A town triathlon club is looking for more great success in 2016 after enjoying arguably the best year in its history.
Hartlepool Triathletes has seen its membership grow to more than 65, a record amount since it was founded in 1990.
The number has doubled within 12 months, and with winter training in full flow, the club is hoping to attract even more new members.
The three-event sport – which combines running, swimming and cycling – has grown in popularity over recent years after the emergence of the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan.
However, Lesley Watson, a coach and committee member at Hartlepool Triathletes, insists you don’t have to be an elite athlete to sign up.
Instead, the club has also proved attractive for those looking to get fit.
The team spirit we have is tremendous, and joining the club is a great way to meet new friends and get fitLesley Watson
She said: “We have had an excellent season in 2015, and this is now an important time for new members to join. People tend to be a little bit scared of triathlon, and think that they can’t tackle three sports at once.
“They probably go to the gym and use the treadmill and bike machine, though, and don’t realise they already do it in a way.
“We’re not all a bunch of elite athletes. One of the members is in her 70s, and people of all ages and fitness levels are with us. The team spirit that we have is tremendous, and joining the club is a great way to meet new friends and get fit.”
Members of the club competed in a number of events across the country this year, while several won medals.
The coaches also practice what they preach. Matt Turnbull will represent Great Britain in the European Duathlon Championships in April, and Gary Wilson also competing for the country.
Prospective members have been invited to attend swimming at Billingham Forum, on Queensway, Stockton-on-Tees, on Sunday evenings from 6.50pm.
The first session is free. To join, attend one of the Sunday sessions or visit www.hartlepooltriathletes.co.uk.
Membership costs between £15 and £25 for a year.