Colin Thomson, our junior coach, has decided to retire. Colin was one of the founders of the club nearly six years ago. He started coaching three children and we have now reached maximum capacity, with a long waiting list. He has also developed a very capable junior coaching team, who will continue the work he started. To mark his retirement, Colin was recently presented with a trophy and a towel printed with photographs of his involvement with the club. The parents of juniors also showed their appreciation by giving him a gift voucher. We wish him well and are sure we’ll see him soon as he will continue his duties as a British Triathlon referee.
Westcroft Triathlon Club has achieved TriMark Club Bronze accreditation.
This is a fantastic achievement and one that will help to ensure that the club has a successful and long future.
Thames Turbo Junior Aqhathlon - Race Report
The time had come to find out if five weeks of intensive duathlon training with Colin at the David Weir had paid off. Would Colin’s elite young squad fly through Kempton Park faster than a bolting stallion...
A glorious sunrise dawned, the car was loaded and off we set hoping not to sit in the usual Hampton traffic jam until after all races had been accomplished. Joe and I arrived first, shortly followed by Elliott. The usual checking in, hanging around and panicking commenced. The first race of the season is always nerve wracking ... could we find our race belts, locate keys for the bike carrier and trying not to eat too much before the race (Joe!!)
Westcroft’s first race was the Boys T2 -1.5k run; 6k cycle; 0.45k run. My arch rival Christo had failed to turn up. Would this increase my chances of success? Elliott (the tallest T2 by a helmet or more!) had a good run. Elliot was well above half way and I was sitting in third when we hit transition. Elliott flew round on his Specialized Allez with his flurorescent yellow helmet and I managed to overtake the leader on the first lap and grab pole position. The wind was howling and the older brother was screaming! Cycling through the head wind was quite an achievement in itself. Back to transition, I managed to maintain my lead and happily sprinted for the line. Elliott had a brilliant second run and overtook a rather pretentious looking child on the finish line .... we ran before the tears came!
An inordinate delay followed when we all enjoyed a rather hearty picnic whilst Joe looked on rather glumly as he waited two hours for his race. Elliott, his Mum and Chris all waited to give Joe moral support (big thank you). Joe who is just 14 set off against some rather burly 15 and 16 year olds and a small hurricane blowing. He maintained his place just after the first pack in the run – 1.9km. He had a great cycle until a midge hit his eye but recovered manfully to come in 7th place after the cycle (9km) and then set off with a rather strange pained expression for his final run. With enormous willpower and determination he overtook the South London Harrier in 6th place and stormed home happily and hungry!
Not a bad days work – one first, one 6th and one 14th place in a world class field. Colin and Chris have worked hard and motivated us and we thoroughly enjoyed the day. The Sunday evening practice sessions have given us a real edge but more importantly, we have fun and all three of us still attended the training session this evening.
Swim Coaching Feedback
We recently ran a series of eight swim coaching sessions for WTC members who wanted to improve their swimming but were not confident enough to go to Masters sessions. The sessions were coached by Erica and Nigel Burnell, six of them covering the basic elements of swimming and the final two focused on open water/triathlon specific skills. We asked some of those attending how they got on.
All agreed that the sessions improved their swimming. ‘The lessons helped me immensely - gave me more confidence, especially with bilateral breathing. Helped me think about my form and body positioning and there were some very useful tips for dealing with competition situations’ said Ali Fox. Gary Simmons and Terry Harbrow found the breathing drills useful and, for Gary, the importance of effective kicking to improve body position. Terry also particularly enjoyed the last two open water skill sessions. Penny Wilkins found the sessions ‘very useful and fun and just wished I had been around for more’.
The coaching styles of Erica and Nigel were praised, ‘Very good and bespoke which is good in a group session’ commented Philip Graham-Clare. ‘Really supportive and encouraging’ added Ali. Dan Holdsworth summed up the views of many ‘Having somebody watch you and point out things to improve was a joy and I wish I’d done it a year ago.’
The good news is that we are planning to run another series of sessions towards the end of the year so keep an eye out for further information. In the meantime, Erica is available for one-to-one sessions in her amazing new endless pool and can be contacted through the WTC Facebook page.
Motivational Talk by Mark Kleanthous
Some 25 WTC adult and junior members were treated to an inspirational talk by seasoned triathlete and endurance athlete, Mark Kleanthous. Mark gave advice on a wide range of topics and everyone in the audience came away with at least one tip to try.
His suggestions for pre-race food included croissants with jam (which Rachel tried to great effect prior to her Hampton Court Half Marathon) or tins of rice pudding for those pre-dawn breakfasts in foreign hotels.
Watch out for news of further talks later in the year.
WTC achieves British Triathlon Federation Level 1 Club Accreditation
In November 2015, Westcroft Triathlon Club was awarded the Level 1 Club and Star Mark by Triathlon England, marking the end of a year long process that has involved much hard work from many club members. This article explains what these awards are and why we applied for them.
What is Club Mark?
Clubmark is a development and accreditation scheme that Sport England has created in partnership with National Governing Bodies of Sport to recognise and accredit clubs. The Triathlon England Clubmark is the triathlon-specific application of this. It has three levels, culminating in level three.
Clubmark sets criteria in the following categories:
• Welfare and child protection
• Coaching and competition
• Knowing your club & its community
• Club management
What is Star Mark?
The scheme is a development tool for senior triathlon clubs, developed in consultation with clubs around the country.
Star Mark sets criteria in the following categories:
• Club Management
• Coaching and Competition
• Sports Equity and Ethics
• Health and Safety.
What was the accreditation process?
We had to fill in an assessment file covering all the categories listed above and provide information and evidence to show that our club satisfies the criteria. This took place over a 12 month period and was then reviewed by Triathlon England’s National Delivery Manager and the Regional Manager, Jon Train.
What are the benefits?
• Gives assurance that a club provides a safe and fun environment for children and young people.
• Enables parents/carers and sports professionals to recognise an accredited club through a common branding.
• Visible recognition of accreditation in the form a certificate and use of the Clubmark logo on letterheads, promotional material and other printed literature.
• A major benefit for WTC is that it’s provided the impetus to produce written policies for a wide range of issues such as health, safety, welfare and equity.