Sligo Junior TriWhere memberships become friendships
Sligo Junior Tri Club was founded in 2015 by Ross McLynn, Colm Casey and implemented by Therese O’Loughlin.
The club has grown from an initial membership of 18 to average yearly membership of 90. The club seeks to engage with the whole community; all ages, all incomes, all cultures and all beliefs.
The club strives to provide a happy, safe, stimulating, supportive, inspiring and fun environment in which children will thrive and develop as triathletes and responsible members of the community in which they live.
We value the role sports plays in helping children develop physical skills, get exercise, make friends, have fun, learn teamwork, learn to play fair, and improve self-esteem.
The junior triathlon club focuses more on participation rather than performance and competition, although we are actively encouraging members to compete in the junior race series.
We train once a week with age groups separated on a Friday and Saturday evening.
- Group 1 – Training for children aged 9-12 years on Saturday nights, 6-8pm
- Group 2 – Training for children aged 13+ years on Friday nights, 7-8pm (Swim only)
Both training sessions are split into two one hour sessions:
Please note: For the October term, group 2 will be swim only (see ‘second hour’ below).
The first hour is outdoors, unless the weather prevents us from using the bikes. If this is the case, we have the use of the large indoor hall in the sports complex where we work on the fundamentals of mobility, co-ordination and some simple strength work, as well as basic fitness and games.
A bike is required but this can be any make or model as long as it is safe to use. Bike skills are something that is continuously worked on throughout the term, all within Cleveragh Recreation Park.
The second hour is 50 minutes of swimming, broken up with some simple but effective drills and games to enhance open water and triathlon-specific swim fitness. Members do not need to be proficient swimmers but as time is short and numbers can be large, we cannot cater to complete beginners as this is not in the remit of the coach or club. We encourage members to get as much swim exposure as possible as this is always one of the main reasons people of all ages cite as a reason for not doing a triathlon.
Juniors tend to be involved with many other clubs, so running is not something we need to over-prescribe. Cycling skills and swim fitness/awareness can be so severely lacking, it is unsafe and hence the reason for the safety aspect as we go to the open water for the summer term.
The summer term involves the introduction and skill-building for swimming in the sea/ lake, as well as trail running. Some training sessions will involve all 3 disciplines, which can be a great test but also a great learning tool for members to practice putting all the pieces of the jigsaw together.
Meet the team
Sligo Junior Tri Club Coordinator
Sligo Junior Tri Leader
I had my first introduction to triathlon in 1987 when my brother and I decided to take part in the NCF All Ireland Triathlon in Rosses Point.
I then came to work in Sligo years later at the Sligo Park Hotel Leisure Centre and met many of the Sligo Metalman Triathlon club members.
I re-joined the Triathlon Club in 2012 and was involved with Therese in setting up the junior club in 2015. We completed the Triathlon Ireland Tri Leader course to support Ross with the coaching sessions.
I attend the Saturday evening session from 6-8pm. The first hour is usually outdoor and the second hour is in the swimming pool. The children are mainly on their bikes so safety is an important consideration. Ross gives the session plan and teaching points while I support him by making sure they all understand the skills and are having fun.
I love to see the children enjoying the sport, learning the skills for each element and putting them together in the junior events.
Junior Club coach
Having been heavily involved in soccer until relocating back to Sligo, Ross joined the club after taking up triathlon while living in Canada.
Ross coaches within the club and privately helps a number of athletes undertaking everything from men’s try-a-tri to Kona qualifications.
- BSc in Sport and Exercise Science
- Neuromuscular Physical and Osteo Manipulative Therapist
- Strength Conditioning Coach
Child Liaison officer
2019 saw Vanessa take a notion to start running through Couch to 5k and soon after swimming again with the Swim For A Mile Initiative. Vanessa had decided if she could do these two she would attempt the women’s Try A Tri initiative later that year with Sligo Tri Club and has been a member since. Vanessa had lived a pretty sedentary life before 2019 with the only activity being walking dogs. Swimming came back quick enough to Vanessa having been a member with the swimming club as a teenager. Running will never be a strong point and don’t talk to Vanessa about the bike!
Sligo Triathlon Club has been a positive addition to Vanessa’s life for many reasons including the social aspect, developing a strong love for swimming again and also for incorporating her passions into it. For example social inclusion. Vanessa was the driving force behind the Tri With Pride Try A Tri initiative in 2022. Vanessa is also a member of the Sligo branch of Sanctuary Runners.
Vanessa is also enjoying the social media aspect of Sligo Tri Club and is the person behind the club’s Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Codes of Conduct
Code of conduct for children/ young people
Child/ youth member will:
- Compete fairly and have fun
- Behave in a manner that avoids bringing the sport into disrepute
- Talk to the children’s officer if you have concerns
- Refrain from the use of bad language and inappropriate gesture
- Refrain from abuse of sports equipment
- Never use unfair or bullying tactics to gain advantage during training or competition
- Never use bullying tactics to isolate another club member
- Never pass on gossip about another club member or adult
- Never make false allegations about another player or adult
- Never keep secrets about anyone who has caused you harm
- Abide by the rules set down by team managers when travelling to away events
- Respect officials and accept their decisions
- Respect opponents
- Win with grace and lose with dignity
Child/ youth member has the right to:
- Be safe
- Be listened to
- Be respected
- Have fun and enjoy triathlon
- Have a voice in relation to their activities within triathlon
- Participate on an equal basis, appropriate to their ability
- Experience competition and the desire to win
- Be believed
- Ask for help
- Be protected from abuse by other member or outside sources
- Be referred to professional help if needed
Code of conduct for parents/ guardians
Parents are expected to:
- Complete and return the Junior Athlete Parental Consent (Form 11) pertaining to their child’s participation with Sligo Junior Triathlon Club
- Register your child as a Junior member of Triathlon Ireland
- Have club fees paid in full before sessions commence
- Deliver and collect the child punctually to and from coaching sessions
- Any child not in possession of the fundamental requirements (swimsuit, hat, goggles, towel, runners, shorts/tracksuit, t-shirt and water) will not be permitted to participate
- Ensure their child is properly and adequately attired for the weather conditions of the time, including shorts, T-shirt, socks, tracksuit, sweat-tops, hat, gloves etc.
- Ensure bike is in good working order, tyres pumped, brakes working effectively
- Bike helmets must be worn during cycling sessions at ALL times, no helmet/no cycling
- Detail any health concerns pertaining to the child on the consent form, in particular breathing or chest conditions. Any changes in the state of the child’s health should be reported to the coach prior to coaching sessions
- To inform the coach prior to departure if child is to be collected early from a coaching session
- Encourage their child to play by the rules and teach them that they can only do their best i.e. focus on effort rather than performance
- Always behave responsibly
- Show appreciation & support for volunteer coaches, leaders and club administrators
- Be realistic
- Ensure their child’s hygiene and nutritional needs are met
- Accept the official’s judgement at competition
- Acknowledge the importance and role of the club coaches who provide their time free to ensure children’s participation in the club
- Promote their child’s participation in playing sport for fun
- Remember children participate in sport for their enjoyment, not yours
- Not ignore or dismiss complaints expressed by a child
- Not treat the club as a minding service
Parents/Guardians have the right to:
- Know their child is safe
- Be informed of problems or concerns relating to their children
- Be informed if their child is injured
- Have their consent sought for issues such as trips
- Contribute to decisions within the club
- Complain if they have concerns about the standard of coaching
Any misdemeanours and breach of this Code of Conduct will be dealt with immediately by a club official. Persistent concerns or breaches will result in the parent/guardian being asked not to attend sessions if their attendance is detrimental to the child’s welfare.
The ultimate action should a parent/guardian continue to breach the code of behaviour may mean the
Club officials regrettably asking the child to leave the club.
Download the Sligo Tri Club Safeguarding statement
Code of conduct for coaches/ leaders
I agree to:
- Ensure the safety of all children by careful supervision, proper pre-planning of coaching/ playing sessions, using safe methods at all times
- Actively encourage all children not to discriminate on the grounds of religious beliefs, race, gender, social classes or lack of ability
- Emphasise fun and participation
- Not allow any rough or dangerous play, bullying, or the use of bad language or inappropriate behaviour
- Always be positive and to promote the objectives of the club at all times
- Not let any allegations of abuse of any kind to go unchallenged or unrecorded if appropriate. Incidents and accidents to be recorded in the club incident/accident folder. Parents will be informed
- Report accidents or incidents of alleged abuse to the designated person
- Keep records of attendance at training sessions
- Where possible, not take sessions alone
- Administer minor first aid in the presence of others and where required refer more serious incidents to the club “first aider”
- Have access to telephone for immediate contact to emergency services if required
- Maintain confidentiality about sensitive information
- Be a role model (disciplined / committed / time keeping) and remember, children learn by example
- Refrain from smoking and the consumption of alcohol during club activities or coaching sessions
- Never ask anyone to keep secrets of any kind
- Ensure that all those working with young people do so under the guidance of the coach
- As a coach keep my knowledge updated through various courses run by Triathlon Ireland
- Protect myself from false accusation by…
- Not spending excessive amounts of time alone with children away from others.
- Avoid taking children alone in a car on journeys, however short.
- Never taking children to my home.
- Not administering First Aid involving the removing of children’s clothing unless in the presence of others.
Any misdemeanours and general misbehaviour will be dealt with immediately and reported verbally to the designated person. Persistent breach of the code will result in dismissal from the club.
Dismissals can be appealed by the coach/ volunteer, with final decisions taken by the club appeals committee.