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Is triathlon an easily accessed sport?

no, it isnt. I for one have been into it for a year or so now but with lack of funds havent been able to kick start my 'career' in it yet. I can;t imagine how expensive it would be for a young still growing triathlete.


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    TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    I think that is a definite no. I know lots of people my age (early 20s) who would love to take up triathlon but can't afford all the bits.

    The thing that annoys me in a way is the constant barrage of triathlon doesn't have to be that expensive that we seem to get from magazines etc.

    Borrow your mates bike! Right, that is if your mate happens to have a road bike that happens to be the right size, and he also doesn't mind you borrowing it and putting the top clips back on because your feet aren't the right size to borrow his shoes!

    I think we do have to accept that it is an expensive sport, in particular the running costs, eg. entry. Because it is one thing laying out for the kit in the first place but to pay maybe 300+ a season for fees, etc. means it does require a fairly constant access to disposable income.

    But that is such a good point about children doing it, I can remember my mum baulking at the 200 a season she had to lay out on football boots and running shoes.

    I think most young people who have an interest in the sport are doing the way that ali and many others did it, and that was swimming from when he was very young, adding running during school, and then eventually adding cycling when the funds supported the purchase of a bike.
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    I think it depends a lot on your priorities and how honest you are about "buying speed". I know I have got a long way to go fitness wise for my current (and fairly basic) kit to start holding me back.

    Other people will spend way more than my triathlon budget for the year on cigarettes, beer, even Sky TV subscritions. How much does a season ticket to football cost these days? Probably more than my entry fees to a few sprint races.

    In the grand scheme of things, it is a very accessible sport if you keep true to yourself and set realistic goals. Starting with pool swim events requires only a pair of trunks (£5 ish) onto a basic road bike (£150 - 200) and cycle shorts and a t-shirt (£30 -40) and running shoes (£20 -30) means that you can enter for £200 - 275.

    That's not too much of a stretch surely?
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    LindsLinds Posts: 124
    I think tri is quite an accessible sport and very welcoming, however it is effectively divided into two sections:

    People who enter/compete and have no hope of winning (that's overall and age group), and

    People who aim/expect to win/finish in the top 2 or 3.

    And the difference between the two is huge (as far as I can see).

    I started from a running background and only had a pair of trainers, so have had to buy everything and i reckon i have spent in the region of £400-500 (including £200 on a bike), but I think you could easily get started for £250 - £300. And as most peole already have a bike of some sort, that can be chopped down to £75 or so, well within most peoples budget.

    However if you want to win then you are going to have to spend BIG on kit, coaching, time, nutrition etc. but I don't see how this is much different to most other sports.

    I can't understand people who start tri and run off buying hugely expensive kit from day one, and just spending more and more and more on an alarmingly regular basis, when they may give it all up after a couple of years.

    But for 99% of people it's not all about winning, it's also about improving yourself, your times, your fitness and enjoying yourself.

    But I would love to win just once!
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Agreed as above. Anyone can take up say running, £30 tops for a pair of Asda trainers, shorts, T shirt. After you have then crippled yourself you then realise, need better shoes, shorts ripped the inside of thighs to shreds and cooked like a turkey inside polycotton T shirt.

    Next step £40 on a pair of New Balance, £20 on a pair of shorts, £20 on vest, then of course socks, underwear, energy drinks etc etc. But to go faster ... sounds familiar doesn't it fellow traithletes?

    Basic tri gear - Speedos £5, Shorts, £10 both from TK Max, shoes £40 New Balance, bike borrowed MTB total a shade over £50 and the chances are that most people have this kit already so the additional cost is the entry fee and you get a T shirt as well in case you don't have one. Voila you are a triathlete and for less cost than the must have trainers that would fall to bits if you ran in them but look trendy.

    Next step up - Tri Suit from £35 up (my first was an Orca from ebay for £30), shoes £50 up, bike Tesco Vertigo blade £150 - total a bit shy of £250 Want to go faster? How about Giant SCR3 £350 - total outlay less than £500 40 cancer sticks a week £500 a year, Sky Sports about £30 month

    Lesson - if a youngster wants to do this or any other sport, choices, sacrifice, dedication - hang on isn't that also good character building? Having said that I do wish that the entry fees for under 18's could be reduced. I for one would not mind paying an extra £1 if it meant that a youngster could have increased access. Off the top off my head 200 18+ competitors pay £1 extra that would allow 40 under 18's to pay £5 less - perhaps British Triathlon could get some money from the Sports Council, lottery etc to offer subsidised entries fro under 18's which can be claimed back by the organisers. Just a thought.
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    As far as I can tell having done triathlon for a year or so, the majority of people conform to the following profile, or at the very least, there are a lot of them:

    - Mid to late thirties, starting to "spread", bored with gyms, too old for team sports, bit of spare cash, looking for a challenge they can fit around other commitments such as family.

    One thing that surprises me is lack of ladies in the sport, based on recent tris I've done, including Londond - I wonder what the percentage is..?
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    triadtriad Posts: 62
    Granted, Tri is not like taking a football to the park which normally costs nothing unless you have a fizzy drink after the kick about. I agree with TommiTri and others. It doesn't have to be expensive when you start. I begged, borrowed and stole equipment (well not stole) when I first started. Most serious tri players and quite a few cyclists have more than one bike and if they have any empathy at all for someone who is trying to keep fit or compete, they may be forth coming on the lending front. My first bike cost me 300 pounds which is not an insignificant amount of money but it was good enough to prevent me from investing more money until I realised that I was keen on the sport. It's not difficult to pick up a second hand bike either, you just have to spend time researching. Time is normally money but with thought and research it could be less money.
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    trijunkers wrote:

    One thing that surprises me is lack of ladies in the sport, based on recent tris I've done, including Londond - I wonder what the percentage is..?

    In the tri's I've done this year plus Race The Train cross country 10k the split has been roughly 60/40 to 70/30 men to women. That's not too bad really considering girls aren't exactly encouraged to take part in sport in school.
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    The internet provides greater accessibility to sport today than 15 -20 years ago when you were lucky enough to either find a dubious article about triathlon in the running magazine or find a rare copy of 220, which was printed every 2 months,in WH Smiths.I look in yellow pages to find the following;

    Triathlon clubs.......nothing listed

    Rowing clubs.........nothing listed

    Sailing...........2 ,the local docks,and yacht club

    Athletics and running clubs........nothing listed

    canoeing clubs.......nothing listed.

    A quick internet search for any of the above will give me at least 5 for each in a 50 mile radius.

    If you know where to look sport is accessible,but will you get value for money???

    ''is drafting killing triathlon '',and ''is triathlon easily accessible '' seems like Mr conehead is researching for his new book.
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    JonhinioJonhinio Posts: 289
    I don't think the picture is that bad to be honest. I agree it's not cheap, but when you look at the alternatives the youth of today go for such as games consoles, the parents have the money there. It's a question of getting the kids to try it out. My parents always made sure when I was a kid that I played sport of some type or another. Was never into computer games (Well we did have a ZX81 and by the time the game had loaded you could have played a football match!) so my money went on sports equipment.

    Fair enough families may not be able to buy top end stuff but getting the basics to get them started is possible. It's then putting on more events for the kids like the Scootathon Human Race do, and scouting for talent from there. Being relatively new in triathlon I'm not knowledgable on the junior set up in the country.

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    RockieRockie Posts: 40
    Good point, Jonhinio. Thing is though, if a parent shells out cash for a game system, they're pretty sure the kid is gonna stay hooked on it for a long time. It's one thing to pay for a season of swim lessons, or gymnastics or whatever, and the kid can quit if they don't like it, no big loss.

    For adults, though... I'm in my early 20s (damn that's not true anymore, I'm in my middle 20s) and got into triathlon on two weeks' salary. I decided I wanted to do it and I did, simple as that.
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    jonEjonE Posts: 1,113
    It seems that accessability has just been made easier for school kids as the Govt. has announced approx 36million pounds(it varies depending on which paper)so that school children can try whatever sport they want so that their talent can be spotted early enough to take advantage of.Gordon has said that there has been enough of the medals for everyone attitude and it is time to get back competitive sport into school.

    The scheme has apparrently been in place in 12 areas of the country already(but no names given).

    But it would be nice to see the following sports on the school curriculam.....Power boat racing,clay shooting,formula 1,and '' please Miss,lucy's horse has just ate my homework'',

    A good idea,but it will end up like career placements.
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    It's the old 'choice' thing really. Govt and organsisations are so obsessed with giving 'choice' and all that really happens is an extra layer of highly paid 'choice enablers' are put in place i.e. jobs for the boys (and girls) which means that the lowest paid staff have to work harder to fill out an extra form, consult an extra 'desk aid', get abuse when there is a delay and generally sort out the mess whilst a big chunk of funding is taken up paying the extra layer of management leaving not a lot of the extra funding actually available. Sorry if I'm cycnical I am a (un)Civil Servant and have seen it all before; an initiative is put in place to enable a 'customer' greater choice which means that my activities are made even more complex when all the alcoholic 'customer' in front of me or on the phone wants to get his dole money so he can sit about drinking cheap cider, in fact he doesn't even have to do that as he can tap up some overworked GP to give him a 6 month sick note.

    Anyway ...

    Sport of choice will invariably mean football as Sky Sports and the Man U, Cheslea etc Plc hegemony will seek out extra suckers' cash as they do so efficiently now. Unless of course Triathlon and the other sports bodies can get a foot in with schemes like the Corus Kids of Steel.
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    nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    Interesting points on accessibility; the three elements of triathlon are all pretty standard activities for active children and adults, so even though a beginner's kit may not be tri-specific, it will probably be enough to get them around with a sense of acheivement. I saw plenty of MTBs and hybrids at London, including one guy on an MTB with knobbly tyres, mudguards and a D lock!

    The point I don't yet understand is the entry fees. Most sprints seem to be about £35, which must be a huge money spinner for the organising club, even taking into account the printing of t shirts, buying a block of time in a pool, cones and tape and refreshments.

    When I was into competitive athletics, I would expect to pay £4-£8 per event, or up to maybe £15 for a national championship. I suppose London is a bit special as the roads are closed, but is it just me who thinks that entry fees are actually very steep?!
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    ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I agree Nivagh, one of the things that Triathlon has going for it is the Age Group classification. It would be great to see a very much reduced entry fee for under 18's and in my previous post perhaps our respective country organisations could huistle some money from the Sports Council or lottery especially to subsidise their entries.
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