Predator Triathlon Club opens new ‘lair’ as membership is still growing

Swimmers taking part in last August's Loughrea Triathlon Festival, organised by the Predator Triathlon Club.
Swimmers taking part in last August's Loughrea Triathlon Festival, organised by the Predator Triathlon Club.

Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon

‘Predator’ has just opened its ‘Lair’ and this Monday evening they hope to entice a few unsuspecting victims to it. Sounds sinister, doesn’t it? However, nothing could be further from the truth. For this Monday, between 7:30pm and 9pm on the Brothers of Charity grounds at Kilcornan, Predator Triathlon Club will hold an open evening in their newly refurbished clubhouse, which they have creatively called ‘The Lair’. With connotations of the ‘Bat Cave’, it piques a certain curiosity.

It is a curiosity Club Chairperson Ian McGrath is happy to satisfy. “I suppose, the name came from one of the members – ‘lair’ being a den for a predator or an animal. The clubhouse, itself, came about following talks we had with the Brothers of Charity, which took place over a number of years.

“We talked with them about taking one of the buildings in Kilcornan because we do a lot of training there. We train in the woods on Kilcornan grounds on a Saturday – we do our cycling and running there – and, then, we use the swimming pool in Kilcornan as well to coach swimming. So, we use the facilities on the grounds a lot.”

As a centre of operations for a club which caters for the surrounding areas of Clarinbridge, Oranmore, Craughwell, Athenry, Loughrea, Kinvara and Gort, it is an idyllic base, particularly, McGrath notes, for coaching the 88 children currently on the books at the club.

“The woods are fantastic in Kilcornan for training the kids on a Saturday. We bring them out in the woods, running and cycling, and it is a nice safe environment for the youngsters,” remarks the Dublin native, who notes each Autumn they welcome in a new intake of juniors.

“So, in October every year, we invite anybody who is interested in triathlon to come along and do a three-week trial. The trial is to see if they are interested in the club; it is not a trial as in are they good enough or anything like that. It is just getting to know the club and see if are they interested in doing triathlon and that sort of thing.”

Founded in 2006, the junior section has been an integral part of Predator Tri Club since its early days, although the club, of course, does boast a strong adult membership with just short of 100 seniors, men and women, affiliated.

Between all, it adds up to a membership of almost 200, which is well over double what it was when Talking Sport last called on the club in 2010. The statistic serves to underline the growing popularity of the club and the sport, which combines swimming, cycling and running.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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