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July 16, 2020

A Q&a With Leeds’ Event Director, Wayne Coyle

We spoke to the event director of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds about his time with the festival of triathlon.

What makes the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds special to you personally?

The partnership that comes together each year to deliver the event. We start with a very small team in July the year before an event, through to a delivery team of over 1,000 people on the event weekend. Working as one team with the collective aim of delivering fantastic experiences for all through the event is very special.

Being from Yorkshire yourself, what does this event mean to the local community?

Sport has always been really important to the people of Yorkshire and nothing excites them more than also seeing people from the area doing well. Even before the staging of the event, triathlon was becoming part of the DNA of Leeds.

With many of the British performance athletes being based in the city the only thing really missing was the opportunity to see these athletes on their ‘home’ patch. The World Triathlon Leeds provided that opportunity and as a result has been really positively supported by the Yorkshire public.

The event creates many lasting memories for the people attending, what’s your favourite memory from Leeds over the years?

Mine was the completion of the 2017 event. It was a new delivery team that had worked tirelessly to ensure the delivery of a great weekend of triathlon activity. It started with TriStar competitors at Roundhay Park early on Saturday morning and finished late Sunday afternoon with a one-two podium for Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in the elite men’s race.

World Triathlon Leeds isn’t just a celebration of triathlon, but a great showcase of teamwork. How has the organisation of this event brought out the best in people?

The event is quite a complex one to deliver and we pride ourselves on a ‘One Team’ approach. As part of this, we are blessed with a fantastic range of commercial and delivery partners. Our title partners over the years, Columbia Threadneedle (2016 and 2017), followed by AJ Bell (2018, 2019 and 2020) have been great partners to work with alongside our other main commercial partners.

Our multi-agency partners have also showed significant commitment to the event through the last five years, ensuring the safe delivery for all involved. These are backed up by a dedicated team of staff, contractors, volunteers and officials that collectively pride themselves on the continued development and delivery of the World Triathlon Leeds.

What makes World Triathlon Leeds stand out from other events you've worked on?

A number of things really. The size and complexity of the event makes it quite a challenging one. I love the commitment and dedication of those supporting the delivery as well as the passion and dedication of the athletes that take part, irrespective of their age or ability. I also think that the warmth of Leeds as a host city makes the event pretty special.

What would you like to see from the event in the future?

The introduction of a world class paratriathlon event and the continued growth of Leeds as a festival of triathlon, with more people experiencing swim, bike and run whether it be as a competitor, spectator or partner.

The immediate future of the AJ Bell World Triathlon Leeds is with its Virtual Challenge and you can sign up by clicking here.