It’s not every day that the relatively niche sport of triathlon gets compared favourably to football, and have a prominent mention in a national newspaper’s column about the nation’s favourite sport. But these are strange times, and thanks to sports writer Sean Ingle’s recent article for The Guardian, triathlon is being held in high esteem thanks to recent measures taken by the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO).
Ingle challenges the morals of the decision many Premiership clubs have taken to furlough their backstage staff, rather than asking their stars to take a pay cut to weather the storm. This is a decision that has earned the clubs much criticism, with even health minister Matt Hancock stepping in with his opinion.
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In his column, Ingle says that football would do well to learn from triathlon and the help and support the PTO are showing their athletes: “Three weeks ago the Professional Triathletes Organisation announced it would increase its annual end-of-year bonus scheme from $2m to $2.5m, and immediately paid it out rather than wait until December.
“Realising that triathletes lower down the food chain would need extra help, it gave the extra $500,000 in bonuses just to men and women ranked between 21 and 100 in the world. The world’s top 10 have also committed to doing online appearances and exhibitions and donating all the revenue to lower-ranked triathletes.”
Ingle also cited Sport England, who last week announced a £192m package to help grassroots sport, “including a £20m emergency fund with grants of between £300 and £10,000 for sports clubs and community organisations, those vital but unappreciated capillaries in our society. That comes down to smart leadership. And it matters more than ever.”