Even though the way we live and work has been different for all of us during 2020 we are fully aware of the amazing work and dedication that has taken place to deliver triathlon and multi-sport activity in Wales.
The Welsh Triathlon Awards provide an opportunity to recognise the many numbers of volunteers, coaches, officials, clubs and events that make triathlon a truly unique sport. Whilst things may be different currently we know that recognising and celebrating is still as important as ever to our triathlon community.
Volunteer of the year 2020
Congratulations to Henry for winning volunteer of the year 2020. Henry launched the Welsh Grand Tour (WGT) back in April 2020 which brought our Welsh triathlon community together over Zwift and early morning races. Henry has been recognised for his hard work and many many volunteer hours, here is what some of those who nominated Henry had to say:
“Henry has galvanised the Welsh Triathlon community during lockdown. He arranged the Welsh Grand Tour which captured the imagination of the triathlon community across Wales, and gave us all focus at a time when all events were cancelled”
“A friendly face, with a great sense of humour. His dedication motivates me”
“This year Henry has brought together Tri clubs from all over Wales”
“Henry has committed significant time and energy in organising and administering the Welsh Grand Tour”
“Keeping people who may not have done any team activities and even solo activities something to aim for”
Coach of the year
Chris has been nominated for Coach of the year for his energy in getting people active during a difficult time. During lockdown, Chris provided free instagram S&C classes every day to keep people connected and training, and when restrictions allowed was able to continue introducing people to open water swimming.
When Chris isnt coaching he is breaking records, Chris recently became the record holder for the most half marathons completed in a month.
Here is are some of the comments made by those who nominated Chris:
“Chris is pure triathlon. Chris approaches triathlon holistically and helps you develop a mindset that everything you do is towards becoming a better, stronger, fitter triathlete and as a bi-product of this, a better person”.
“Chris does free classes daily online plus every weekend morning swim”.
“He is an inspiration to all of the club members. he has managed to turn individuals into competitive athletes and he leads by example”.
“Chris has broken the world record for most half marathon in one month. He leads group swimming in the pool and the sea and he has successfully trained individual’s to finish Ironman and other triathlon events”.
“Chris is a natural teacher. He is so passionate about triathlon that he makes the trainee want to progress and develop year on year. He leads by example. His mindset is always developing. In May 2020 he raised over £3000 for the NHS by running 35 half marathons in 31 days. Yet he is of humble character and always wants to encourage others to have a purpose and go al in sport (and life)”.
“He always attends events in which his clients are participating to offer them his support on race day”.
“Christopher really deserves the recognition from his professional cohort. My words do not offer enough insight into his true value to the sport”.
Welsh Triathlon Virtual event of the year
Welsh Grand Tour - by Henry Wright
2020, the year many members turned to indoor training. Turbo trainer sales increased, club and individual sessions were moved online and the triathlon community slowly got used to training with friends and club members over a screen rather than in person.
Back in April 2020 , with the disappointment of cancelled events a new style of racing emerged, and an event which was brand new to the Welsh Triathlon calendar, an event which would change the way triathletes could compete during lockdown - The Welsh Grand Tour.
The WGT was an opportunity where athletes could still race against each other individually and within their clubs via Zwift. The WGT brought clubs from across Wales together every Saturday morning battling it out to take the stage win. Following its success the WGT returned this Winter. An expansion of WGT included Welsh and Scottish members going head to head, as well as compete in their respective competitions.
Here is what our members had to say about the WGT:
“It brought together a large number of people from different clubs. It was so well organised, friendly, fair and well thought out.”
“The Welsh Grand Tour gave the triathlon community across Wales the opportunity to compete and race in the absence of live racing during Covid-19.”
“The series brought the triathlon community together, created a tremendous sense of camaraderie and community, and quite frankly made lockdown more bearable”.
“Henry brought together approximately 150 riders from around Wales during a time when people were very restricted with their activity. He created a warm welcoming environment for all and encouraged and enthused the inner beast of all competitors. It was a great group to be a part of and reminded ourselves of how hard we can push our bodies and reap the benefits of improved training.”
“Due to lockdown with Covid-19 I became like many others depressed searching for a reason to continue to train. With events cancelling left, right and centre there seemed no hope until Henry Wright bought us the Welsh Grand Tour on Zwift giving us all a reason to continue training and getting involved in events and being able to talk and meet up with friends from the safety of our own homes.”
Welsh Triathlon Club of the year
GOG triathlon club
GOG Triathlon club was set up in 2015 following a now legendary meeting at the Rhos Fynach pub in Rhos on Sea at the end of 2014. It was here that a dozen people got together to discuss how they could support each other in their desire to take part in triathlon. The creation of a club was the ambition, and originally it was assumed that it would be a small affair. However, as soon as word got out people from all over North Wales were enquiring about how they could join. In its first year the club had over 150 paid up members. GOG Tri describe themselves as a friendly club of like-minded people who encourage each other’s abilities at all levels in triathlon; swimming, cycling or running.
Here are some more comments from those who voted for GOG triathlon club:
“I love the GOGs it's such an inclusive club and so supportive. I have been searching for a Club to be a part of for years and found the love and support from the GOGs so very special. I have made lifelong friends”.
“Extremely friendly and supportive in any aspect of life as well as triathlon. Very well-trained coaches, amazing club sessions! Just makes the sport more enjoyable!”.
“Always there and active, even throughout lockdown, for all abilities and ages, keeping us all motivated, interested and encouraged. Solo training, fun virtual events, social “Saturday nights in” and then back to training in safe groups as soon as allowed”.
“I learnt to swim from less than 25 m to being able to complete a sprint triathlon in just over a year. I could not have not done this without the club support at weekly swim sessions. They provided constant support and encouragement.”
“The club participates and advertises a wide range of Welsh triathlon events. They have kept us up to date throughout Covid. They run sessions to cover all elements of a tri. They have also run duathlon sessions, organised virtual events recently. They have worked to keep all their members included through the recent times and continue to work with us to ensure we stay safe and fit.”
“There are numerous opportunities for members to become activators, coaches etc. If anyone wants to help out they are more than welcome and so many do. They even go as far as to raise money for charities and even clean up the countryside. It's such a friendly atmosphere that everyone wants to volunteer.”
“Gog provides so much to members, from swim training, running, and biking all by qualified Welsh Triathlon coaches. So very affordable so suits all purse strings so very inclusive.”