As many of you know I've been unhappy about the direction bt(british triathlon) is heading, a completely paid and professionally run and managed organisation that is essentially a holding company for Triathlon in GB. All management/organisation will be pushed out to 4-National Bodies ENG/SCO/WALES/NI and these will also become increasingly paid/professionally run and will push more and more admin out through the regions etc. but as now, there will be little actual help to the clubs who do 70% of the work and the race organisers who do 30%.
In other words triathlon will become a sport overrun with "suits" and bureaucracy . This has to be paid for some how, increasing membership fees, day race licenses and race levys can all be expected to go up again next year. BTA CEO Norman Brook is fond of comparisons with USAT, don't mention the elections though, and its my personal belief that next year the day race license will double again to £4 per race and again the year after. This will be equivalent to the USAT $9 race fee.
In its' recent article in the August 2004 issue of the bt house magazine "trinews", bt says "Individuals and clubs in England would join Triathlon England", Scotland and Wales would join their respective organisations. "Individuals and clubs join Triathlon England would also become affiliated to their region." (its about numbers.
To fund this, trinews says "Membership fees would generate income to fund member services and ADMINISTRATION of the home country body AND British Triathlon". So thats it then, membership will definitely go up to fund at least with additional level of administration. No details of what said member services are.
trinews encourages us to review the new proposals via the bt web site and feedback, but at least as of today there is nothing to read and no way to feedback except the normal contact us e-mail address.
Not being a bt member will become an increasingly unattractive option to you, and increasingly attractive to bt. They get more of your money when you race and you get no say in how bt is run, but they tell you your money is going into your region, but for what ? More "suits"??
My view is that triathlon can continue to grow and flourish but under a very different regime. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find places to swim in open water; bikes on the road remains difficult and those runners amongst you will know of a number of races cancelled locally because the police wouldn't let them go ahead. These are the things the bt should be addressing... not growing armys of suits to impose rules and regulations...
So, time to get serious about what we want from our national association. We need those amongst you who are BTA members to use your votes this year and possibly to attend the AGM.