Age group Q&A

In this section you will find some questions and answers on Age Group International Representation

Do GB have qualifying races for all the ETU Championships?

We generally have specific qualifying races for Standard and Sprint distance Triathlon and Duathlon championships. There are usually 3 or 4 of these, spread across the country on different dates.

The Triathlon races are the year before the ETU race, because our season is at the same time as the championships. This requires an adjustment for athletes changing age groups, a simple process.

Each year race organisers bid to run these events and we select those most suitable the year before the championships, so athletes and organisers are well prepared.

Middle distance and above require athletes to submit results from races up to 18 months prior to the event. The races must fit certain criteria in terms of being similar distances, terrain, sufficient number of athletes, quality of event etc. We liaise with race organisers to help them if they would like an event to fit, but do not run the events themselves.

Cross tri, duathlon, aquathlon and aquabike are run in a similar fashion, an athlete submits results for consideration.

When does an athlete not need to race a qualifying event, because they have proved their ability for example?

The British Champion is offered a pre qualified slot.

At an ETU race the first three GB athletes are awarded a slot the following year but they must have also finished in the top 10 athletes in their age group in addition (top 15 for middle triathlon).

We also have the ability to award a Discretionary place to an outstanding athlete who could not attend a qualifying race. There are very strict parameters for these and they are only awarded in exceptional circumstances.

Great Britain have team managers at a lot of ETU Championships.

Who pays for them?

Are they paid?

If the team is large enough we send a team manager, if not , one of the athletes is asked to take on the role. There is no defined number, each event is different in terms of need, location, size etc. Each athlete contributes a set amount when he accepts his place on the team, that then goes towards the cost of a manager, and possibly mechanic and/ or masseur. The managers are all volunteer and their expenses, flights, accommodation etc are paid for. They are not paid. They are often athletes who are no longer able or wanting to compete, for any reason,but are still wanting to be involved and pay of the huge triathlon community. They may be parents, partners or friends.

They need to able to be calm and logical, enthusiastic, friendly but firm, work long hours at a race, have the respect of the athletes and the ability to liaise with all levels from athletes, to organisers, officials. Done well it is the lynchpin for a team and the key to a successful experience.

How do you differentiate between Age Group and Elite athletes to the public?

AG athletes can misrepresent themselves as Elite.

By avoiding using the words “age group” some athletes imply they are an elite. This can be done in the press, when talking to potential sponsors, on social media. The athlete is representing his country, but as an Age Group athlete and this needs to be made clear.

Education is the best approach, some will not have considered they are implying something else. Point out to the team member when they are awarded a place that they need to be aware of the wording they use. Usually peer pressure to write the right thing works ii need be.