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F&HDC Ward Grant Funding and the Folkestone Channel Triathlon 2021

Each year, Folkestone and Hythe District Councillors get £3,000 of grant funding that they can use to support organisations, activities and projects that benefit the area.

One of the events that I backed with grant funding this year was the Folkestone Channel Triathlon, which went ahead in September.

We've had a report from Co-ordinator Joe Sullivan on the 2021 Triathlon and how it went, which I publish below with his permission.

You can learn more about the F&HDC Ward grant scheme and how to apply to your ward Councillor at:

https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/community/community-funding/ward-budget

Please note however that funds get allocated very fast: both Gary and I have already allocated a fair amount of funding to a variety of applicants.

FOLKESTONE CHANNEL TRIATHLON 2021

"#trilife took us to Folkstone this weekend for the @channel_triathlon and what a fantastic event it was!! We had to conquer a choppy sea swim, undulating bike course with stunning views and a rolling run through the coastal park and along Folkestone's promenade! I love a sea swim 🧜🏻️ and a bit of variety on the bike, so this course was just perfect 💙

This report is written as a thank you for your support of the Channel Triathlon and Channel Rotary. We apologise that it is not personalised but we owe thanks to so many.

The Channel Tri 2021 was another fantastic event. It is amazingly rewarding to be able to host the event which has so many benefits for individuals and for our community. The fact that this report goes to some twenty different organisations which help us run the triathlon, demonstrates the network of support which has built up behind it and while essential for its success is now there to support our community in other ways.

200 athletes booked for the 2021 event.

The Channel Tri promotes our District:

We received many comments such as this.

"Beautiful morning down at Folkstone today with @whitfit_kate. Watched the sea come in as we got ready. After a choppy sea swim, 800m run to T1, out on the bike for a hilly 20k ride before coming back down to sea level for a gentle undulating 5k run home. Challenging route 🏊🚴🏃🏼♀️"

Promoting health and fitness:

In conjunction with British Triathlon we introduces a short introductory triathlon called GO Tri this year. 60 people booked and although some did not turn up on the day, those who did had an exhilarating experience which hopefully will have reenforced their enthusiasm for sport and fitness.

A typical comment about the GO TRI:

"Yay!! I did it!! Completed the GoTri @channel_triathlon this morning and ended up having the most amazing time! Met lots of super friendly people who were equally as terrified of swimming in the choppy sea as I was at 7.30am. It may have been the dinkiest of Tri distances but it was my first in open water. Feeling proud and suitably stuffed with too many celebratory cakes!!🧁 🍰"

Helping local charities:

2021 Channel Tri raised £12k for local charities.

We have already allocated funds to:

  • Shepway Sports Trust for their work with MIND improving mental health through sport.

  • A donation to MIND Southeast for its work in our community

  • Folkestone Rescue

  • Folkestone Rowing Club

  • This year Channel Rotary has a focus on supporting local schools with the welfare challenges caused by Covid.

  • The entire income from the Tri is already allocated.

Thanks to our sponsors.

A triathlon is an expensive and complex event to stage.

We are lucky to have had financial support from Folkestone Town Council, KCC through Cllr Love and Folkestone & Hythe District Council through Cllr Tim Prater. But of equal importance is the support we received, in preparing the bike route for example, from KCC Highways and the support of the Local Councils.

The financial support and support in kind from The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, FAS Financial services, Saga, Jenner, Walker Construction, Church&Dwight , Romney Cycles, Dave Froude Ceramics, the Harbour Company and its workforce, are essential to the success of the event.

The event would not be possible without the essential support for the safety of the swim element of the Tri from Folkestone Rescue and Folkestone Rowing Club - two safety boats and nine kayaks on the sea this year. We are pleased to be able to support them in return.

  • The support of the Shepway Sports Trust and its links to 43 local sports clubs is fantastic and we are delighted to be able to support the Trust in return.
  • We are also most grateful for the support of all our local large employers who promote the event for us. Our thanks also to Matt Morsia - MattDoesFitness - who started the Tri this year.
  • John Setford gave two days to bringing and installing the transition equipment; one of the weekends great challenges.
  • Steve James of Romney Cycles makes the difference between athletes being able to compete or not.
  • Nick Jordan - NE Timing - turns a job for the day into a year's support which is invaluable.
  • Mark Downes with a van provided by Saga lightens our workload amazingly.

Working in the community:

The value of this quiet network which has built up around the triathlon was demonstrated earlier this year when Rotary was asked to help with the vaccination programme in Folkestone. A request for support brought over a hundred volunteers within hours, building to an army of some 700 volunteers who have so far given over 18,000 hours of volunteer support to the two centres in the town. Now in turn many of those volunteers have returned to assist Channel Rotary in marshalling the triathlon.

We are very grateful to everyone for your support which is so willingly given. Together we achieve a lot. Thank you all.