An old idea has been given a new, triathlon flavoured twist by the ever growing ‘Celtic Tri’ club, in Swansea.
For its fifth anniversary, the club of around 130-members will be releasing a naughty but nice, nude calendar.
The 2011 calendar will be unveiled in September 2010, in time for the annual Neath Valley Triathlon race, which takes place on September 12th this year.
A post-event gathering saw the dawning of the idea. Welfare officer Karen Warren wondered if the Celtic Tri club symbol could be formed into a bikini shaped contraption, for the women of the club.
This idea gave rise to a further light bulb moment, and the calendar was born. Local rugby clubs have got their kit off to raise funds, as did the Women’s Institute in their famous undressed calendar – so why not triathletes?
Each month will have a different sponsor, whose products will be used to preserve the modesty of the nude swimmers, bikers and runners.
Triathete’s World is honoured to be the official sponsor for June. The picture features three women, just back from their run, and chilling out with a copy of TW as they relax on a canopy swing.
The birthday suit runners are Lisa Kethro, 41, Sarah Waite, 31, Julie Noble, 45. “I felt nervous before the shoot, and kept thinking of ways to get out of it”, Sarah told us, “but it was such a good laugh, and actually, we all felt really liberated afterwards.”
Local triathlon stores will also be given a stack of the yearly planners to sell. It doesn’t stop there though. Karen told us all about the plans for the calendar.
“We have a contact with a supplier for calendar stores over the country, so hopefully we can stock some nationally. We hope to sell around 500-calendars, at about £7.50 each”.
The calendar isn’t just about raising money, to keep up and improve the great service the club is already able to provide.
“We wanted to show that triathlon doesn’t have to be all hard work and competition. It is a fun sport, that anyone can have a go out, and we really wanted people to see that.”
The calendar features forty-five male and female members, ranging from their twenties to their sixties. Club support for the calendar was resounding. “Obviously, not everyone was comfortable to be photographed, but nearly half the club were happy to get their kit off to pose.”
“Like in the film ‘Calendar Girls’, we had a male photographer, but I was present for every shoot to make sure everyone was happy and the pictures were modest”. Sarah gave us the inside view, saying “the photographer and Karen were really professional and supportive. They really put us at ease.”
Some are competitive triathletes, whilst others are new to the sport, or even preparing for their first race. The Neath Valley 2010 race that the club put on annually will be a first for some of the models. “It’s a sprint distance. Some people really race it, but some use it as their first triathlon, to get them used to the whole idea of competing”.
Celtic Tri is a club known for giving back to the community. “There are a lot of impoverished areas locally to us, so we provide leisure and entertainment in the community.”
“When the club first started, most of the members were men. A lot of women are more body conscious, and don’t think they can take part in triathlon. This is changing, gradually, but we are still trying to encourage more women to join the club.”
“We want to encourage more novices to test the waters. Loads of people see triathlon as a really expensive hobby. Of course it can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It is an event that’s great for children, too. All they need is a pair of goggles, a bike, which most already have, and a pair of trainers.”
“Triathlon has often been seen as a sport for fit, skinny, or muscular people. Our calendar shows that it’s for all people, young and old, whatever their size or age”.
Celtic Tri are always keen to encourage people to embark on a triathlon adventure. With novice running sessions, and a beginner’s lane in their swim club, they do what they can to accommodate for everyone.
Hopefully, the money raised by the calendar will allow them to organise more for their members. “We put on the annual triathlon, as well as a winter duathlon series. We’d really like to add some aquathlons too.”
“The money we raise from the calendar will be ring-fenced, so we can make sure it doesn’t just dribble away. As we have sponsors for the production, all the profit will go straight back into the club, and as a result, back into the community.”
“We’d like to start proper open water swimming sessions for the juniors at a local lake. Open water swimming is something juniors don’t get much of an opportunity to take part in. Sessions will be properly monitored, with recovery boats, so that they can practice safely”.
Though, currently, the calendar promises to be a one-off production, the club aren’t stopping there. “The next idea in the pipeline is a fitness DVD. We want to show our members, giving information on stretches and nutrition, as well as workouts.”
With a calendar almost under their (tri) belt, and a DVD in the pipeline, it seems Celtic Tri are well on their way to success. An ever growing and evolving club, it has already done great things for its members, and the community. We don’t believe for a second this is the last we’ll hear of them.