British Triathlon CEO Andy Salmon wants a historic new event in Wales to take paratriathlon to new heights nationally and globally.
It is just 100 days until Swansea plays host to what will be the UK’s first standalone World Triathlon Para Series event, with the world’s biggest stars set to compete at Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea.
Salmon believes it is something that will do great things for raising the profile of paratriathlon and bring more people into the sport.
“I’m really excited about this, both professionally and on a personal level. It’s been a real ambition for me and the organisation to have a standalone World Triathlon Para Series race in Britain,” he said.
“We’re able to bring this event to Swansea for each of the next three years and I really hope to put on a show that takes paratriathlon to the next level and really demonstrates not just what a fantastic sport it is, but what a great level of elite paratriathletes the world has got”
“I think there’s something to inspire everybody around the whole event, whether you’re coming to watch elite parasport, volunteer or thinking of trying the sport for yourself.”
Though there is focus on what impact the event can have on Swansea and across Britain, Salmon believes the event can transcend that and help raise the sport’s profile across the globe.
“Legacy is an often-used word. I think there’s a local, national and global legacy really,” he said.
“Our partners at Welsh Triathlon are working very hard to make sure there’s a legacy at a local level around Swansea, working with schools in the area to grow awareness and grow participation.
“Nationally, what we’re able to do on the morning of the elite racing, is have the stars of the future and identify, encourage and nurture talent.
“On a global level, triathlon is part of the Paralympic Games but we need to see more countries, more triathlon federations around the world taking paratriathlon really seriously.
“By putting on events like this, we can demonstrate the power of paratriathlon and hopefully incentivise those countries to get involved, which will really solidify the position of triathlon at the Paralympic Games – which is what we all want to see.”
To mark 100 days to go to Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea, Welsh Triathlon have hosted a swim, bike, run session involving three local schools, with the governing body for Wales looking to engage with schools in the area to grow participation in the sport.
Tracey McNulty, Head of Cultural Services for Swansea Council, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Welsh Government, British Triathlon, Welsh Triathlon and UK Sport to be the first city to host Britain’s first-ever standalone World Triathlon Para Series event in Swansea on Saturday 6 August 2022.
“This event provides a platform to promote sporting opportunities for people with disabilities and complements and supports the work being undertaken by the council’s Sport and Health team.
“With just 100 days to go until the event, we know that both residents and visitors are looking forward to watching and cheering on the athletes as they compete in the event as part of their journey to Paris 2024.
“We are certainly looking forward to welcoming the world’s best paratriathletes as well as their friends, family and supporters to Swansea.
“Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea is just one of the high-profile events taking place that week alongside the Para Sport Festival from 1 – 5 August and IRONMAN 70.3 on Sunday 7 August. Along with our annual Admiral Swansea Bay 10, Swansea Half Marathon and other regular races, it’s going to be a great summer of sport for Swansea.”