In the first of a series of articles profiling clubs and organisations in our area, I speak to Richie Smith of Richmond Triathlon Club. If you want your club to be featured email matt.westcott@nne.co.uk

The Northern Echo:

Matt: Why and when was the club formed?

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Richie: Richmond Triathlon Club was formed in 2015 to serve the needs of local children wanting to participate in multi-sport. It was originally formed alongside an adult section but grew so quickly and successfully that it is now its own stand alone club.

Matt: When do you meet and where at?

Richie: We meet most days to partake in some form of exercise. Our cycling sessions run on a Tuesday in the late spring where we actively send members to race in the TLI series at Croft racing circuit. We are competitive there with some members winning weekly and others simply riding to keep fit.

We run fully coached indoor turbo sessions on a Wednesday for people of all abilities. These are usually structured and focus on technique as well as aerobic capacity. It's incredible to see people's leg strength imbalance when you get them to cycle using just one leg!

On a Thursday we partner up with Richmond Cycling Club and many of our older members partake in their ten-mile weekly time trial. Last year, we produced an overall series winner through their handicap system.

On a Saturday we deliver coached cycling sessions at various venues around the North-East for ages eight to 21. These vary from technical sessions on correct gearing, how to corner properly and also how to ride safely in a group.

Sundays our members take off on group rides.

They meet in Richmond and go off for a couple of hours in groups of similar abilities. These rides very often include a cake and drink stop - essential to any cyclist!

Matt: What type of people does your club appeal to?

Richie: We are open to anyone aged eight through to 21, but our long term goal is to increase our age range and so in turn our membership capabilities. We have some very experienced cyclists through to younger members who haven't ridden too much.

Matt: What are the aims of the club?

Richie: To promote sports, physical exercise and well being through cycling, swimming and running too. We endeavour to create a fun friendly, caring atmosphere for all regardless of ability. We delight in seeing people enjoy cycling and take great pleasure in seeing them do the same. Our sessions are professionally run with a definite emphasis on safety for all.

Matt: Tell me something about the club that people might not know?

Richie: For the first time ever we have two riders racing in the national ten-mile TT championships trying to win the title of National Champion. Watch this space for results of one of our flying 12-year-olds.

Matt: How can people get in touch?

Richie: We can be contacted through our Facebook page, Richmond Triathlon Club or through our website www.richmondtriathlonclub.co.uk or via email juniors@richmondtriathlonclub.co.uk