In 1903 when North Shields Polytechnic Athletic Club first came into being it was in order to train athletes in a number of disciplines, including running, cycling and race walking, hence the sometimes confusing name ‘Polytechnic.’ More recently however NSP has only concentrated on running. However a triathlon group has now been formed due to the number of members showing an interest in multi-sport events. So now the club can boast a truly ‘polytechnic’ approach to fitness, with triathletes competing under the North Shields Poly banner to swim, cycle and run in the same event.
At the first local event of this season, the Ashington Sprint Triathlon on May 5th, North Shields Poly was the second largest club represented with 16 competitors, just behind long established Tyne Triathlon Club who had 21 triathletes competing. The group is now fully affiliated to the British Triathlon Federation. Training is informal and is arranged mainly by word of mouth or via the North Shields Poly Triathlon Facebook page.
Neil Dick one of the group organisers says, ‘When I joined North Shields Poly quite a few people asked me about Triathlon. I soon realised that a number of other Poly athletes were already taking part as ‘unattached’ competitors. Towards the end of last season a group of interested members met up to discuss the possibility of forming a specific triathlon group. We then applied to the British Triathlon Federation and became affiliated at the end of October 2013. At the first Triathlon of this season, the Ashington Sprint race there were some outstanding performances and some very impressive debuts. All those that took part agreed how enjoyable it was to feel part of a team representing ‘the Poly.’ We now have an increasing number of people planning to compete in events for us during the rest of this year.’
And still continuing with the Triathlon theme, four of our athletes travelled to Austria to compete in the 2014 ETU Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships in Kitzbuhel, representing Great Britain. Michael Hindmarch finished a superb 6th in his age group, and was 4th GBR competitor for his age, Adam Rowe was 48th (16th GBR competitor) Victoria Gilroy was 26th (13th GBR competitor) and Christine Burns really conquered in Kitzbuhel, coming 6th (3rd for GBR). Well done to all four !