Joining the junior club
We take children from the year they are 8, until the year they are 16.
We have a waiting list to become a member, and if you would like to join this waiting list, please enter your details on the waiting list page.
Please contact Sally Vail, our junior membership secretary, before coming to your first session so that we are ready for you and have time to welcome and introduce you.
Triathlon is a very unusual sport – both in its nature and its culture. At the top level it requires a high level of all round fitness, endurance, balance, co-ordination, intelligence, motivation, self-belief and dedication. It offers a huge variety of training and racing environments and caters extremely well for participants of a wide range of ability. Culturally it is a very new sport and keen to embrace new ideas and new thinking. It has very little of the baggage of more established sports. There is complete equality between sexes, for instance, and competition is in five year age categories from 20 through to 80. Under 20 the bands are two years wide.
Our philosophy at Cambridge TC is closely aligned with that of the British Triathlon Association. Firstly we want to have fun but we place a strong emphasis on learning essential skills and building confidence. Doing a sport well is safe, satisfying and provides a sound platform for long-term development and life-long enjoyment. We teach good swimming technique, we teach good running technique and we teach good cycling technique. Besides the three basic disciplines we work on fundamentals such as balance, agility, core stability, speed of movement, flexibility and strength.
Cycling on the roads forms a major part of any triathlete’s training (and racing) programme so we regularly take our junior section cycling on the roads. Here the initial emphasis is on road safety and awareness, then on learning to ride in a group, then on developing basic cycling endurance. As many Tristars (U15) races involve cycling on grass we include that in our programme too.
We are well aware that in this age band there is a wide range of ability and physical development. There is also a big difference in speed between a heavy mountain bike with knobbly tyres and a lightweight road bike with narrow slicks. We’re only interested in helping our young members to have fun, to learn and to get their own rewards through seeing themselves improve. Ultimately those who start with us are likely to be the ‘top dogs’ when they reach the senior ranks. Those who come to us who already have strong swimming and/or running backgrounds could be in a position to progress very rapidly and we are able to provide support right through to international level. We have strong links with the BTA World Class Performance Programme. So far five of our young triathletes have gained a place on the Programme and two have represented GB as Junior Internationals.
All of our sessions are run by trained and qualified coaches. In addition the Club has a Welfare Officer and is, of course, affiliated to the British Triathlon Association.
The essential equipment for giving triathlon a go comprises nothing more than a swimming costume and goggles, a pair of trainers, vest or T-shirt to wear for the cycle and the run, a bike and a cycling helmet. For training sessions the only addition is suitable clothing for running and cycle training.
A mountain bike is fine though swapping the knobbly tyres for smooth ones is a cheap and simple upgrade that will make a huge difference. Though many of our juniors have now moved onto road bikes they all, without exception, started on mountain bikes.