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Triathlon clubs, are they fit for purpose
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ed_m




Joined: 15 May 2003
Posts: 8175
Location: coventry

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Triathlon clubs, are they fit for purpose Reply with quote

hammerer wrote:

Its such a shame as most of the people involved do it because they care and then it just becomes a lot o BS for no gain. When i started running the club that was it, right no more, which worked for a while but it reappeared eventually, usually by caused those who have the biggest mouths but giving the least effort.


This ... all over.
(Can't say too much cos I'm the chair)


Oh.. what I can say maybe is that its kind of unclear what TE wants from clubs and club development. For the most part regional & national governance has very little impact on the day to day running of a club.
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awildt




Joined: 08 Apr 2011
Posts: 696
Location: sunny (!) NW

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Triathlon clubs, are they fit for purpose Reply with quote

hammerer wrote:
awildt wrote:
hammerer wrote:
Read an interesting discussion about the club "structure" earlier and are clubs filling the needs of the sport and the athletes anymore. With my own experiences we had a friendly small loyal club, lots of volunteers and a good training attendance, the very best to the 20stone guy trying to lose weight. Then there was massive club growth in 2012 which attracted a new breed of athlete. At first it was great but we then had regular session attendances falling, less people willing to help out, it became very cliquey and not friendly like 10-15 years ago. I just wondered how others felt about the club structure, if their experiences differ and how so and what they would like from a club if the ideal one was set up on their doorstep. Do you think the BTF could improve the set up somehow as well, ie would a better club based race series help (think French Grand Prix but incorporating events for all with club prizes) .


The French Grand Prix series is just the top layer. Each team that is in "D1" (division 1 obvs Wink ) needs to have qualified through D3 then D2 to get into D1. Likewise, clubs who finish in the bottom 2 or 3 (varies depending on number of clubs in the division) will be relegated.

D1 and D2 have a specific number of clubs racing at that level and then D3 is regional, building up to a national final. The races that qualify as a D3 race are nominated by the regional league and the national final by FFTri. The races that have D1 or D2 races submit a profile to be awarded the race. So the race isn't an FFTri organised race but it is given the race by the FFTri.

There are some qualification requirements and rules around the teams involved in each level but then there are also some benefits to racing in the leagues. With allowances and cash prize funds available in all the leagues. Similarly the federations regional groups have designated junior race series across all formats of multisport running throughout the year, and clubs again get benefits for involving more kids and improving results.

Personally, I have no experience of UK clubs as I've just not carried on my triathlons enough in the UK. I get different reactions from different people. I see that BTF are trying to do more to promote the team aspect of triathlon, but maybe this is a key difference between French and UK clubs and how you get the most out of people in clubs.

Also, France have different rules regarding safeguarding children. Obviously they have important safeguards in place but their adult to child ratio means it is far simpler to manage more children in the club. The clubs are also heavily funded if they have a well run junior section. There's a lot of work required to manage a junior section but the funding makes it worthwhile. A child also never pays an entry fee for a race.

The team aspect, and the full inclusion of the family are to me (in my opinion) the key areas where the French get the club structure right. It's about grassroots and making sure everyone is active. This despite the supposed complications of a medical certificate etc.

So to answer your question - would a better club based race series help - possibly. Promoting cohesion. But it may only be part of it. Promoting family involvement and investing back in the clubs is also a big part of it.

However, I can say that no matter which country you're in you get the same club politics no matter what. Cycling club in SA, tri + cycling club in France, and a running club in UK, it is always the same. Only a select few offer to volunteer at every race, a select few that tell others how things should be but never help out, a select few where the training sessions are never to their liking, a select few that you just never see, accusations of cliques, and then a core group that do all they can, make the most of training sessions, and have a great time.


that's a great insight, thanks. This sounds like a good structure. Its something that i feel would benefit the sport over here. I suppose we have the BUCS champs for the main universities with elite triathlon programmes but perhaps this could be improved incorporating clubs

and yes politics, the issue with all volunteer led sports. Its such a shame as most of the people involved do it because they care and then it just becomes a lot o BS for no gain. When i started running the club that was it, right no more, which worked for a while but it reappeared eventually, usually by caused those who have the biggest mouths but giving the least effort.


It's by no means perfect and there are big gaps between the main clubs with big budgets and the lower echelons fighting to stay in D1 both competitively and financially. At one stage Satrouville had a big enough budget to have the top 5 men from 2012 Olympics and launch a women's team that started at D3 and 3 years later were in D1. Whereas we were questioning whether we had the budget to attend all races, couldn't afford a penalty (eg. 1000Euros fine if we didn't have the obligatory 2 French on the start line - which another team just ignored and paid the money), and other teams that just didn't turn up for races because they couldn't afford it. My club stopped the D1 team at the end of that year - and took a financial penalty for it Rolling Eyes

Money makes money doesn't it...
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hammerer




Joined: 19 Nov 2007
Posts: 16594
Location: Right Next Door To Hell

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Triathlon clubs, are they fit for purpose Reply with quote

ed_m wrote:
hammerer wrote:

Its such a shame as most of the people involved do it because they care and then it just becomes a lot o BS for no gain. When i started running the club that was it, right no more, which worked for a while but it reappeared eventually, usually by caused those who have the biggest mouths but giving the least effort.


This ... all over.
(Can't say too much cos I'm the chair)


Oh.. what I can say maybe is that its kind of unclear what TE wants from clubs and club development. For the most part regional & national governance has very little impact on the day to day running of a club.


Yep my experiences of being a chair are partly what made me aask this as well as the discussion i'd seen. Im also considering starting a junior squad but am concerned about all the BS as i just want to coach it (big gap in my area for a performance squad and junior squad in general).

I have some stories of running the club but worst was I had an abusive phone call at midnight because someone didnt get a spot in the ride london club ballot He then claimed he was a club coach and done this and that for the club (he took 4 sessions to get his L2 and basically went on a club ride every week but claimed that wasnt for his benefit). i raised it at committee and got told the rules (that they'd all voted on) weren't clear so he felt aggrieved....not lets boot him out!
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