiona Bultler (Social) and Anna Gardener (Publicity).
While the highlight has been the racing, the training and social aspects of the club have been equally important in establishing a team atmosphere, and developing the many members coming from a single discipline background (mostly running), and complete novices.
This year we grew our coaching provision to a total of 7 qualified coaches, crucial to the club’s development. Thank you to Peter Blake, Jason Cuthbert, Neil Perry, Richard Page, David Moxham and Claire Frances for all your hard work. With the growth of the coaching team, we were subsequently able to offer 2 weekly swim sessions (Colerne and Olympiad), cycling turbo session in the winter, and other ad hoc sessions such as open water and brick sessions at Castle Combe. We have also developed the tristars training at Stonar (more on this below).
Finally, on the training side, it continues to be great to see members engaging in both Harriers and Wheelers sessions, which of course is part of the vision of the club.
The racing has again been fantastic to witness – from people completing their first triathlons, achieving personal goals, all the way through to podium positions and GB Age group qualification.
With so many personal achievements at all levels from Calne to Rotterdam, it is difficult to mention everyone without making this report unwieldy! So a few highlights are provided below, with all the club results listed at: http://www.chippenhamtri.org.uk/results/
- The first race of the season again was a signal of how the club meant to go on! With a total of 42 members racing, we had our own dedicated swim lane, and made up approx. 1/6 of the field!
- 4 members represented GB Age Group:
- Sarah Dickinson, 37th in the World Triathlon Sprint distance Championships, Rotterdam, 40-44 age group;
- Richard Schofield, 34th in the World Triathlon Standard distance Championships, Rotterdam 55-59 age group;
- Neil Lewis, 21st in the European Middle distance Championships in Herning (Denmark), 45-49 age group;
- Gemma Collings, 26th European Standard Triathlon Championships, Kitzbühel (Austria), age group 45-49
The club fielded 6 teams at the National Relays (3 last year), and achieved an absolutely amazing 3 podium positions!!! This is the best achievement for the club to date! We again all enjoyed the event so much, from camping over the night before through to supporting each other. Can we make this even better next year??
- V50 Men won Gold (David Moxham, Paul Bacon, Richard Schofield, Stuart Dinwoodie)
- V40 Men won Silver (Neil Lewis, Peter Blake, Michael Bright, Chris Maxwell).
- V40 Ladies won Gold (Cordula Hurcum, Lysa Fairhurst, Gemma Collings, Claire Frances)
- 13 members completed (at least 1) Ironman in the year – congratulations to, Alex Ralton, Christine Mardle, Claire Frances, Mark Adams, Nigel Smith, Kevin James and Chris Maxwell at Bolton; Lynsey Carpenter, Duncan Cooper, Mark Clayton and Chris Maxwell at Wales; James Hutcheson and Zoe Forman at Hamburg; and Lisa Hill at Challenge Regensburg.
- Thanks again to Lucy Williams and the incoming Racing Secretary Mark Robson, for administrating the third club championship, a series of local events to focus member’s participation. Congratulations to Michael Bright (again!), and Cordula Hurcum worthy winners of the 2017 Championship. Well done to all members who scored points in the championship this year (which again doubled since last year).
This year we introduced 2 new awards: Supporter of the year was Sue Lewis, present at so many events and excellent photographer! And the Chairman’s award for contribution to the club and personal achievement, this year was awarded to Lucy Williams.
Finally in the hotly contested golden sprocket award (‘school boy/girl error’), Gemma Collings was a worthy winner for forgetting her nice race bike was on the car roof rack while driving under a low barrier!
The report would not be complete without mentioning the ultimate future of triathlon in Chippenham – the Tristars! We now have a squad of over 20 keen Tristars, training on a regular basis, and again some great performances at the local races. This year we have added a swim session at Stonar which is already proving popular. Highlights for the year were Megan Wright 2nd in the South West Series and selected for the South West Academy; and Harry and Joshua Maxwell 8th and 9th consecutively in the South West Series. Above all, some great performances from all the members, and medals were awarded to orange and blue Tristars aplenty.
So how can we continue this rapid rise of the club for 2018? It maybe that there is a period of consolidation, although indications are that is still likely to be growth due to the interest in our sport. Irrespective of growth in membership, the committee is determined we continue with the ethos of enjoyment, fun, friendship, achievement and performance! To achieve that we will continue to develop our coaches, add training opportunities, work with local business for sponsorship and grow the Tristars club. One of the biggest barriers we face is swimming pool time, something we will continue to work with local stakeholders to secure short, medium and longer-term opportunities.
The future looks bright, the future’s orange, and blue!