After the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are the two biggest international games. That little Bermuda will have four triathlon representatives on the start line this Thursday 5th April at the 2018 Commonwealth Games is testament not only to the hard work and talent of Flora Duffy, Tyler Butterfield, Tyler Smith and Erica Hawley. It is also testament to the hard work of many individuals and the support of many sponsors since triathlon’s early beginnings in Bermuda in the late 1970’s.
It is fitting therefore that Steve Petty, one of the founders of the Bermuda Triathlon Association, is in Australia this week as Bermuda’s triathlon team manager. Steve has a passion for triathlon that is infectious and he will no doubt be filled with pride and emotion as he represents not only Bermuda’s triathletes but also all of those who have provided the opportunities and pathways and encouragement to so many young Bermudian triathletes over the years.
It is always hard to acknowledge individuals without leaving someone out, but special mention should be made of the people who have worked in Bermuda’s junior development programme, notably Neil de ste Croix who started the junior programme with me and Jeremy Ball in the early 1990’s, and also Chris Harkness, Nigel Godfrey and Ian Pilgrim who have made particularily significant contributions to that programme. Mention must also be made of Tony Ryan and Greg Hopkins who along with Steve Petty put on the first junior triathlon , now the Clarien Ironkids Triathlon, in Bermuda in the late 1980’s.
There can also be no doubt that Patty Petty has been a key figure as Bermuda’s representative over many years with the International Triathlon Union and has given our four Bermuda triathletes and Bermuda triathlon so much important support with the ITU and with representation at major events over the years.
It is also important to acknowledge the support that each of our four triathletes’ families have provided to allow their children to fulfill their dreams. I have seen first hand just how important that family support has been and Charlie and Maria Duffy, Karen and Aaron Smith, Adam and Julia Hawley and ofcourse Jim and Debbie Butterfield have undoubtedly been a big part of our triathletes success story.
Finally we should not forget the contribution of sponsors and in particular Tokio Millenium Re (Duffy and Butterfield ) and Digicel ( Smith and Hawley).
So to all of those who have put in so much work at both a junior and senior level to make triathlon the success story that it is in Bermuda….. a big thank you. Your hard work has not only helped to produce world class triathletes but also affected in such a positive way so many young and older triathletes in Bermuda.