Gee-Gees Triathlon Club hopes to gain competitive club status
Photo credit: Spencer Murdock
For six years, the Triathlon Club has been giving students a place to come and put together their athletic abilities. As of right now the club runs smoothly and successfully as an independent student club, but they hope to gain competitive club status in the near future.
At the University of Ottawa, there are three levels of athletics: varsity teams, competitive clubs, and independent student clubs. Varsity teams get funding from the university, and the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO) sanctions competitive clubs. The independents have to fend for themselves. A premium example of a thriving independent club in the sport community is the U of O’s Triathlon Club.
Despite being recognized as an Olympic-type sport, triathlon is still growing at the university level across Canada. Most teams run on a recreational basis, which also includes competitions hosted at various schools. A more province-wide organized circuit is currently in the works. This circuit would provide a backbone for schools like Queen’s University, Royal Military College, Western University, the University of Toronto, and the U of O to come together and easily organize events.
“We are looking for a little more support and organization,” said organizer Adam Smart. “Right now, we share pool time, we pay for spinning room space, and we run outside. The next logical step for us, as we grow, is to put a little bit more organization into it, so when we have 12 or 15 members come out to swim practice, we are not sharing that pool space, we would have our own pool time.”
The club is ironing out deals to provide more time and space, as well as coaching for the members starting next year, but there is only so much that can be done on their own. One of the main goals for the club is to have changes ready to provide to members in the fall.
Organizer Eric Brault said the club wants to present a schedule to the members saying what is going to happen because they have the funding for it, the structure for it, and the coaching for it. “Emphasis goes on the structure so it makes it easier for students who have a changing schedule and a hectic lifestyle,” said Brault.
Regardless of the serious nature of becoming a competitive club, the fun and love of the sport trumps everything. The team partakes in events such as scavenger hunts, indoor triathlons, doughnut runs, and pancake miles, but their crown jewel is a four-day training camp on the Ironman course at Mont Tremblant.
“The sport of triathlon is growing and a lot of people are training alone,” said Smart. “Training alone sucks, especially in the winter months, so our club is generally a social club.” The club has no mandatory requirements to be a part of the club, or to come to any practices. The members come to practice when it fits into their schedule, and they train as much or as little as they want.
“When you have a club that you are interested in and trying to join, it kind of forces people together,” Smart added. “You develop relationships and develop friendships that help you become confident in yourself, which translates into being confident in school, confident in work, confident in life, and makes university all that more valuable to you.”
For more information on the club, contact them at: email@example.com.