How the sport works for Children and Young People

Triathlon is an open sport and welcomes people from the age of 7 to 70+ with all levels of ability.

There are many ways for young people to get involved in Triathlon. You can join a club, such as Tri Team Wigan, where you will receive excellent training and guidance and advice. If you do not want to join a club just yet, you can still train and enter events as an individual, maybe by training with your parents/guardians. Alternatively you could join a swimming club, a running club and a cycling club in order to improve your skills and bring them together at an event.

The sport is administered by the British Triathlon Federation (BTF) through Triathlon England (TE) and the North West Regional Committee (NWRC). Several Triathlon clubs across the North West hold Junior Triathlon events and these are brought together by the NWRC to form an Annual Series of events. The Series consists typically of 15/17 events made up of Aquathlons (swim/run) and Duathlons (run/bike/run) generally held in February, March and April. The summer events are usually Triathlons (swim/bike/run) at different locations across the North West and are held from May to September.

Entry to these events is open to anyone and costs £8-15 – you do not need to be a member of a club or Triathlon England, but you do have to buy a day license if you are not a member of TE – this costs an extra £1 approx.

The format is broadly the same for each event, being split into age categories, there is also usually a novice race for 9-16 year olds which can be a good introduction to racing.
The age categories are: – (age at 31st December of year of event) (distances may vary slightly between events)

TriStart 8 50m swim 1000m bike 400m run
TriStar 1 9-10 150m swim 2000m bike 1200m run
TriStar 2 11-12 200m swim 4000m bike 1800m run
TriStar 3 13-14 300m swim 5000m bike 2400m run
Youths 15-16 400m swim 6000m bike 2800m run

The emphasis of the events is on FUN but it is also taken seriously by competitors wishing to win a prize, trophies are sometimes given out for the first 3 in each race, however, everyone gets a goody bag or T shirt or medal or something as a souvenir.

There are prizes and trophies given out at a presentation for the Winter and Summer series’ for the first three in each age group. To qualify for these, you must be a member of Triathlon England residing in the North West area and complete a set number of races in the series.

The more serious and gifted competitors will be looking to perform well in their age group in order to qualify for the Inter Regional Championships (IRC’s), which is an annual event where young Triathletes from all the regions compete for their region. The IRC’s are a one day event held at a different location each year and are a team competition with an open water swim.

There is also the North West Regional Academy which is designed to provide more specialist training and instruction for more gifted Triathletes to enable them to perform at a higher level. Entry to the Academy is by application only in September each year. Ages 14-19 are taken into the Academy and there are Affiliate members working towards full membership.  The Academy is funded by Triathlon England and the NW regional committee and is intended to form a pathway to the England Talent Squad.  Details of entry criteria which relate to swimming and running performances are available on the Triathlon England website.

There are other children’s events run outside of the North West Series – an example of this is the Sefton Triathlon held in June each year – age groups are based on school year and it is an excellent fun event as an introduction to Triathlon.

Check out our website – children are welcome at all our training sessions – you don’t have to join straight away – make sure you like it first!

Details of events and much more can be found here www.britishtriathlon.org

Full details of the North West Junior series are here : http://www.triathlonengland.org/north-west/juniors