Event Organiser Conference

On Sunday 2 November, Triathlon Scotland hosted Exchange 2014 at Commonwealth Games venue, the Emirates Arena.

Following the success of last year’s event, Exchange 2014 offered a similar format with four major events incorporated in to one: race organiser and technical official’s conference; coach development workshops; our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and our Triathlon Scotland awards.  New to this year, was the opportunity for club committee officers to attend the free club officers workshops on offer.

The day was opened by Gemma Simpson, Events and Volunteer Manager, and with something for everyone, around 75 coaches, club committee officers, event organiser’s and technical officials attended the day.

For the coaches, workshops included: winning on every level and developing better runners.  Winning on every level, also attended by club officers, focused on getting the most out of your club, creating the right environment to ensure everyone is involved.  Sonia Grant from sportscotland showed delegates the tools that can be used to create the right climate for members– challenging the way both coaches and committee members coach and/or run their club.  A practical example from Irvine Rugby club helped put the session in context.

In the afternoon, coaches attended an interactive workshop introducing the fundamentals of good running form and technique, led by Triathlon Scotland tutor and running specialist Alister Russell, and Triathlon Scotland foundation coach; Linda McLean.  A mix of classroom and practical sessions, where the practical included Team Scotland athletes: Grant Sheldon and Seonaid Thompson who were on hand to participate along with a selection of our young Triathlon Scotland kids, making an enthusiastic and fun filled session.

Following on from the winning on every level workshop in the morning, club officers attended the novice gateway workshop.  A really informative session looking at the importance of first impressions – what impression does your club give new or prospective members when they first make contact ? Clubs were also encouraged to consider and ensure they cater for, and foster an inclusive environment for all: from the youngest and oldest; most experienced to complete novice.

The race organiser’s and technical officials in the morning shared ideas and discussions on disability triathlon and how we can include and grow this area.  Following on from this there was an open session where the group defined their roles and shared their motivations behind becoming an official.  This was particularly useful as now we have a larger base of officials, so this was a great opportunity to get to know one another better.

The last session of the morning include a year in statistics from Triathlon Scotland Official of the Year, Maisie Bancewicz who presented a series of statistics taken from top international races, such as disqualifications and red cards.  In the afternoon the group listened to Tom Gibbs, organiser of the ITERA Expedition Race in Wales.  One of the most experienced adventure races in the World, Tom, along with friend James Thurlow – who himself has organised over 100 adventure sports events in the UK -came up with the idea to organise the ITERA Expedition race, showing off the best of Wales with a complex event involving many disciplines and transitions.

Following the morning’s workshops, Triathlon Scotland’s board members took to the floor to present the 2014 AGM, with an opening address from President Geoff Earl who gave an overview of our successes over the last 12 months.  Our annual report is available online and presents and describes our year’s highlights. A great turnout once again, attendees had the chance to provide their feedback and ask questions.  A couple of motions were on the table, encouraging healthy debate where issues were shared and discussed and learning points identified.  The AGM was concluded with the showcasing of our fantastic 2014 Triathlon Scotland film, produced and edited by ImacImages Photography.

Unfortunately the Action Learning Set had to be postponed due to the AGM running substantially over time, but we will be in touch with clubs to ask them for their ideas and feedback on the following four issues:

  • If Triathlon Scotland in partnership with a funding agency was able to offer your club £10,000, how would you use it?
  • How can we help clubs to convert their club members to members of Triathlon Scotland?
  • How can we better link between clubs and the pathway for performances and in particular, retain competitive female athletes in the sport?
  • What is the next big thing for triathlon racing in the UK and how can Scotland take the lead on new ideas?

We feel this is a really worthwhile exercise that will generate discussion and idea sharing and where action points can be taken forward in the future.  All members should now have received an email with a link to the survey.  Please take the time to provide your feedback on Exchange and also your ideas on the questions listed above – your time will be greatly appreciated.

After a day of learning, progress and discussion it was once again time to celebrate our members, in our 2014 Triathlon Scotland Annual Awards.  Each year our awards recognise the people who, over the past year, have made an outstanding contribution to triathlon.    Before the awards got underway we celebrated the Commonwealth Games by inviting Triathlon Clydesiders along to be recognised and thanked for their efforts and contribution during The Games, by our triathlon community.  Each Clydesider received a Team Scotland gift and we would like to extend our thanks to all that turned up on the day.  Following the Clydesiders we were privileged to have our five Commonwealth Games triathletes with us to present the prizes: a voucher and water bottle(supplied by Glogg [http://www.glogg.co.uk/]) to the winners.  You can find out more about each of our deserved winners here.

As well as our Triathlon Scotland  awards, we also celebrated the champions of our Legends Ranking Series.  Sponsored by Legends Promotional Products, owner Nick Oswald along with our Team Scotland athletes presented adult winners with a Wiggle voucher and our younger members took home a pair of award winning, patented Greeper shoe Laces, a signed picture of Team Scotland’s top Commonwealth Games finisher, David McNamee and a Legends pen and stylus .  

Well done and congratulations to all of our winners from everyone at Triathlon Scotland !  Rankings results can be found here.  The awards brought to a close a successful day of networking, sharing and learning.  The children that turned up to receive their Legends Ranking prizes and take part in the coaching workshop were treated to meeting our top athletes, who were delighted to sign posters and have their photos taken with them.

President Geoff Earl, sums up the day: “This was another successful year for the Exchange event.  It was great to see such a good turnout with representation from a wide number of clubs and members.  We welcomed the discussions and learning points the day presented us with as well as celebrating a great year, and we look forward to once again working hard for our members over the next 12 months and the longer term.”

Athlete of the year, and Team Scotland member, Marc Austin commented: “It was great to come along today and see so many of our members present; taking part.  We [the athletes] had a really warm welcome from everyone that attended.  Congratulations to all the winners of the awards and Legends ranking series.”

Some quotes from those who attended on the day:

“I really enjoyed both speakers and found the PCS approach very good.”

“Thanks to all tri Scotland athletes who spent so much time signing and meeting kids, it really made their day – nice touch!  Great year and thanks to all staff and volunteers.”

“Well done to triathlonscotland today.  Lots of hard work.  Gets better every year.”

“My kids really enjoyed the running session!  It was great to have the athletes there and taking part alongside the children.”

Have a look at our Exchange 2014 photo gallery here.

Our Partners

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

  • Equality in Sport
  • British Triathlon
  • sportscotland
  • University of Stirling
  • Winning Students Scotland
  • Blue Seventy
  • Legends S
  • ImacImages Photography
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