With AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland taking place on 29-30 July, find out a bit more about South Shields Tri, one of the Triathlon England Affiliated Clubs that swim, bike, run throughout the year near to where the event will be taking place on Roker Seafront.
Whether you’re wanting to get into swimming, cycling and running for the first time, looking for some top tips having entered the event in July, or are simply after a group of like-minded people to enjoy and develop your triathlon skills with, clubs are a great place to be.
Nick Flanagan is a member of South Shields Tri and joined the club as a result of getting into running during the pandemic and wanting to connect with a community in the area.
“I moved to South Shields 7-8 years ago and after the pandemic I very much wanted to get back into a community to get to meet more likeminded active people,” he said.
“I went and joined a swim session, along with another lady who’s now a member of the club. We went in together, we were a little bit nervous at first but five minutes in and we were totally relaxed. It was a very easy going, friendly and inclusive atmosphere.
“The sessions are great. We’ve got a couple of coaches who have done their level one and level two qualifications with British Triathlon, so everyone knows what they’re doing and everything’s well co-ordinated. It was just really nice to meet other people interested in doing the same things.”
The club is around 50 in membership, including juniors, with members varying from enthusiastic beginners, cheer supporters, more experienced veterans and even participants competing on national Age-Group teams.
“There’s a lot of enjoyment to be had from learning to do these crazy things. It’s alright being good at it, but we have so much more fun laughing about what we don’t know,” Flanagan continued.
“I thought I was going to go along to the swimming sessions and just stay in my lane, but the club have a great ‘give it a go’ ethos.
“We’re supported every step of the way. It just feels really nice to know that people are there willing you on to succeed, whatever your version of success is. What’s important to you is important to the people around you, and we all help each other to try and achieve our goals.”
The club’s sessions are open to all abilities, with coaches on hand to support with the basics, as well as help more experienced participants to develop.
Brinkburn CIO in South Shields is a core venue for the club, with the centre being the location for their weekly swim and indoor bike session. It was also the venue for their 2022 series of GO TRI events.
“We have the coast, and it’s a beautiful coastline,” Flanagan said of the local area. “I’m from Ireland originally and I’ve just felt at home since I’ve come here and a big part of that is to do with the triathlon clubs in the region.
“We often see a lot of friends and family members, who come along to events, and end up coming to try out sessions at the club.
“I think to a grander scale, this big competition in Roker will inspire all of the people in the locality to at least look into what triathlon is, and then they’ll have their pick of clubs in the local area.”
Entries to AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland are open and available in a variety of distances, for individuals and for teams, with a number of South Shields Tri members already signed up.
The event takes place in and around Roker Seafront on 29-30 July 2023, and you can find out more about the event and the opportunity that’s right for you at https://sunderland.triathlon.org/2023/.
Speaking about the visibility that triathlon will get locally as a result of hosting the event, Flanagan concluded: “I feel like we get to show off a little bit to people that haven’t got to see what we do. I’m proud to be a triathlete and a member of South Shields Tri. It’s going to be a very exciting event and will bring a lot of buzz to the area.”
Whether you’re a regular participant of swimming, cycling or running, targeting AJ Bell 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Sunderland, or want to use it as a springboard to be more active, check out your local club for your swim, bike, run journey.
Find local affiliated clubs, including South Shields Tri across England, Scotland and Wales on the British Triathlon Club Search https://www.britishtriathlon.org/clubs/search.