from the ground up

When planning this triathlon club we spent a lot of time looking into and debating the foundation of the club. By foundation we don’t mean when it was begun, we mean the principles and values we want to embody in the club.

I am a big believer in preparation. As a newly established professional coach and club developer, I have spent a lot of time researching all the policies and procedures that are recommended for a well run sport. Two invaluable resources are the Coaches Association of BC and the Coaching Association of Canada. Between these two I located advice on understanding and implementing almost every aspect of the various sport administration policies needed today.

At first I thought, “look at all this stuff!” Then when I read through it (and eventually absorbed it), I felt secure knowing I had built up a set of values that defined what is important in sport today, not only to administrators, coaches and official, but to athletes. All these policies and procedures are in place to protect the athlete, and I don’t mean protect in a paternalistic manner. Think altruistic-sports-values-type-protection…

  • Coaching Code of Conduct
  • Coaching Code of Ethics
  • Coaching evaluation tool
  • Harassment Policy
  • Code of Conduct for Participants
  • Code of Conduct for Parents
  • Participant Medical Information Form
  • Conflict resolution policy
  • WADA code
  • Code of Safety

We also decided on affiliation with Triathlon BC. This wasn’t a given for us until we had researched what Triathlon BC does for clubs. As card carrying triathletes (well not this year for me, but 1999-2003), Andrew and I know what we get as athletes; a high quality Provincial races series, BC championships, Team BC. As coaches we value the coaching education initiative. But as a club we weren’t sure. There is the 25% Tri BC membership discount for club members, but that is negligible in the grand scheme of things. I know people who spend more than $10 (25% or $40…) on coffee each day. The insurance coverage for the club was very attractive; it is also a huge liability risk for Triathlon BC to offer essentially carte-blanche coverage to clubs for no cost. This showed us that Triathlon BC valued clubs as part of the athlete support infrastructure. We liked that. So we opted in.

Alan