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For some time Medway had had a talented group of Age group athletes, without actually having a triathlon club central to the Medway towns. Most athletes in the area were members of triathlon clubs on the outskirts of Medway such as Larkfield Tri, Sittingbourne Tri, Team Outrageous and Ocean Lake Tri.
After a number of Age group athletes from the Medway towns competed at the 2011 Triathlon World Championships held in Beijing, China it was obvious that the area had a wealth of talent and that there was a massive gap for a structured triathlon club to develop athletes within Medway.
Many of these local athletes trained together in the Medway area, arranging group rides and runs, meeting at lakes for open water swims and pool training with the local swimming club Black Lion. After a year of casual training together in 2012, another crop of these athletes qualified and competed for GB at the 2012 World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.
When the 2012 World Championships were over, Dean Ratcliffe formed Training Buddies, a group email where Medway athletes who lived and trained in the area could send group messages organising regular structured training sessions. These athletes including Chris Butler, Dean Painter, Michael Duncan, Deborah Hope, Andri de Wit and Paul Sparks had all competed with Dean in the World Championships Olympic Distance in China and New Zealand. Other international athletes from the area such as Paul Mason, Ade Grimmond, Stuart McLeod, Jon Munday and Stuart Clark, together with GB sprint distance athlete, Mark Laing also joined the Training Buddies group.
Training Buddies was initially started to see if the appetite for a club existed in our area. Well after reaching forty members at the beginning of 2013, it was obvious that it did! As a result, Dean Ratcliffe purchased the website domains for MedwayTri, and with the help of Dan Butler (another training buddy) set up the MedwayTri holding page to inform people about the new club. Deborah Hope put together a Facebook page and a 10-strong committee was formed from our members in May 2013, enabling the club to build its infrastructure.
It was decided that the club would be officially launched at the end of the 2013 season on 29th September at Medway Park, in the heart of Medway. The launch day included a junior and senior aquathlon together with a number of other promotional activities. This aquathlon will be held every year at the end of each season to commemorate the start of our club, but the idea of MedwayTri was of course conceived long before then!
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