Triathlon’s definitely being picked up by growing numbers of students around the UK, as shown by the record number of entries to this year’s British Universities, College and Schools Sprint Championships.
With that in mind, we had a quick chat (via email) with the fundraising officer of Birmingham University’s tri club, Tom Powell.
Can you tell us a little about the club?
We’re the triathlon club based at Birmingham University and have members with a wide range of experience.
Some have been competing since young ages and have international experience, others have transferred from individual disciplines, as well as a fantastic crop of upcoming talent who are now addicted to this amazing sport!
How many members do you have?
We’ve had consistently around 100 members for the last few years, with the vast majority of these being active members and we always have big numbers in all the training sessions.
We’re lucky enough at Birmingham to have the best University Cross Country team in the UK and we’re constantly inspired by their success and feel we definitely have the potential to match it.
Is there a club A-race?
The main races we target are the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) events of which there’s four events throughout the year. A duathlon, a biathlon, a sprint triathlon and a standard triathlon.
Tabby Rodgers racing at the British University, College and Schools Sprint (BUCS) Sprint Championship
Our women’s team managed to secure a bronze medal in the Duathlon and Biathlon and were narrowly pipped to third place in the BUCS sprint champs last weekend.
We have some fantastic endurance athletes at the club and feel we have a great chance with both individual and team medals in the men’s and women’s categories at the standard tri.
What’s the best thing about Birmingham University Triathlon Club?
The best thing about us is the friendly nature of the club, unlike other sports there aren’t too many big egos in triathlon and it’s very much team orientated.
Elliot Packham acting as guide for blind club member Jack Garner
On a personal level prior to October I was solely a runner, however following a lengthy hamstring injury I took up triathlon as cross training. I soon fell in love with the sport and have never looked back since!
What I love about the club is the way that I’m able to train with the same group of people and receive quality coaching despite being a good county level runner yet never having previously received a swimming lesson.
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The coaches and committee were fantastic at encouraging me through my early sessions and are a credit to the University.
On top of this Jodie Stimpson often trains with us during our early morning swimming session, and provides the team with a great moral boost – it’s definitely needed at that time in the morning.
Most recent victories?
The biggest victory by a club member recently was Rosie Davies who won the European standard distance duathlon championships.
The club currently has 10 UK age-group athletes, and with many more of our members being inspired by Rosie’s example, we are hoping for an additional five over the coming season.
Are you part of a university triathlon club? Let us know in the comments below!