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Simone Roach – Women in Triathlon

Simone Roach – Women in Triathlon

Date: 08 Mar 2022
Posted: 2 years ago

International Womens Day 2022 is all about celebrating the achievements of women, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. It aims to help create a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. To celebrate, we asked some inspiring women in our Triathlon WA community to share why they love the sport, some of their greatest achievements and advice for women who are new to our sport.

Our next profile is Simone Roach; triathlon coach, Perth Hills Tri Club president, technical official and triathlete.

How did you get involved in Triathlon and what is your role now?
I was a long distance runner who was moving in to ultramarathon running. As the training distances got longer, I started getting a number of running related injuries which needed rest and rehabilitation. My long suffering physio told me I could swim and ride to keep fit while I rehabbed and it would also be a good idea to cross train to lower future injury risk. An idea was born! Swim, bike, run!

After a few short races, I joined a tri club in Newcastle, but after coming to WA, I struggled to find a good fit and spent a number of years training alone. I eventually came across Perth Hills Tri Club and it was a match made in heaven. I am now the President of the Club, a Technical Official and will soon be a Foundation Level Coach

What do you enjoy most about Triathlon?
I enjoy the inherent challenge in it. Not so much the physical challenge (though that can exist also), but the organisational challenge. The need to make a lot of little things come together in the right places at the right times for a really good performance.

I also really enjoy the sense of community. Triathlon is a fringe sport and I think because of that, those who are in it really support each other. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are. How old or young. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned champion, there is always someone ready to share their experience and advice to help you improve.

What is your greatest achievement in Triathlon, what are you most proud of?
Completing my first Ironman after being told I’d probably never run again due to a back injury was perhaps my biggest achievement.

What is your advice for any women who are wanting to start participating in Triathlon?
There’s a perception triathlon is a difficult sport. Many people think it is beyond their abilities. It’s really not. You’ve just got to start wherever you are. It doesn’t matter how far or fast you go. Just start. Once you do, you’ll find it’s not as hard as you might have thought it would be and it is way more fun than you could have imagined.

Joining a like-minded Club is also really beneficial (I can recommend Perth Hills Tri Club)! Clubs provide so many benefits from cheap or free training sessions, support and encouragement on race day, cool kit (ours is especially cool), and accountability to keep you on track when motivation is lacking to name just a few. Many clubs (ours included) offer novice programs too which provide a comfortable introduction to the sport and club life which can sometimes seem a bit overwhelming when looking in from the outside

What are some of the benefits you have seen for female athletes and technical officials in our sport?
Often after having kids, women feel they have lost a bit of their identity. Some women come to triathlon to be challenged in a way they thought they were never capable. Within our club I love welcoming these women and seeing their growth. Frequently they start feeling unsure of being able to complete even the shortest of races and within a very short period of time, their self-confidence has grown and they have proven to themselves they are far more capable than they thought possible.

Anything else you’d like to talk about or share for International Womens Day?
While there are more male participants in races than female, in triathlon there are significantly more women in leadership positions than men. As TO’s, coaches, Club Presidents and committee members, state governing body Executives. In Triathlon, women are shaping the future of the sport. I am proud to be one of those women.