Category Archives: Youth News

News specific to the juniors section

GTC athlete of the month: Callum Miller

Callum has been training with GTC for four years and now races in the Youth 1 (age 15 to 16) age category.

A pupil at Boclair Academy, Bearsden, his progress to triathlon began with swimming. Callum says: “Until the age of around eight, I was purely a swimmer because many of my close friends had started competitive swimming and I liked the sound of it.

“I found it enjoyable at first, but as friends moved clubs and stopped training, I too began losing interest.

“Also, I found that staring at the bottom of a pool for eight hours a week was not too enthralling.”

Callum training on the bike.

A move to triathlon

Having become disenchanted with swimming, Callum took up archery for a few years until he joined a triathlon camp.

He says: “Since that Easter training camp four years ago, I have dropped archery and began to move forward with triathlon as my primary focus.”

Callum is once again enjoying the swimming, as well as training in cycling and running.

He says: “I like being in the pool again but also with the added diversity of having cycling and running as a sometimes more enjoyable alternative.

“Another advantage of triathlon as a sport is that I find the training exceptionally fun. Overall it’s the diversity of three different sports that means I really enjoy triathlon.”

Callum likes the three sports equally. He says: “I know that some people have a favourite discipline in triathlon, such as a sport that comes more naturally to them or a sport they excel in, but I honestly find all three equally enjoyable at times.

“If I am doing a nice cycle in the sun on smooth roads, then cycling is my favourite. If I am in a warm loch, then my favourite is swimming. If I have a rainy day, running is my favourite.

“I feel like all three disciplines are great – if not the best – sports. They all have their merits and, to be honest, they don’t have many flaws, apart from cycling in the rain!”

Callum has seen great improvements in all the disciplines, as well as in his transitions, since joining GTC, but especially so in running.

He says: “It took few sessions for the coaches to identify problems and suggest improvements in my running – and how I could develop a better technique.

“I saw improvements quickly due to the fact it is probably the easiest sport for me to really exert myself and therefore allowing greater fitness to develop faster.

“I have really valued the incredible technique coaching from GTC.”

Callum racing.

Callum’s racing career

Callum began his triathlon racing career in the Tristar 2 age category. He says: “The race distances were perfect for me at the time and I then went through Tristar 3, continuing to pursue the standard age distances.

“Now, since entering the youth category, I have finished two sprint distance triathlons, both of which I felt much more comfortable doing.

“I think that I am going to continue to move up distances as my stamina allows, because ultimately I want to pursue Ironman distance racing.

“For now, sprint distance is long enough for me although I do hope to complete a standard distance triathlon soon.”

Callum has revealed two achievements he is most proud of: Last year, he was selected for the Scottish Academy and, this year, he finished in the top 10 in the British ETU Sprint Qualifier.

He says: “The Scottish Academy was my focus in 2018 and I worked exceptionally hard and tapered long for the trial.

“This year, finishing eighth in the sprint qualifier was great but I was more pleased with finishing my first sprint triathlon and achieving my goal time, by the skin of my teeth, of 1:05:00.”

This season, Callum’s goals  are to to re-qualify for the Academy Squad and “to achieve a peak fitness level so I am ready to try and qualify for the ETU sprint next year”.

He says: “Having one of my great friends attending the sprint championships this season has really spurred me on to go for it again next year – and to keep trying.”

When the raining or racing gets tough, Callum has his methods for coping. He says: “To be honest, tough training sessions are hard to come by because I enjoy the sport so much, but the occasional one, or a hard race, sometimes can be really demoralising.

“The thought of a goal, long or short-term, pushes me on though. I tend to think of things like Kona and the Super Series.

“Sometimes that still isn’t enough and that is when I turn to friendships. GTC has allowed me to make amazing friends, who I trust and get along with incredibly well. Having friends like that in training can really help.”

Triathlon goal

Callum is still young but he has set himself an impressive goal to make it to Ironman Kona. He says: “I think it is the most inspiring event to watch and I really look up to the pros who can achieve such unbelievable things.

“Watching the eight-hour barrier being broken has really inspired me to do the same, and really go for the top at Ironman level.

“Another thing I want to achieve in triathlon is to continue having fun. Always enjoying what you do is very important, and I don’t see point in pursuing something that is not your passion.”

Callum’s triathlon tips

Have friends and role models: Having friends will allow a social aspect to open up out with your training life, and it will mean you have friends you look forwards to seeing, as well as people who can encourage and support you.

Having role models is good also as it allows you to really see how it is done. Regardless of whether they are pro or just the fastest in the club, having someone that inspires you will spur you on.

Enjoy it: Having fun in the sport is important because it will keep you motivated and determined, otherwise you won’t give your all. Make sure you love what you are doing and find purpose.

Join GTC: GTC is such a friendly club and always doing the best thing for their members. It is not exclusive, meaning you can go to pretty much any training session and work it around your life.

People in the club are always there to give advice and offer guidance to beginners, which is very helpful if you don’t quite know what to do. There are so many sessions to attend, and so many coaches, allowing you to improve quickly and properly.

Mia qualifies for ETU Sprint Champs 2020

It was only 15-year-old Mia Padmanabhan’s second sprint distance triathlon, yet she came first and won a qualifier place for next year’s Malmo ETU Sprint Distance Age Group Triathlon Championships in Sweden.

Mia crossed the line in 1:12:25, just a second ahead of the runner up in the female under-20 age group at the Eton Sprints Weekend in Berkshire in May.

She said:”It was a great experience and I was very pleased to win.”

Mia was one of the first in her age group to exit the open water swim. She enjoyed the “fast and flat” bike section, which was draft legal.

As she headed into the run, Mia knew the other girls would be on her heels. She said: “It was a flat out-and-back run course and I was aware of others close behind me. When we turned and I had the last 2.5km to run I gave it all I had.

“I was happy to win and I am excited about racing in the European Championships wearing the Team GB kit.”

Another young club member Callum Miller also had a great race at the Eton Sprints. He came ninth in a very competitive male under-20 age group in a time of 1:04:14.

New sponsor for GTC race

The club is delighted to welcome Big Bobble Hats as the new headline sponsor for the Bishopbriggs Triathlon for the next three years.

The club will receive funding support from the East Kilbride-based business until 2022.

Ian Hockey, co-founder of Big Bobble Hats, is already a GTC member and is very happy to offer the new sponsorship.

He said: “I know from my own experience that GTC is a great club, with a really friendly and all-inclusive atmosphere.

“I joined the club because I wanted to give open water swimming a go and I have enjoyed being part of GTC ever since.

“Big Bobble Hats is proud to be the sponsor of the ‘Briggs race and an additional sponsor to the club alongside Run4It and Billy Bilsland.”

Ian Hockey.

Club president Sean Webster said: “We are delighted to have Ian and Big Bobble Hats on board as our latest club sponsors. The sponsorship will be be a great support for our club, helping to keep the cost of sessions down and providing some unique momentos for the race.”

Big Bobble Hats

The company was launched in 2010 and has gone from strength to strength. With a team of five employees and further part-time staff, they visit numerous sports events across the UK selling their products.

They also sell their items on-line at Big Bobble Hats.

The Big Bobble Hat is like no other – and many GTC members have enjoyed wearing the club’s branded version.

Big Bobble Hats will also become the club’s supplier of club training kit, including t-shirts, technical tees, hoodies and baseball hats.

Ian said: “Our connection to sport comes through the athletes, as well as the fans and supporters. People wear the Big Bobble Hats and other kit while they are waiting to start a race, or afterwards.

“The supporters also welcome the warm hat and clothes like the hoodies while they are on the sidelines offering cheers and support.

“We are a local business and we are looking forward to being a sponsor of Glasgow Triathlon Club.”

See Big Bobble Hats.

A summer of great cycling with Billy Bilsland Cycles

Are you looking for new cycling kit or perhaps a new bike? Perhaps your bike needs to be serviced or you are having some bike fit or maintenance issues.

Billy Bilsland Cycles is one of GTC’s official sponsors and they are keen to help club cyclists. Many club members have already found the shop staff’s advice invaluable.

Benefits include a 10% discount on bikes, part and accessories in the shop. If you are looking for a carbon bike it’s possible to get one on loan from the shop. Let’s just say there are Cervelo and Ridley bikes to try!

The shop also offers a range of high-quality shallow or deep-section carbon rim wheels for loan, including Mavvic and ENVE; power meters; and hard boxes if you are travelling with you bike.

Bilsland is also Scotland’s only Ship My Tri Bike location.

Aftersales servicing at Billy Bilsland is done by Cytech 3 qualified mechanics and there is a lifetime of free servicing on bikes priced over £2,000 (not disc) and one year on bikes under £2,000.

See Billy Bilsland Cycles.

Enjoy a summer of great value running with Run4It

With summer in full swing, club members might like to be reminded that Run4It is one of GTC’s valued sponsors. The running apparel and accessories store offers a range of benefits to club members.

The main bonus is a 15% discount on footwear and accessories in all Run4It shops (excluding sale products, special offers or Garmins). You can request the discount in store or make use of an on-line code.

Run4It has also been very happy to be part of a special GTC event. The event, which included exclusive offers to GTC members, was well attended and there is a plan for another similar event.

This summer, Run4It is the sponsor of the GTC Training Aquathlons and will be providing vouchers as prizes.

See the Run4It website for details of where the shops are.

Another great club race: Briggs Tri 2019

Bishopbriggs Triathlon 2019 was hailed another great success by organisers and participants alike.

More than 300 adults and 100 children came from across the country – some from as far afield as Arran, Mull and Shetland – to take part in a series of races, including:

  • Sprint Triathlon (750m swim, 20km cycle, 5km run)
  • Novice Triathlon (400m swim, 10km cycle, 3km run)
  • Youth Triathlon (15-16 yrs, 400m swim, 10km cycle, 3km run)
  • Tristars 3 Triathlon (13-14 yrs, 300m swim, 5km cycle, 2km run)
  • Tristars 2 Triathlon (11-12 yrs, 200m swim, 5km cycle, 2km run).

The race also offered the opportunity for para-athletes to compete. More than a dozen from Leonard Cheshire athletes took part in the novice and sprint races.

First places

Sprint triathlon

Andrew Rolland (Junior B) of Edinburgh#3 in 1:01:23
Joanna Paterson (senior) Fusion 1:10:49

Novice triathlon

Tobias Weis in 42:43
Lynda Macdonald of GTC in 49:45

Youth race

Daniel Saunders H30 Racing 34:52
Anna Hedley 37:56

Tristar 3

Fergus Currie Fusion 22:31
Johanna Mackenzie 24:47

Tristar 2

Rory Treharne of GTC 23:45
Mirren Stewart of Grangemouth Tri Club 24:56.

See full results.

Fantastic volunteer support

The sell-out race would not be possible without the help and support of club members, as well as family and friends, too. Some 90 people turned out to help with the race.

A great deal of hard work goes into organising the event behind the scenes, both leading up to the race day and on the day itself.

Race director Duggie Mac said: “We had another great day of racing with enthusiastic participation from all athletes, encouraged by a great team of volunteers.

“I want to mention the team who are involved in preparations for this event. They are Bob Newton who is a rock and font of all knowledge on organising triathlons.

“Russell Snowden who is Mr Entries, swim heat organiser, link to the timing guys etc etc.

“Then there’s Susan Gallagher who did a fantastic job encouraging folks to volunteer for this event.

“Hopefully, for everyone who did volunteer it was a rewarding day of giving back to this sport and helping you to get to know some fellow club members, too.”

Bob added is praise to the club members who helped to make the race “run like clockwork”.

He said: “Given all the positive feedback we’ve received, the competitors really appreciated the friendly approach and encouragement they received throughout their races.”

The weather was also described as perfect.

Bob said: “It was dry, calm and slightly cool with some cloud cover as well as the sun making the occasional appearance. This is just what you want for hard cycling and running.”

The now famous cake stall

The GTC cake stall is now a legendary feature of club races. Club members generously donated cakes to the stall, which went on to raise more than £500 for the junior section of the club.

Time to renew your triathlon club membership

If you are already a Glasgow Triathlon Club member, it’s time to make sure you renew your club membership. Please do so by January 31.

For those who took advantage of the 15 months for the price of 12 months deal last year, you do not need to do anything.

But for anyone who joined as usual last year, it’s renewal time. See entrycentral for details of how to rejoin GTC for a great annual price of £32.

If you have been along to a few sessions and have so far not joined, we would also encouraged you to take advantage of the many benefits of GTC by becoming a member. See club discounts and read on for further membership benefits.

10 reasons to join GTC

1 Great value for money

The cost of membership is just £32. That is just £2.66 per month. For this small amount you gain a host of benefits.

2 Expert coaching

The coaching programme created by our head coach (level 3) Vicky Begg. This changes according to the time of year and focuses, loosely, on a racing season and non-racing season.

We operate a system of training squads so that sessions are designed to suit a range of athletes and aspirations.

The training sessions in swimming, running and cycling are led by qualified club coaches (from level 1 to 3). They are closely overseen by the head coach.

The club aims to keep the cost per coached session as low as possible for members.

3 Superb support

GTC  has been awarded an accolade for Outstanding Contribution to Triathlon in Scotland. Part of the award recognises the fantastic support that the club brings to many different types of athletes.

4 A club for all

GTC has more than members with an almost even split of males and females.  Membership crosses the decades, from youths to the over-60s.

There is a place in the club for all abilities. We have a well regarded para tri section and a dedicated youth squad.

Do not worry if you think you won’t be fit enough or you worry you will be too old or too young. You won’t be. It’s a club for everyone.

Happy club members!

5 A friendly club

You’ll meet new and likeminded people at GTC. Many members will also tell you about the fantastic friendships that have been made in the club.

6 Training trips at home and abroad

Training in a new place, especially the annual winter warm weather trip abroad, brings many benefits, both socially and in terms of  improved fitness.

Members can benefit from subsidised training camps, such as the  trip to Playitas on the island of Fuerteventura in February.

7 Discounts on kit and training

The club has a range of equipment, including wetsuits, bike boxes, racing wheels and power taps for bikes, which can be borrowed or hired for great rates.

There is also a special GTC discount for members who want to supplement their training at one of 22 venues owned by Glasgow Life.

There are also discounts at sports shop.

8 For top tips

If you have a question or a query about triathlon there will always be people in the club who will help you out, or point you in the right direction.

9 To be part of something

As well as training with a brilliant bunch of people, you will have the opportunity to volunteer at some of Scotland’s leading events.

The club hosts its own club triathlon and junior aquathlons, and also plays a major role in European and World qualifier triathlon championships.

10 To have a goal

Whether your aim is to lose weight, try a new sport, do your first sprint triathlon or try an Ironman, the club gives you a focus and realistic goals. There will be someone in the club who has had a similar focus at some point or who has the same goal as you now.