Reasons to join the BTA

I've been asked a number times recently about the benefits of joining the British Triathlon Association. Its not really one of those clear cut things, in fact it borders on a "religous" discussion. Lots of people do and wouldn't think twice about not joining, others think its all about politics and wouldn't consider joining. Well there is politics, but you can always ignore these, but what about the other benefits?

> I'm new to Triathlon and hope to do my first event in August. Is it worth
> getting BTA membership before I start, or should I not worry about this yet?

Bob, I wouldn't worry about BTA membership yet. You will have to pay
for a day license on race day, or will have already paid for this by
paying more upfront as a non-member for your race fee.

Joining is one of those cost versus benefits things, or a question of
wanting to belong. I've always been a member and like to put things
back into the sport, I'm a club Chairman and write for the BTA house
magazine tri-news. Others though ask what they'll get back for the
money and if it doesn't seem worth it, complain.

If you do enough races in a season, the difference between the
non-member and member race prices gets to a point where its cheaper to
join. I'd say though do your first race, see what you think, and then
make a decision. You can submit the day license for discounted
membership.

The BTA is putting a lot into the sport by encouraging and supporting
the development of coaches, referees, safety officers etc.

>>I was under the impression that you are insured while you train too?

Well you have to ask what that is worth. Before I explain, I'm not here
to dissuade you from joining, but I encourage people to join for more
positive reasons. To support the organisation to bring sport to more
people, both youth and adults, to develop the sport etc.

You do indeed get both accident and public liability cover as a member,
while training. If you ever really need this help, based on the
experience of my fellow Tri-Force club member Paula Craig, the BTA will
get it for you. Paula was mown down by a driver who was banned from
driving and permanently disabled. The BTA were one of a number of
organisations that help secure her future.

So, what of the insurance? Well if you are talking about training in
the UK, you are always covered by the National Health Service for
accident and emergency. If you have life insurance, then it won't
preclude cycling and loss of limb, eyesight, death etc. will all be
covered and the BTA insurance won't payout as well. So you are left
with legal assistance and liability insurance. In many cases if you
check your house insurance you may have liability cover and that leaves
legal.

If you are training in the EU, then an NHS E111 will provide the same
benefits for accident and emergency and travel insurance the rest.
Training in the US would almost certainly be covered by travel policy
but buyer beware!

There are numerous other small, and sometimes intangible benefits, the real reason you should join that triathlon is a great sport and the BTA, along with USAT need our support to make sure we continue to get national support for everything from road to open water access; to set and encourage event safety and quality standards and mostly to support the work they do on the development of the sport.
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