Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club, originally named Haverfordwest Triathlon Club, was formed in September 1992 by a group of individuals keen to discover the relatively new sport of triathlon.
The four or five founder members, under the inaugural Chairmanship of Daryl Sable and the drive and commitment of Charles Paffett, started the club with the bulk of the training based around Tuesday nights ‘forces’ style hard circuit training followed by a swim session. There are a few members left who still have fond memories of those cold, dark winter nights of endless circuit training in Haverfordwest’s multi-storey car park.
In its first race season the following summer the club had good positions in the ‘Welsh Grand Prix’ series, particularly in the ladies category, despite our lack of triathlon-specific training knowledge. Towards the end of that season a number of members entered Blaenavon Tri on a foul September day which had the effect of putting them off the club and the sport permanently. We are so much better prepared these days.
The regime stayed like this for a number of years until, with the advent of better advice, a more structured training approach evolved. Coaches were now involved and with the abundance of triathlon-specific training information now readily available a larger core of members were now racing countrywide. The club soon had its first Great Britain age-group competitor. We now have three.
In 1994 the club organised the inaugural ‘Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon’ in Broad Haven. In its first year it was the Welsh Championships with just 120 competitors. It was such a success that the following year it became a ‘British Grand Prix’ race and a ‘World Championship Qualifier’ with 370 competitors. Excellent write-ups in 220 Magazine ensured a similar story the following year. The race was now too big for the club and was passed on to others.
This success gave the club a good foundation which attracted many new members. The club now has a strong training, racing and social element which caters for all abilities and aims. The club renamed itself Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club in autumn 2000, to reflect the wide area the club draws its members from.
Matt Lilley, October 2001.
The noughties have also seen some fantastic results for our junior club with many of the juniors competing at national level. As this cohort of athletes have moved on to new triathlon pastures a new generation of athletes are being trained by Rhys Thomas and a team of dedicated coaches.