We feel that we have a great Junior Club. With help from some secured funding back in 2015, we now have an impressive qualified coaching team. As a trial, we planned an initial 12-week programme of coaching in the hope that this would become self-funding and would continue after the first 12 weeks. The sessions which started 1st August 2015 were very successful and we went from strength to strength: so much so that at times we had a significant waiting list. The attendees are in the 8-13/14 age group.

The pandemic took its toll on our club much as it did for many others. With the passing of those two years, many kids lost interest or found their niche in other sports. Our coaching team is predominantly made up from the parents of our junior members so inevitably, as those kids grew up and moved on so our team has become depleted. Attendance at sessions has been lower than we ever used to see in previous years.

The biggest blow to the club was the loss of Blaydon Leisure Centre as our main hub of activity. The venue was becoming an issue even before the pandemic with the construction of the 3G pitches and massively increased booking fees. The withdrawal of our winter venue at Blaydon Youth Club also added to the problem.

Being unable to access Blaydon regularly led us to search for alternative venues. The club was very fortunate to be given use of St Thomas More School grounds regularly and Barmoor Hub is now our winter base. In addition, we have had sessions at Hetton Lyons Country Park, Prissick Cycle Centre, Mowden Hall School and Elswick Pool.

Moving forward, we have a new regular venue for cycle/run/transition training and will be working from Ovingham Middle School from April as well as continuing to use Blaydon, Hetton, Elswick when we can to provide a good mix of varied sessions.

One of the other clubs in our region is NSP (North Shields Poly) and we have great plans to work together to provide really quality sessions. Information on all of this will be advised in due course.

We have been using the Wix (Spaces) App for our session bookings. We will be using the SPOND App going forward which will allow booking and payment from the App. Information on this will be provided to all members.

Our coaching team all have Safeguarding Certificates and are all DBS checked.

We are able to offer the children the chance to advance through the club as they get older. When they reach the second year TS3 category they can move into the T3/Youth section.

We have continued to develop and reassess our coaching programme and events and along with this, our risk assessments for all processes within the club.

Our joining criteria has evolved since we started. We are not equipped to actually teach the children to swim. Our swim focus is to prepare children for triathlon in both pool and open water environments. We, therefore, will need proof that they have passed ASA Level 7 as a minimum and/or that they are swimming club members attending on a regular basis in a competitive standard squad with an understanding of lane etiquette.

Irrespective of this, all new recruits will undertake swim testing to confirm their ability to safely join in with the swim element of the session. This test will include aspects of the ASA Level 7 certificate plus the addition of a test in front crawl of 8 lengths over 8 minutes. This can be done with a rest each length or all in one go, whatever they feel comfortable with. Anyone who doesn’t meet these criteria will be given feedback and an opportunity to re-test. Meanwhile, they would be able to attend the main part of the session.

How do I get involved?: Drop an email to Beth Swanston at rytontrikids@outlook.com

Junior and Parents Code of Conduct

The North East Performance Academy

If you’ve wondered how you can get involved with triathlons and how you can become part of the Performance Academy, click here.

North East Development Squad

The North East Development Squad take kids from age 9 to 14. For more information please contact Steve Turner at stephen.turner3@gmail.com