I attended the 25th ITU Congress and 2012 ITU Triathlon World Championship Grand Final in Auckland last 18 – 23 October. It was inspiring to see over 3000 Age Groupers, Elites and Paratriathletes perform their best, racing the tough and challenging, but so beautiful and friendly Auckland harbor and city. I’m happy to report that Team Hong Kong: Elites and Age Groupers, performed well and safely returned home.
I am very pleased to announce that our ITU President, Ms. Marisol Casado, has been re-elected to another four-year term. We enjoin all ITU National Federations around the world, and the Asian Triathlon Congress (ASTC), in congratulating Marisol, and rally around her, to give our full support to her mission of promoting and developing our beloved sport in the global arena as we march united towards the Rio Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.
I also wish to share with you, many ideas and initiatives that I have observed at the Auckland Congress. You might be interested to know that the ITU is introducing electronic voting, using Wi-Fi touchscreen pads. This is an innovation that we have been trying to introduce to our own elections. Other fair and best practices in balloting include measures to encourage fair and level balloting process, i.e. a ballot must contain full votes for all the open positions, not one less nor one more, otherwise the incomplete ballot is considered an abstention and over voted ballot as null and void. TriHK Excom has endorsed this policy at its Excom meeting of 31 Oct 2012, for implementation in our local elections. We wish all our members to focus on nominating and voting fully for all the best talents to lead and serve our Association.
On the sidelines of the 25th Congress, former National Squad (NS) Coach Ruth Hunt and I attended the Paratriathlon Workshop. We learned a lot about paratriathlon: classifications, equipment, transitions and handling techniques, accessibility, and customized coaching for the needs of paratriathletes. You may be aware that our Excom had endorsed the creation of the Paratriathlon Committee last August, and the composition of its members was formalized last 31 October. They are: Ajmal Samuel - Chairman, Ruth Hunt and yours truly. Ruth Hunt has also kindly agreed to take the lead in paratriathlon coaching. We will be holding our first official meeting shortly and welcome all interested members who wish to work for paratriathlon to join us. One goal we have identified is to send at least one male and one female paratriathlete to the World Championship Grand Finals and Rio 2016.
I’m pleased to report that our new Head Triathlon Coach Patrick Kelly and Coach Neil Harvey have been on board since September, ably leading the training and coaching of our Elites and inspiring them to their best at international competitions, most recently in Auckland. With your support to our coaches, Elites and programs, we are confident that Hong Kong can lead as the World’s City of Triathlon Champions.
With a great coaching team on board, we need to find more talents for our coaches to train into champions. To identify and recruit more talents to strengthen the depth and breadth of our Elites program, we will be launching a national talent search campaign to identify and recruit promising triathletes from other disciplines. You might know of many friends in other single sports, i.e.; very good at swimming, running, cycling or rowing etc., who may have the potential to become champions by crossing over to multi sports like triathlon. Please encourage them to give Triathlon a try! Everyone has the universal right to be a champion and must be given the chance to achieve his or her dream to become one; no one should ever be denied that opportunity. We hope to give everyone, who is talented and passionate about sports: males; females; athletes; and para-atheletes; the chance to become world champions by trying out for the Triathlon and Paratriathlon National Squad.
On matters of TriHK’s events, Excom has endorsed the creation of a Safety Commission to review the past year’s races and incidents and to recommend any and all necessary improvements to ensure athletes’ safety and welfare in all future races. We would also like to establish a meaningful tribute to our fallen triathletes, and we seek your advice and ideas on how best to memorialize them and assist their families and loved ones. Please keep our fallen comrades in your daily thoughts and prayers.
The beauty of Triathlon is that we are an inclusive sport and family. Where can you find a sport where high performance Elites, everyday Age Groupers, like you and me, and Paratriathletes are competing in the same title event? ITU’s abiding goal is to keep expanding and promoting the sport across all abilities and genders, both in race competitions as well as in the leadership positions of all federations. TriHK will be a leader in Hong Kong sports for this worthy goal. Let’s get involved and get more people, more females and more para-atheletes, involved in triathlon and in serving our Association.
Finally, as we approach the nomination period for election of Excom officers, I wish to encourage you to do your share and contribute your time and effort to our Association. The ITU and International Olympic Committee want to see more women serve in leadership positions of national federations. We are in need of people with expertise in law, and also those with sponsorship sales experience to help us.
We have much work to accomplish for Triathlon Hong Kong in the days ahead, yet time is short and financial resources are limited. I will continue to work for triathlon and for you, regardless of holding any office in the Association. In brief: I will be focusing on fund-raising, and corporate sponsorships sales and marketing; strengthening the branding strategy of TriHK as an important value-added component to corporate partnerships; and building the paratriathlon and multi-sport committees. There is also the very important and continuing work in progress of the Constitution Committee, in revising and updating the Memorandum and Articles of Association. I would be keen to hear from anyone of you with expert knowledge in this field that is interested to serve on the Constitution Committee, as well as on the Executive Committee.
TriHK and I look forward to your continuing support and burning passion for our sport. See you at training, and keep “Tri- ing”…. Harder!
Abrazos – Triathletes in Arms
擁抱 - 戰友,