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Lost in transition

Triathlons life expectancy?

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Interested in the other states opinion, but here in Victoria, it feels as if triathlon is dying a very slow death. We now have 1 long course race in Geelong, 1 main tri series, that even that was on tender hooks mid year. No idea on club numbers, tri Australia memberships.

What are the rest of Australia experiencing in their tri scene?

 

 

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Clear fall away in TA numbers but still around double what it was 9 years ago. Admittedly the increase in 2013/14 was largely due to the 'compulsory' TA affiliation with being a club member.

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1 minute ago, Lost in transition said:

Interested in the other states opinion, but here in Victoria, it feels as if triathlon is dying a very slow death. We now have 1 long course race in Geelong, 1 main tri series, that even that was on tender hooks mid year. No idea on club numbers, tri Australia memberships.

What are the rest of Australia experiencing in their tri scene?

 

 

All you guys seem to do is talk down about triathlon. Things are always better in the rear-view mirror but moping around does nothing to attract new people. 

FWIW as a new comer I'm loving it and all the races I've been to have been packed. I've had friends and family come to watch who are now training to give it a crack. They don't know what it was like 10 or 20 years ago, all they know is they like what they saw today. 

It's a shame that Challenge Melb and Shep is no more but hopefully Ironman pick them back up next year. 

 

 

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Yeah fair point, but you may find yourself questioning the same thing in 5 or 6 years when you've done beach road a billion times, seen every blade of grass at Cartini gardens, or recall every tree you run past at the elwood race.

We used to have a great selection of races across the season in different locations. Now we are stuck with little choice in Vic.

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It's hard, we had many more races much easier to access and afford. We are not allowed to run our local sprints and OD as we did in the past, complete road closure is demanded with paid for traffic controllers.

Makes it hard

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44 minutes ago, BarryBevan said:

It's hard, we had many more races much easier to access and afford. We are not allowed to run our local sprints and OD as we did in the past, complete road closure is demanded with paid for traffic controllers.

Makes it hard

Yeah that's rough. I wonder how much a long course race would cost to put on? Say Bendigo, Shepp ect.

I would love to do a river swim tri. 

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The local Queensland Triathlon Series held around SEQ has died off a little bit, but my only reference point is the season before last when everyone was trying to qualify for the GC world champs. The numbers are still decent, but it's not as busy in some of the AGs, and I also feel like the depth of field isn't quite there. At least in my age group of M30-34.

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3 hours ago, BNothling said:

The local Queensland Triathlon Series held around SEQ has died off a little bit, but my only reference point is the season before last when everyone was trying to qualify for the GC world champs. The numbers are still decent, but it's not as busy in some of the AGs, and I also feel like the depth of field isn't quite there. At least in my age group of M30-34.

Personally I don't really care for the (Qld) Gatorade Tri-Series (not going to call something that hardly gets north of Brisbane a "Queensland Series") only went to the Robina one to get some Qualif pnts for the worlds (I hate criterion courses in mass participation tri's), similarly the equivalent events in other states (you know, anything with so many laps that you risk losing count) courses that are designed from a profit maxing point of view at the expense of athlete safety and fairness. 

Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.... on the other hand, our club races here in the Bay are going quite nicely (plus that part known as "The Hundy", as are Bundy & 1770 (try that one sometimes - you can usually see the sandy bottom in 5m of water), and that little shindig down the coast the other weekend was pretty well full as well (but Noosa is a habit for me). On the other hand I'm starting to lose the love for TA (despite being a founding member of TQ and pro TA's formation) - they just seem too focused on "elite" aka pro & wannnabePro affairs (if you ask me "elite" is the guy with a 40 hr a week job, 3 kids, mortgage etc who still puts down sub 2hr OD tri times).

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7 hours ago, trifun said:

Personally I don't really care for the (Qld) Gatorade Tri-Series (not going to call something that hardly gets north of Brisbane a "Queensland Series") only went to the Robina one to get some Qualif pnts for the worlds (I hate criterion courses in mass participation tri's), similarly the equivalent events in other states (you know, anything with so many laps that you risk losing count) courses that are designed from a profit maxing point of view at the expense of athlete safety and fairness.

Aw man! After winning the championship for my age group last season, I had "2018/19 Queensland Triathlon Champion" added to my business card at work and had it added to my triathlon suit.

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2 hours ago, BNothling said:

Aw man! After winning the championship for my age group last season, I had "2018/19 Queensland Triathlon Champion" added to my business card at work and had it added to my triathlon suit.

There is this game to play at conferences etc where ppl toss their biz cards onto the table and the one with the most post-nominals wins, except for this one guy who had one thing on it other than their name  " Noble Laureate" - wins every time (except perhaps astronaught)

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16 hours ago, Lost in transition said:

Interested in the other states opinion, but here in Victoria, it feels as if triathlon is dying a very slow death. We now have 1 long course race in Geelong, 1 main tri series, that even that was on tender hooks mid year. No idea on club numbers, tri Australia memberships.

What are the rest of Australia experiencing in their tri scene?

 

 

Plenty of little guys at the kids tri at Noosa last weekend...

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18 hours ago, BarryBevan said:

It's hard, we had many more races much easier to access and afford. We are not allowed to run our local sprints and OD as we did in the past, complete road closure is demanded with paid for traffic controllers.

Makes it hard

Demanded by who? Local council?

My local cycle club who I used to race with would pay to train volunteers to do the traffic controlling once they had an approved traffic control plan in place

may be an option for you guys

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I think races seem to be busy, there just isn’t the volume or variety of racing to do. 
Back in the early days there were races most weekends around Sydney (Wollongong, central coast) during peak season. A bit of travel or fuel wasn’t a big deal when the race entry was only $20.
The cost to run races has increased  dramatically with the compliance costs, this is passed on to the the athletes and I don’t think having $120+ sprint races makes for an affordable pathway into the sport which in turn will impact future numbers. 
There needs to be a way to have affordable pathway races to get people in the door and give them enough opportunities to get hooked, then Ironman can fleece them. 

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I can do you an OD course within 4 hours drive (the time you can reasonably cart children) of 75% of the state's population with: 1 lap swim, 2 * 20km laps on fully closed bike course, and an out and back run ( physically separated from the bike) for $200 a head (including the std frills like chest numbers, recovery, a nice shirt each plus 5* the random draws per person of some of the big-name events around).

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Groundhog day....

 

Many peeps in WA have stopped getting their TA membership. I haven't had one in 3 years, so looking at TA membership trends in relation to participation numbers is misleading. If you look at all the Ironman branded races around Australia, they are all doing better than ever especially now most of them have a full and 70.3 on the same day. So although IMWA might only get 1200 for the full, compared to 1500 a few years ago, they now get 800 for the 70.3, so total numbers for the day > 2000. Cairns, Port are similar.

 

 

 

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We used to have Mandurah half as well and the May half numbers are way down.  I don't think Karri Valley gets the attendance it once did either.  Long course in WA isn't that rosy right now just because December is okay.

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1 hour ago, Stikman said:

Long course in WA isn't that rosy right now just because December is okay.

I blame the new TWA committee!😋

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1 hour ago, Stikman said:

We used to have Mandurah half as well and the May half numbers are way down.  I don't think Karri Valley gets the attendance it once did either.  Long course in WA isn't that rosy right now just because December is okay.

To be fair the May 70,3 has had a lot of bad luck. The 70.3 in December took away a chunk of people, then they moved it to Sunday, shark swim cancellation in 2017, storm and swim cancellation 2018, storm 2019. I also think May is a bad time of year for that race. I started my IM program in July, so I had a break of 6 weeks after Busso 70.3. It ends up being a very long season if you do Busso Dec and May. They need to move the May race.

 

Mandurah was another race to have really bad luck. I looked at the daily temps for November in Mandurah, every day was 22, 23, 25. But for 3 years on the trot they had one day when the temp was 38, 40 and that was race day! That killed the race.

A lot of the local races are suffering too. That's a combination of a lot of things,  Trievents going bust didn't help. Also I don't quite understand the WA Tri community. I did the Sufferfest races on Rottnest 3 years on the trot, one of the best places to have a race, beautiful ocean, no cars and medal ceremony in the Quokka Arms. Very poorly attended though and it got canned. Yet you would get hundreds of people driving all the way out to Bum**** Idaho (Armadale) to do a poxy duathlon or a triathlon in the fetid water full of duckshit! One of the worst places for a race, but popular....

All the Trievent races were picked up by different clubs, yet numbers halved simply because it wasn't being by Trievents. The numbers are there, but small races need to be well marketed, which is tough because I know a lot of them are operating at a loss and there's a lot of voluntary work going on. 

So I think the sport isn't in decline, but TWA need to have a bit more of a solid plan. The sport needs to be managed better, a clear plan and direction. A better understanding of what WA triathletes want. I'm not sure what input they had with the Sufferfest races, who takes responsibility for the failing of Sufferfest? TWA's goal is to improve the sport in WA, so it's in their best interests to ensure companies like Sufferfest are supported as much as possible. The Rottnest races should have been sellouts, they had 30 people for their 70.3. TWA have to take some of the blame for that as do the WA triathletes. 

 

 

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On 08/11/2019 at 5:37 PM, Lost in transition said:

Yeah fair point, but you may find yourself questioning the same thing in 5 or 6 years when you've done beach road a billion times, seen every blade of grass at Cartini gardens, or recall every tree you run past at the elwood race.

We used to have a great selection of races across the season in different locations. Now we are stuck with little choice in Vic.

I'm much the same about racing out at Penrith. I'm "going round" in the club enticer tomorrow as I am doing a long ride to get out there (just so bored with laps of the regatta centre!)

Most other races are out of Sydney though so you need a nights accommodation to race, so when you are paying $150 for a sprint, then everything else it ends up being a no go for a sprint. Kurnell is more reachable for me now, but for the outer westies you might as well book a room!

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On 8 November 2019 at 5:18 PM, Lost in transition said:

Interested in the other states opinion, but here in Victoria, it feels as if triathlon is dying a very slow death. We now have 1 long course race in Geelong, 1 main tri series, that even that was on tender hooks mid year. No idea on club numbers, tri Australia memberships.

What are the rest of Australia experiencing in their tri scene?

 

 

All is not doom and gloom. Until four months ago it didn't look like we would have the 2xu series, but now we do. Just a fortnight ago I was invited to join a new club that has been formed at the coast (surf coast triathlon and multi sports). 

Whilst other states had halcyon periods that lasted a decade or two, Victoria has Sustained a strong pool of races for 30 years or more. This was thanks to a lot of dedicated people which included some very good and savvy race directors.

the test of competitor numbers begins next weekend. I think you will be surprised throughout the coming series, as numbers increase and people see the 2xu series is business as usual.

The state of long course racing definitely needs some work. Bringing Shepp back should be a priority, as it's a known performer as a venue that athletes like, attend in numbers and the community supports.

Challenge Melbourne was a good race but never attracted big numbers like Shepp. It also didn't "feel" like a big event like Shepp or Geelong. Probably because we were racing over similar ground that the 2xu races series used. 

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1 hour ago, Greyman said:

All is not doom and gloom. Until four months ago it didn't look like we would have the 2xu series, but now we do. Just a fortnight ago I was invited to join a new club that has been formed at the coast (surf coast triathlon and multi sports). 

Whilst other states had halcyon periods that lasted a decade or two, Victoria has Sustained a strong pool of races for 30 years or more. This was thanks to a lot of dedicated people which included some very good and savvy race directors.

the test of competitor numbers begins next weekend. I think you will be surprised throughout the coming series, as numbers increase and people see the 2xu series is business as usual.

The state of long course racing definitely needs some work. Bringing Shepp back should be a priority, as it's a known performer as a venue that athletes like, attend in numbers and the community supports.

Challenge Melbourne was a good race but never attracted big numbers like Shepp. It also didn't "feel" like a big event like Shepp or Geelong. Probably because we were racing over similar ground that the 2xu races series used. 

 

I would love Shepp to return, it seemed like the town was very much behind it.  Is there any news there as to what actually happened, I have not kept up with it but entries opened and the next day it was cancelled...all seemed a bit wierd.

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Anyone got the word on what is happening with Bass Coast Tri club and their race series?  Website seems quite out of date and no word on a series this year as yet.  Hoping it hasn't folded since the passing of Deb

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3 hours ago, Greyman said:

All is not doom and gloom. Until four months ago it didn't look like we would have the 2xu series, but now we do. Just a fortnight ago I was invited to join a new club that has been formed at the coast (surf coast triathlon and multi sports). 

Whilst other states had halcyon periods that lasted a decade or two, Victoria has Sustained a strong pool of races for 30 years or more. This was thanks to a lot of dedicated people which included some very good and savvy race directors.

the test of competitor numbers begins next weekend. I think you will be surprised throughout the coming series, as numbers increase and people see the 2xu series is business as usual.

The state of long course racing definitely needs some work. Bringing Shepp back should be a priority, as it's a known performer as a venue that athletes like, attend in numbers and the community supports.

Challenge Melbourne was a good race but never attracted big numbers like Shepp. It also didn't "feel" like a big event like Shepp or Geelong. Probably because we were racing over similar ground that the 2xu races series used. 

Interesting  Greyman that the  new club  has ' and multisport' in its title. This is something I think is key. Loads  of triathletes have a great base/platform to quite readily try other endurance challenges and then dip back into tri. I know this is where I'm heading.

For me, some years, tri is too one dimensional, despite having 3 sports. Its punters like things tied upon a bow, be it branding or distance.

Most triathletes  have the sunk costs in terms of kit and training time. What's happening now is that other races and challenges are tapping into a somewhat ready market.

I don't think tri is dead but there are a lot sharks circling that particular disposable income pool IMO.

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12 hours ago, FatPom said:

Interesting  Greyman that the  new club  has ' and multisport' in its title. This is something I think is key. Loads  of triathletes have a great base/platform to quite readily try other endurance challenges and then dip back into tri. I know this is where I'm heading.

For me, some years, tri is too one dimensional, despite having 3 sports. Its punters like things tied upon a bow, be it branding or distance.

Most triathletes  have the sunk costs in terms of kit and training time. What's happening now is that other races and challenges are tapping into a somewhat ready market.

I don't think tri is dead but there are a lot sharks circling that particular disposable income pool IMO.

FP, it's primarily due to that fact. There is a big multi sport community on the coast. With the running of mountain bike races, trail running races, kayaking events, cycling grand fondos, plus the SLSC folks looking for other activities during winter, the time is right. The population in some areas of the surfcoast has exploded and everyone seems to run, ride, walk, paddle or swim. 

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The first 'official' triathlon was held in Saudi over the weekend. When I say 'official' it means outside the privately owned compounds and held by an official sports federation. Here's the women's podium. I guess when triathlon dries up in Aus, you guys can always head over to Saudi :0)

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Is what the women are wearing due to cold weather or are there rules about what they can wear while racing?

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42 minutes ago, Ironnerd said:

Is what the women are wearing due to cold weather or are there rules about what they can wear while racing?

What they can wear. There are modesty rules about head to wrist to ankle. Saw a couple of ladies from that part of the world at Worlds in Lausanne. 

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28 minutes ago, MissJess said:

What they can wear. There are modesty rules about head to wrist to ankle. Saw a couple of ladies from that part of the world at Worlds in Lausanne. 

Kona would be a tough day out for them.

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1 hour ago, MissJess said:

What they can wear. There are modesty rules about head to wrist to ankle. Saw a couple of ladies from that part of the world at Worlds in Lausanne. 

I saw a screenshot from one of the Middle Eastern TV stations (can't remember which country exactly, maybe Saudi Arabia), they had to pixelate Angela Merkel's hair so as not to offend viewers. 

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32 minutes ago, Bored@work said:

I looked at the start list for Busso this week and noticed  numbers are down for a couple of clubs.

I had a look at the "rally the troops" for WS70.3 for last year and this year, my club is down on entrants by about 10, Moore Performance have disappeared entirely as a "group" (maybe they are elsewhere?) Warringah are about the same, Panthers are about the same.

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11 hours ago, Ironnerd said:

Is what the women are wearing due to cold weather or are there rules about what they can wear while racing?

the woman in green is wearing a pretty normal trisuit I would have thought - short sleeves and covering on thighs. Similar to what I would wear apart from the knees. The one in the middle looks like she put on a tshirt over her race suit for the presentation. I would have thought this was pretty normal for a young female, new to the sport, who may not be comfortable standing in front of a crowd in just lycra. The 3rd woman is Bahraini and they can wear whatever they want - it's up to them. She happens to be a devout Muslim and chooses to cover her hair and skin. It's her choice. She trains with her Muslim friends in Bahrain who wear anything from normal trisuits to full cover like she does. Anyway, whatever she's wearing didn't stop her from getting on the podium and enjoying herself.

In the unofficial Tris they've had in private compounds in Saudi in the past, women and men could wear whatever they wanted. The fact that the woman in the green Saudi top has no hair, arm or full length cover suggests that as long as it's a sporting event, appropriate clothing is allowed, including normal tri suits.

Since the Saudi tri club is growing rapidly, maybe there's some money to be made in designing a full-body trisuit.

I just think you guys like to whinge. Women competing in a triathlon in Saudi is a good thing - right?

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5 hours ago, Bored@work said:

I looked at the start list for Busso this week and noticed  numbers are down for a couple of clubs.

Well done to the best* club in Australia, North Coast Tri Club, on having the most entrants and winning the "Rally the Troops".

* I may be a little biased in this assessment

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1 hour ago, The Customer said:

I just think you guys like to whinge. Women competing in a triathlon in Saudi is a good thing - right?

Where's the whinging?

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Can't see any whinging. Keep sharing the pics and info from the Saudi triathlon scene. No one else is at present. An opening for "special sports correspondent" maybe?

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Mehhh the Customer was just baiting and had to make things up when she didn't get the response she was after... Fail. 

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4 hours ago, more said:

Mehhh the Customer was just baiting and had to make things up when she didn't get the response she was after... Fail. 

Not really, more. I just anticipated folk on here would be pleased that things are changing in Saudi. It's normally all doom, gloom and oppression.

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14 hours ago, The Customer said:

Since the Saudi tri club is growing rapidly, maybe there's some money to be made in designing a full-body trisuit.

The Iranian lady according to the article I posted was working with Roka for her kit. It also needs to be somewhat loose to conform to requirements (hence one photo shows her wearing a vest over her wetsuit). Speedo has a full body bathing suit with hood. I'm pleased by the way. It's good to see they can still have their traditions and compete.

More women is good for the sport, actually I think the enticer distance at Hills last weekend have more females than males! (I ignore TriPink as a data point as the majority of those who do that event, will only do that event and not move into the sport).

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8 hours ago, The Customer said:

Not really, more. I just anticipated folk on here would be pleased that things are changing in Saudi. It's normally all doom, gloom and oppression.

Whos indicated they aren't pleased?

 

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8 hours ago, The Customer said:

Not really, more. I just anticipated folk on here would be pleased that things are changing in Saudi.

I more pleased that things are changing for the female population in these regions :) 

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It's a good thing for the region. I think the bank rolling of major events to move to the region, like the DAKAR Rally and Soccer World Cup, has meant that the authorities have had to relax certain laws. Women driving cars  and being out unescorted by their husbands are a few that have been in the press.

Its no secret that the Saudi's are aware that after the oil runs out, tourism will be their main source of income. Steps taken now to prepare for that means events, like triathlons being conducted outside of the compounds as TC has told us, will now have the opportunity to be held. 

I look forward to having a female taxi driver when I travel in the region in the future. That will show real progress 

 

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46 minutes ago, Greyman said:

I look forward to having a female taxi driver when I travel in the region in the future. That will show real progress 

I don't think I've ever had a female taxi driver in Australia.

Then again I haven't had an Australian one for about 10 years.

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25 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

I don't think I've ever had a female taxi driver in Australia.

Then again I haven't had an Australian one for about 10 years.

Melbourne, Geelong, Canberra, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Perth and Kalgoolie( yes the Kal) are all places I've had female taxi drivers in Australia over the past 5 years, during travel for work and leisure. 

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25 minutes ago, Greyman said:

Melbourne, Geelong, Canberra, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Perth and Kalgoolie( yes the Kal) are all places I've had female taxi drivers in Australia over the past 5 years, during travel for work and leisure. 

I probably only get a dozen cabs a year, but I work in the city and see hundreds. I've seen a few female Uber drivers, but no taxis.

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On 08/11/2019 at 5:25 PM, Aidan said:

Clear fall away in TA numbers but still around double what it was 9 years ago. Admittedly the increase in 2013/14 was largely due to the 'compulsory' TA affiliation with being a club member.

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Compulsory membership killed the growth of the sport...going gang busters, sold out races then someone came up with an idea of growing themembership of the national association as the expense of clubs.   Club members who didn't join the national association just walked away, lost and it was as high as between 60% and 80% at some clubs, I know my club at the time was one such. 

Great idea to try an increase sponsorship by showing large member numbers but when you punt the fringes of the sport, you end up with a free fall in membership like you have now as you killed the pathway of people trying the sport without commitment. Anyone looking at it, can see the sudden growth, with a current year on year decline and will question where the sport is headed.  Anyone that understands the sport and people could tell you membership decline they currently have year after year was coming, is simply a natural default of the model chosen, bit like a pyramid scheme when you think about it.

The sport will land at its right membership level eventually, not sure if 18/19's numbers are out yet but would be disappointed if its still in free fall membership wise like above, hopefully they've halted it or even improved it.  I suspect they'll reach the decline point of compulsory membership at some with an ever increasing population in Australia. Triathlon will continue but it will never be like the times Roxii talks about above. It's still a great sport and deserves respect.   Probably should explore its history a bit more like with what jabbs posted the other day...assuming of course you want to grow the sport.  

Cometh the hour, cometh the man. In jabbs we trust. Stuffed if I know why they dont beg him to take it over.

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1 hour ago, Oompa Loompa said:

Compulsory membership killed the growth of the sport...going gang busters, sold out races then someone came up with an idea of growing themembership of the national association as the expense of clubs.   Club members who didn't join the national association just walked away, lost and it was as high as between 60% and 80% at some clubs, I know my club at the time was one such.

In regard to Compulsory Membership with TA (TNSW) what about if you are a Club Committee Member but have no intention of racing? Do you still need to be a full member of Triathlon Australia?

I've been on our club committee for yonks, but due to some recent health issues I'm currently not able to train and compete.  Even though I'm happy to keep helping out with the running of our club events etc I'm not sure that I want to pay full TA Membership for the privilege.

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5 hours ago, Go Easy said:

In regard to Compulsory Membership with TA (TNSW) what about if you are a Club Committee Member but have no intention of racing? Do you still need to be a full member of Triathlon Australia?

I've been on our club committee for yonks, but due to some recent health issues I'm currently not able to train and compete.  Even though I'm happy to keep helping out with the running of our club events etc I'm not sure that I want to pay full TA Membership for the privilege.

Yes, not many use it but they have s social membership, was about $5.  Could be free now with no membership cards to be produced and posted and for people like yourself it should be free- same as they do for TO’s.  Or could have gone up too. Will be on their website.

 

You can also set up a multi sport division in your club and bi pass compulsory membership and return to the sports roots, it’s not advertised but it’s possible.  TriNSW helped me do that a few years ago when I asked about how they deal with one of two clubs in NSW that are more then Triathlon.  Basically two divisions, Triathlon and a multi sport division.  

Mind you when we advertised you could join us without joining the national association, they did ask us to remove the posts after some complaints from other clubs.  Nothing like a bit of envy and other clubs looking at what other clubs are doing rather then looking inwards re themselves and addressing their own backyard. ...lol 

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