The first triathlon in the County was held on 16/9/84 and based at Huncote Leisure Centre. About 60 local competitors braved the 800m lake swim, 34 mile cycle leg and 9 mile run. Subsequently athletes were invited to a meeting (organised by Jacques Hart, John Smith and John Pinches) at Southfields College to form a local club on 16th January 1985.
The ensuing club, Leicestershire Triathlon Association, was based at Huncote Leisure Centre. The Club kit was yellow with a green “Leicestershire” fox logo. By the second Leicester triathlon at Huncote in Sept.’85 there were several new names in the club, a handful of whom are still competing today.
Its first busy years saw the introduction of open-water swimming from May 1986 at Syston sailing club lake, at which John Smith was always present to offer advice to new-comers;
In Sept.’86 there was the first “sprint” event at Hood Park, Ashby De La Zouch; and in Oct.’86 the Club moved its HQ to its present location at New Parks Leisure Centre;
Jan.’87 saw the election of one of the Club’s founder members (Dave Bellingham) to the national governing body of the sport – the British Triathlon Association. Bellars, as Dave was known, was also the 1st Club member ever to be awarded the “Life-member” status of LTC for his services both to the Club & the sport from its origins in this country in the early ‘80s
In the late 1980s the BTA requested any clubs using the word “Association” in their title to rename, hence the present “Leicester Triathlon Club” came into being. It is one of the largest and longest established clubs in the country with a high profile nationally & within the local area.
Members have come and gone but several “originals” are still around. Dave Bellingham is the longest continuous serving member, closely followed by Nigel James, Jez Edwards, Terry Vaughan, Andy Foster, John Kemp, Chris Mawer, Graeme Hornsby and Gina Vaughan have all been members since those early years in the ‘80s.
Internationally we have had several athletes from the Club who have represented GB starting with Vernon Sharples in 1985/86 & Dave Meads in 1988.
Other national and international level representation from the Club includes former member Paul Kirkpatrick as a national BTA referee and Biddie Foord, Chair of the E. Midlands region and BTA Women’s Commission.
Claire Love (now Shea-Simonds) was also a BTA employee working hard for the future of the sport as one of the Association’s regional development officers, and currently (2012) Sam Rankin has taken over as the LTC’s “employee” at our National Governing Body
Dave Bellingham has been BTA Chair, Vice-chair, Chair of the National Performance Committee and also triathlon’s representative on the Commonwealth Games Council for England. He was GB team manager at the Olympics in Sydney 2000;
Other Club members have won national age group medals & also qualified for Hawaii, Chris Mawer, Nigel James & Mark White have all been Hawaii qualifiers (tho NJ was sadly prevented from racing there due to injury). Currently we have one of our speediest ever athletes & the first one ever from the Club to have crossed the bridge to race as “Pro” – the one & only Conor Murphy. We are also honoured to include in the Club our paratriathlete & world medallist Haseeb Ahmad.
The Club continues to grow in numbers & welcomes all abilities. We have an active & successful junior section & several club members have gained their coaching qualifications.
Leicester Traithlon Club, 27 years old from 1985 to the present day