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Sydney South West Triathlon Club starts with a Band of Brothers

 

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Sydney South West Triathlon Club starts with a Band of Brothers.

The story starts with a young man, Ahmed Egiz, who took matters into his own hands during a time when the entire world was turned upside down.

Feeling out of control, unfit and eager for some mental and physical ‘outdoors’ time, he got a pair of shoes and started running. It didn’t take long for Ahmed to realise that he actually quite enjoyed running and over time, distances were increasing. Seeking a goal event, the seed of an idea was planted that he might consider the Sydney Marathon in 2021.

As we have all experienced, this and lots of other events were cancelled. Around this time, Ahmed started to develop some niggles due to the significant volume of running he was doing. The answer, of course, was cross training. Add a swim session in each week, a cycle session or two and voila - a triathlete was born.

As we emerged from COVID lockdowns, it was the Maitland Triathlon, presented by H Events, that was the next event on the calendar. Ahmed had the date and time circled in his calendar. Completing the Standard Distance was his first challenge and instantly he was hooked. He’d caught the bug, but thankfully not COVID-19. No, it was the triathlon bug and he was desperate for his next challenge.

The journey continued and the reality that he could actually complete a Half IM started to weigh on his mind. Thus, a training block leading to Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney in September 2022 occurred.

Another box ticked, another finish line crossed, another success.

But it was across these events and during this period that he started to feel that there was not enough representation from people of his background, and from all backgrounds. He looked around the start line and he felt that he didn’t see enough multicultural representation. This was the spark that led to Ahmed wanting to start a triathlon club for the community in which he lives.

When asked why the sport was important to him, he couldn’t contain his excitement.

“The lifestyle..being committed..feeling that anything is possible. Triathlon has completely changed my life. It has given me a completely new mindset; I can face any challenge head on and now I feel like I can win. And it’s just so much fun, so healthy and so good. I knew I had to share this with my mates and my community.”

The group environment that Ahmed wanted to and has started to create was also a driving force.

“It [the training] was so boring and lonely by myself! Sessions were dull!! I lacked motivation and camaraderie and that also motivated me to want to create the new club.”

Ahmed’s efforts have clearly been an inspiration to those around him.

“On the day I crossed the finish line of the 70.3, I felt like my friends began to realise how big the accomplishment was for me, personally, by going from the couch to the finish line. Messages were flowing in: ‘we want to do one’, ‘next time we need to do it together’ and most inspiring, ‘wow, you’ve made me believe that I could actually do one too’.”

His friends came and asked him what was next. The answer: setting up a new club to train for the Big Husky Triathlon Festival.

Supported by Chris Cunningham, TNSW Operations Manager, they have formed the inaugural committee of a brand new club, the ‘Sydney South West Golden Eagles’. It has started small but, Ahmed has big plans for its future.

For the past 10 weeks, club members have been swimming, cycling and running to prepare for their goal event, the Sprint Distance Triathlon at Husky.

The founding club members really wanted to ensure that their message was communicated to their community and inspire others to venture beyond their comfort zones and consider joining.

For this reason, they’ve linked up with a very worth cause, to raise much needed money for a local charity.  To date, they’ve raised around $2,000 for their charity of choice, ‘Brothers In Need. Brothers in Need is a young Non-Government Organisation, with the mission to assist those who are experiencing poverty and homelessness with care, dignity and respect. 

 

Triathlon NSW will follow this ‘Band of Brothers’ as they complete their journey on race day, and get their thoughts before and after the race.

In the inaugural year, the club wants to become the focal point in the community for anyone who is interested in triathlon, and grow and see more and more individuals from all walks of life to compete, get healthy and achieve their goals.

As a club, the addition of a female arm of equally enthusiastic and likeminded ladies is the goal, remaining aligned to their cultural background but linked by their shared love of triathlon and the lifestyle it provides.

 Some members of the Band of Brothers will aim to step up and do their first Half IM later this year, and Ahmed is hopeful that we may even see a few of the ‘Brothers’ at the Triathlon NSW Club Champs at Forster in May!

Whatever happens in the future, Triathlon NSW is confident that this club will change lives and bring a community together for the greater good.

To find out more about the Sydney South West Triathlon Club, you can send them an email or LIKE their Facebook page.

E-mail: sswtriclub@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100089587462420

 

 

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