Blog: Help us explore the iceberg

2nd Jul 2018 | Written by Dougie Cameron

The next few months are very important for Triathlon Scotland. We are about to start writing the next evolution of our strategy that will take us beyond the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The work that we do over the summer will set the direction for the future of our sport.

And we need your help. Whether you are a current member, a former member, never been a member or wanted to be a member, an age-grouper, official, coach, event organiser or are still sitting firmly on the couch, that help is vital to us. What’s more, your thoughts could be worth £100 to you, so please read on!

Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, but it is still relatively small. Our ability to grow even faster is directly related to our size. Growth costs and any funding, whether it is public or through commercial partnerships, will be dependent on having a large, vibrant membership base.

And we want a large, vibrant membership base, totally engaged in our sport from grassroots right through to the elite ranks.

We have a popular sport – people watch it, participate in it, take their kids along, volunteer, marshal and join clubs but most have not been tempted, so far, to join Triathlon Scotland.

Growing fast until now has been great, but what we want to know is how can we be even better?

What got us here, probably won’t be enough to get us where we want to go next.

While I trained for two iron distance events over four years, I was never a member of Triathlon Scotland. I regularly support friends at Outlaw, Bolton, Lakesman and even Aberfeldy, who aren’t members of Triathlon Scotland.

Why have triathletes chosen not to be members of the governing body of their home nation?

This is the question we need your help to answer.

Let’s look at some numbers. I call this the iceberg, because most of the interest in triathlon in Scotland is lurking below the surface:

In 2017-2018 we welcomed 2,863 members.

Our affiliated clubs have 4,151 members, 2,362 of those are not members of Triathlon Scotland.

We recorded 20,392 race starts in triathlon in Scotland, which includes 8,200 unique race starts and 5,427 unique starts in schools.

We estimate that 200,000 people in Scotland watched the Glasgow 2014 triathlon on TV.

So, we have a popular sport – people watch it, participate in it, take their kids along, volunteer, marshal and join clubs but most have not been tempted, so far, to join Triathlon Scotland.

How do we make membership of Triathlon Scotland the default option for triathletes, no scratch that, how do we make membership of Triathlon Scotland the default option for all multisport athletes, of any distance, in Scotland? How do we make our membership offer so overwhelmingly convincing that not being a member is an odd choice?

What do we need to offer to tempt the Ironmen into the fold? What would bring the swim-runners down from the lochs and bens to log-on and join? What would be compelling for the dedicated runner and casual cyclist? What do lapsed members need to see to bring them back?

Is it discounts on technology? Exclusive access to our coaching and technical experts? Well made, beautifully designed kit and merchandise? Better insurance cover? Is it video coaching in the pool? Support in finding and safeguarding open water venues? “How to…..” tips from our elite athletes?

We want to capture the hive mind of the triathletes, wannabe triathletes, multisport athletes who don’t consider themselves triathletes, coaches, club officials, technical officials, event organisers, parents, volunteers and anyone with a vague interest in our sport to help us reach our aspirations.

This is where you can help. What would make membership of Triathlon Scotland too tempting to walk by?

The challenge of getting everyone who watches triathlon on TV switched onto membership is probably over-ambitious even for us, but nine-tenths of the participants in triathlon in Scotland haven’t been tempted, yet, to join Triathlon Scotland.

Finding the membership offer that tempts the majority of multisport athletes to become members of Triathlon Scotland is the key that unlocks the next evolution of our sport in our country. And with that will come more well governed clubs, more inspirational events, a larger, and better qualified, coaching and technical official workforce, and a pathway from grassroots through to elite that is envied around the world.

Now we want to capture the hive mind of the triathletes, wannabe triathletes, multisport athletes who don’t consider themselves triathletes, coaches, club officials, technical officials, event organisers, parents, volunteers and anyone with a vague interest in our sport to help us reach our aspirations.

All you have to do is click the link below and share your thoughts with us. An even better Triathlon Scotland, and the chance to win £100 of Amazon vouchers has got to be worth 10 minutes of your time!

The Board and staff of Triathlon Scotland thank you for your time and thoughts and commitment to our sport.

Dougie

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Triathlon Scotland is proud to work alongside the following partners and sponsors.

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