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Looking Towards Sustainability: Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club's Kit Swap Shop

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I think all triathletes can relate to having an overflowing kit bag, or drawer, or in Simon Lindley’s case a spare bedroom. Simon is a coach and member of Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club. During a thin out, Simon realised just how much kit he has. And he thought “you know what, I coach on a Friday night at track, why don’t I put a rail up and just say “anybody that wants something help yourselves, on the proviso that you chuck something on the rail that you don’t need.” And that is how the Club Kit Swap Shop at Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club began.

Simon explained that within the first week, people just took some things and had a look. Then in the second week, it just took off. People were bringing in swimming hats, heart rate monitors, head torches, hand paddles for swimming, tow floats etc.

I had a pair of cycling shoes that were probably £200 and looked as if they had been worn three times.

The scheme fostered a sense of community and generosity among club members. High-quality items found new homes, and club-branded gear was particularly sought after.

Like running vests, cycling tops, gloves. It was all branded. Pembs Tri kit in our personal stunning colours.”

Beyond benefiting club members, the initiative extended its reach to local charities. At Pembs Tri, when it got to the point where there was quite a bit of kit left at the end of track sessions Simon took a lot of it to Greenacres, a local non-profit animal rescue centre. He said Greenacres were overwhelmed with the quality of the kit. So, whilst keeping a few pieces behind to restart the rail next time, they were able to help out with local charities as well.

Simon’s approach demonstrated that with minimal resources – a simple clothing rail, some coat hangers, and a shared space – clubs could implement similar initiatives, whether at a track or poolside. As he rotates through coaching duties, Simon plans to continue the Swap Shop, ensuring its sustainability and encouraging other clubs across Wales to follow suit.

 

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