Inspired by the World Triathlon Series, grassroots triathlon has grown considerably over the last few years in Leeds. Participation opportunities exist all across the city for all ages to get involved in the sport and people from all communities in Leeds have been able to give it a try as a result.
These opportunities have been supported by a number of fantastic coaches and volunteers who have all given many hours of their time to help develop the project and allow more people in Leeds to experience triathlon.
It is very important to take the time to highlight some of the brilliant stories and achievements of these individuals – and what better way to do this than to have a party?! The food was ordered and prosecco put on ice for a celebration event to be held at Leeds Urban Bike Park.
A number of the coaches and volunteers were officially recognised as GO TRI Leeds ambassadors as a way of saying thank you for all the hard work they have put in which has made the project such a success so far. Special guests for the evening, GB triathlete Jess Learmonth and Councillor Rafique from Leeds City Council, were on hand to present the hoodies and certificates. Adam Pope from BBC Radio Leeds compared the evening and did a fantastic job of bringing all of the stories to life and highlighting just what a great job all those involved in the project have done.
There were also some individual awards presented on the evening.
Coach of the year was awarded to the coaching team of the junior triathlon session at Armley Leisure Centre. Howard, Chrys, Bret and Claire have all done a fantastic job establishing the session and building a relationship with the young people. They have helped them to develop their skills and encouraged them to put them into practice at local events.
Event organiser of the year went to Michael who has been organising the GO TRI events at Temple Newsam over the last 12 months. These events are always very popular and very well thought of. Never afraid to experiment, Michael has recently delivered a Halloween themed fancy dress race as well as the very first GO TRI team relay race in Leeds.
Volunteer of the year was awarded to Paul. His involvement with the project began 18 months ago, delivering a GO TRI couch to 5k running programme from Morley Leisure Centre. Such was the success of this that Paul created Morley Running Club which now regularly attracts 70+ runners a week! The club is looking at establishing a triathlon section in 2019. Paul has also helps volunteer regularly at numerous GO TRI events as well as coaching young members of Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club.
All the ambassadors and award winners are thoroughly deserving of their accolades and will hopefully continue to support the project to become even bigger and better in the coming months.
Alongside all of this, the evening also marked the official launch of the volunteer programme for World Triathlon Series Leeds 2019. The WTS is a world class event and volunteers are an integral part of making it a success. Find out more about how you can volunteer by visiting: https://leeds.triathlon.org/volunteer/