You only have to look at their Facebook group and see how many members there are to realise Tri Dubai club’s popularity. That number currently sits at more than 4,000 and that is quite remarkable given the club was only launched in 2012.
Started by Ian Le Pelley, Deirdre Casey and the late Roy Nasr, Tri Dubai is now one of the most popular triathlon clubs in the UAE.
Their members range from different age groups, with the youngest being 11 and their oldest in their mid-60s. It’s no surprise given that it’s completely free to join and anyone of any ability are welcome to sign up.
“I wouldn’t call Tri Dubai a club, I would rather call it a community,” said Paul Venn, communications officer of Tri Dubai. “It was set up to provide a platform for anyone to meet new people and engage and train with other like-minded individuals.”
Every week, the club attracts new members, who turn up for a number of their weekly sessions throughout Dubai. There are currently six sessions per week, but that usually increases.
“Anyone who is part of Tri Dubai can post on Facebook, saying they will be going for a swim or a bike ride and whether anyone would want to join them,” said Venn. “That results in more people taking part and we at Tri Dubai have no problem whatsoever. The most important thing is that we want people to do something active in their free time.”
He added: “I don’t have harbour ambitions to be a world record holder, I race and train because Tri Dubai has a fantastic community in getting everyone together.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’ve not swam, cycled or ran a long distance before, we are all in it together.”
A number of triathlon events are arranged throughout the year most notably next month’s Dubai International Triathlon to give members the exposure of competing in national competitions. But this hasn’t stopped members competing in events outside the UAE.
“We have a number of people who travel overseas,” said Venn. “There is a big triathlon in Bahrain coming up in December and there are 50 people already signed up which is great. I wouldn’t be surprised if 100 people of our members compete on that day.”
It’s because of that reason why Tri Dubai is a widely-recognised club around the world and even among professionals.
“Chris McCormack regularly races in the UAE and he is amazed by Tri Dubai. Everytime he comes to Dubai, he speaks incredibly of how good the club is and says there’s no club like this.”
While it is the start of the season, Venn insist it’s never to late to join.
“People get this impression that ‘it’s not for me and I’m not good enough’. Tri Dubai is all inclusive and whatever your age or background is, everyone is welcome.”
What: Tri Dubai
When & where: Various swim, cycle and run sessions throughout the week.
Contact & info: Visit www. tridubai.org. To sign up as a member to find latest news and training sessions, search ‘Tri Dubai’ on Facebook. Members wishing to attend sessions are advised to check the group as times and locations could change.