British Triathlon’s Confusing New Membership Packages

New BTF Logo
BTF Logo

British Triathlon has now re-jigged their membership structure.

To cut a long story “you need the core membership”.

But to get to that piece of enlightenment you might have to spend 15 minutes or so worrying about life, the universe and open water swimming as you try to work out what to do.

A Step Back In Time

This was the old membership structure. It was really confusing if you didn’t know how old you were OR if you didn’t know if you actually wanted to race yourself or coach somebody else to race.

Sooo confusing. People must have had to have spent an alarming 3 seconds figuring out what to do.

Membership Renewal

I’ve just realised my membership needs renewing. Fair enough that I have to be a member to enter the Home Nations Champs and to enter all the ETU/ITU stuff. It’s even nicer as membership means I usually avoid paying £5 for a race licence at most events.

Clearly, British Triathlon is a monopoly and they can charge whatever they want. With those membership fees, along with the National Lottery and others, we can then subsidise the Elite athletes and juniors. I guess I quite like doing that but not everyone does. Anyway, it’s a monopoly so suck it up. You’re going to have to pay about £10 more as from NOW compared to last year’s prices. Or are you?

I followed through my renewal links in an email and was shown the following image which is not entirely clear if this gives me the ESSENTIAL Championship Eligibility that I need (well, it is essential for me) and indeed if it’s the CORE or ULTIMATE one I need for representing GB and an ITU event. ITU (AG) events are, after all, the ultimate destination for MAMILs/MAFILs. #MildlyConfusing

So I had a dig around and assumed that the BTF would make it clearer for members joining for the first time who had absolutely no idea what to do. Nope. They show a slightly different table with more lines of information. #Sigh

l phoned up the BTF Membership hotline for help and got an answering machine.

Oh dear.

So I phoned somebody else at the BTF who was involved in international Age Group events who admitted (quote) “Yes they were confusing” but confirmed that I needed the CORE package and that, basically, you get mostly just a free bag with the ultimate package. I’ve already got a bag. Several, actually.

Back to the website.

I had a further play around the three different home nations sites and it seems that all of them have different membership benefits (although broadly similar). Yet the smaller Welsh Triathlon has the MOST membership benefits…and some of them are quite good like a discount off ROKA or TRAINING PEAKS. Hmmm, I’m feeling Welsh all of a sudden.

Yet, as you can see below, membership of Scottish Triathlon is £40 for CORE and that is £5 cheaper than the English and Welsh equivalents. Hmmm now I’m coming over all Scottish.

Actually, it always was cheaper, but that’s another story.

The insurance sounds good but here are the headlines for personal accident cover…it is of some general financial help and benefit but generally ‘pretty rubbish’ cover if you read it. And yes I know that no-one ever reads the small print of an insurance policy until after they need to claim.


Here is my summary to help you

The CORE ADULT package is pretty much the same as the ADULT membership from previous years. Just get that one.

  1. You can join any of the 3 Home Nations. It makes zero difference. You don’t have to have any kind of parentage to qualify you as Scottish if you want to save £5 (Brits all know that there is a joke there, somewhere). Actually, the ONLY difference it makes is your eligibility for the English/Welsh/Scottish Champs – you can only win a medal in them if you have the appropriate licence. Don’t worry you can still enter the GB Champs or any other champs.
  2. If you only plan to do a few races there is ZERO NEED WHATSOEVER to join the BTF. You will still have to pay a £5 race day licence fee at every event. Overall, paying a day licence will be cheaper for you. If you plan on injuring someone else then you might want to check you have the insurance to cover that but if you injure yourself you won’t be fully covered for the costs and will need additional insurance.
  3. If you plan to do ANY Championship – Home Nations/GB, ET or ITU then you need AT LEAST the core package.
  4. The Ultimate Package gives you a little bit extra insurance cover, cover overseas and cover for IM, Challenge and Xterra Events (which are not run by the BTF/ETU/ITU AFAIK)




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