How do you attract more newcomers into triathlon, when many people like the idea but are put off by the thought of long-course racing and equipment costs?
Sport England is hoping to do just that with its new GO TRI campaign, which aims to make multisport more accessible with shorter distances, low-cost race entry and give people the training and kit advice they need to get started.
The project has been running since last year on a low-key basis, offering training sessions via gyms and health clubs along with a few pilot events, but is now ramping up for 2015 with the aim of attracting around 15,000 new participants to the sport by April 2016.
It plans to do this with scores of small-scale events organised around the country by triathlon clubs, gyms and leisure centres at over 100 venues, with each event costing under £15 to enter.
The big initial push will be done via a weekend of multisport dubbed ‘GO TRI 1000’, taking place on the weekend of 25/26 April at around 36 venues around the country, with the aim of involving at least 1,000 new triathletes – though a spokesperson for Triathlon England tells us the actual number could be well in excess of that.
The intention is to provide dozens of small, informal events nationwide, along a similar model to the hugely successful Parkrun series. Triathlon England will be providing tri clubs, gyms and the like with an ‘event in a box’ containing all the necessary items to run a low-key triathlon, including risk assessment forms, flags, instructions and more. There’s no timing equipment though.
The campaign’s backers are also planning to involve Sport England’s ‘This Girl Can’ campaign which is making such a big impact at the moment, and may even run dedicated #thisgirlcan training sessions and race waves later this year.
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With one eye on London 2012’s sporting legacy, Sport England hope that GO TRI will become one of its big success stories and demonstrate that with the right positioning, people can be persuaded to get involved – and hopefully come back for more…
For more information and to find a GO TRI 1000 event near you, head to www.gotri.org.