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Launch of Team ActivInstinct - UK's first tri pro development team
The UK’s next wave of pro-triathletes get ‘Activ’ and show their medal winning Instincts Pure Sports, Pure Performance, Pure Potential – The Launch of Team ActivInstinct

Team ActivInstinct (www.teamactivinstinct.com) has been launched in the executive box of the Sports Café in London, marking a new step in the growth of the UK triathlon scene, already one of the UK’s fastest growing sports.

Positioned as the United Kingdom’s first professional tri development team, the team aims to help nurture talented athletes wanting to make the leap from amateur to professional, whether they are talented juniors just below the funded Olympic prospects or age groupers that have come to the sport late but have the promise to be top UK and international professionals. The team will help to develop both Olympic distance, and also non Olympic talent – aiming for success in duathlon, Ironman and 70.3 events.

The team acknowledges the fantastic job being done by the British Triathlon Federation at developing talent but feels that, like all other sports bodies, they can’t do everything and nor should they be expected to. It was felt that an alternative model was required. The model adopted, the team acknowledges, should not be the only model that comes to fruition, as more routes to a professional career are made available to UK athletes, the greater success can be achieved on the international stage.

The team aims to develop 'drug free' British and eventually European talent and as part of being open and transparent, the team will operate and publicise drug test policy and results which will be published later this month on the website after all the details are finalised. They are currently taking advice from the BTF and EIS as to the best format. Athletes competing at an international level are already abiding by the required systems and have been tested this year in competition.

The team hopes that success in year one will look like all the athletes within the team will qualify either for ITU World or European championships, Ironman or 70.3 World Championships or achieve a national championship medal. Something that 3 of the 7 athletes have already achieved with Vicky Graves winning the European Junior Duathlon Championships on the weekend in Budapest, Dann Brook taking 3rd at the national elite Olympic Distance championships and Alex Brook qualifying for the Ironman World Championships.

The team hopes to achieve at least 30 podiums at events across the year. Something that as individuals the current indication is that this will be easily done. In future years success will be benchmarked at higher levels for those athletes who develop to higher platforms and with that we will hopefully see greater levels of funding.

The team has been able to launch in the current climate thanks to generous support of their sponsors. Lead sponsor of the team is ActivInstinct. Their CEO, Mike Thornhill, comments, “We are one of the biggest independent sports retailers in the UK focusing purely on performance sports equipment and clothing. We are passionate about sport and helping people to develop their potential and that is why we took the opportunity to get involved with this team of exceptional individuals and their development.”

The team is also fortunate enough to be supported by some of Europe’s and the World’s leading sport and triathlon brands including:

  • Sailfish are one of the biggest and fastest growing wetsuit brands in Europe and the choice of many top athletes including current ITU world champion Javier Gomez and are providing wetsuits and swim skins to the athletes.
  • Saucony are providing the team with performance shoes and it is great that such a big brand has seen the potential of the team and jumped at the opportunity to come on board.
  • Gatorade and Powerbar are respectively the world’s number one brands in sports hydration and sports nutrition and will be ensuring that the athletes are catered for in training and on race day.
  • Aqua Sphere are the world leaders in aquatic vision and will be providing the team with aquatic eyewear.
  • Imp Sport are leaders in custom sports clothing printing design and have made all the team’s custom branded apparel.

Making up the team in 2009 are some of the UK’s top prospects who have either achieved or are in the process of achieving phenomenal success this year.

  • Dann Brook - 3rd 2009 British Elite Olympic Distance Championships, Winner Lisbon Triathlon
  • Alex Brooks - 2009 Ironman World Championships Qualifier
  • Philip Graves - Winner of 3 Rounds of Rudy Project Time Trial Series and several triathlons in 2009 including his first 70.3 distance event in 3:57:15
  • Victoria Graves – 2009 European Junior Duathlon Champion
  • Dion Harrison - 2008 220 Triathlon Magazine Age Group Triathlete of the year, 2008 ICAP Square Mile
  • Sports Awards City Sportsperson of the year, 2008 British Triathlons Age Group Athlete of the Year
  • Lois Rosindale - 2009 British University Triathlon Champion
  • Steve Worthington - 2009 British University Biathlon Champion