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Event Strategy, 2015 and onwards

By Paul Groves | 11 Oct, 2014

During the last Executive Board meeting that was held in Madrid on the 20th -  21st of September the Board Members set out their Vision that, starting from 2015,  ETU should concentrate on building a Strategy on Races and this resulted in some important decisions. These decisions are the result of long discussions, as part of which the Executive Board asked the opinion of many interested stakeholders. Some decisions already affect the ETU Race Calendar in 2015; others will in 2016.

European Sprint Distance Championship

In 2016, there will be a Sprint Distance (SD) European Title for Elite. At present we are the only Continent without the SD Title and, in the qualification process, by not having this event, our European athletes have been penalised by not having the chance to win points (300 points for the SD Continental Champs). This decision was also taken based on the forecast of an increase in popularity of our sport over the next few years and this will also bring an increase in athletes specialising according to distance. Even if at present there are no immediate plans to include the SD in the Olympics, there might be interest in the future to justify a dedicated Circuit of SD Races. In 2016 the European SD Championships will be a standalone event; however from 2017 new packages of races will be offered on the Olympic Distance European Championships and SD European Championships weekends. The decision to start from 2016 and not next season is because all bids for our European Cups have already been received and it was difficult to find a proper place in the race calendar. Only one of the Sprint European Cup bidders was eligible as the other 2 events conflicted with other races. For 2016 a formal bid announcement will be made as it was this year.

Youth Festival and European Championships (16-17 years old)


In 2016 we will see our first Youth (16-17) European Championships (individual and mixed relay). The purpose is to have a race dedicated only for this age without limiting numbers: this will give the maximum number of young athletes a chance to compete and meet up once a year. The formula will be in the Semi-Final / Final format. The Mixed Relay European Youth Championships will be introduced in that event and will replace the existing formula for Youth (3M+3W). By having this format it is hoped that we can promote and develop more female participation. The NFs who may find it a challenge to have 2+2 athletes will have the opportunity to race in “Regional” teams (like in the Youth Olympics) without competing for the title. The idea behind this is to create a yearly Youth Festival that will give young athletes a chance to race together. Additionally all stakeholders with a special interest in Youth will be able to meet and discuss future plans. The venue selection will be very important as it should provide low cost accommodation for the young athletes and has to be easy to reach from all over Europe. The formal bid for 2016 will be made by January 2015 and the closure will be after the Presidents’ Conference. The Executive Board will take that opportunity to meet face to face with the NFs interested in hosting the Festival and to fully explain the concept.

Regional Races


There is a growing interest in the “Regional” circuits. Currently there are two well established circuits in the Balkan and the Baltic areas with a number of NFs playing a part. The Final of these Regional Circuits will earn ITU points on the one condition that they are open to all athletes. In 2014 these Finals provided points only for the ETU Ranking.

Races for Clubs


In 2015 the goal is to organise the “Number 0” Race for Clubs. ETU wishes to organise a Test Event to check the race format and to receive important feedback from the NFs and any interested Sponsors. Having made contact with a potential LOC it is satisfying to know that plans are going well. The first Edition will be by “invitation only” in order to evaluate the above. The race format will be the Mixed Relay. This should also increase female participation in Triathlon and it is in line with all our efforts to include the Mixed Relay in the Olympics.

Cross Duathlon


It has been decided, starting in 2015, to assign the European Title to the Cross Duathlon. It is not a strategic decision but rather an opportunistic one with the purpose to add incrementally to the number of races offered to all athletes interested in Multisport, Triathlon and Duathlon. ETU is confident that this choice will help the Multisport Discipline.

Baku

                                                                                                                                                                                
Everything now is running according to plan. A new and good venue (different from the one that was presented in Kitzbühel) has been found and the water characteristics are according to our standards. All further updates will be communicated and a full presentation will be made at the President’s conference.

European Sport Championship

The selected venue for the European Championships in 2018, according to the ESC agreement, will be Glasgow. There are many different aspects being developed at the moment, including a visit to Glasgow in the first week of November to have a complete check and the final decision will be made by the end of 2014.

Thanks for taking your time to read this

ETU Executive Board

Left to right - Ian Howard (GBR), Chris Kitchen (IRL), Nina Blakkisrud  (NOR), ETU President, Renato Bertrandi (ITA), ETU Secretary General, Kathleen Smet (BEL), ETU Treasurer, Alicia Garcia (ESP), ETU Vice President, Denis Jaeger (FRA), Krzysztof Piątkowski (POL). Eugène Kraus (LUX) was not present for the photo

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