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Club History

Origins

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

I have been a club member since 2004 so I will take up the story of the club from Matt.The membership of the club has been consistent at around 100 members and the club events have grown from strength to strength. The Pembrokeshire Coast Triathlon was resurrected in 2009 and has held the Welsh Triathlon Championships on two occasions. The Pembrokeshire Duathlon was a new event to the club and was initially held as a one off event although it now has a firm position in the race calendar.  The popularity of triathlon has grown massively in the last 10 years including the rise of the Ironman in Tenby and the Go Tri series organised by the County Council.Triathlon is an individual sport and I’m sure there are many people across Pembrokeshire who have competed in events on their own steam and training. As a club we have sometimes struggled to provide training sessions which meet everyone’s individual requirements. Over time the club training sessions have evolved and adapted to meet the changing needs of club members, most noticeably is the addition of our Monday night swim session and a revitalised coaching programme organised by Richard Thompson.

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.

We look forward to seeing the achievements of all the club members and the challenges of the next 10 years of the Pembrokeshire Triathlon Club.Alex Cooper, August 2015