How it All Began by Doug Neil
Cast your mind back to Winter 1989 when the sport of TRIATHLON was in it’s infancy.
Doug Neil was somehow talked into having a bit of a dabble and thus began the birth of Twin Towns Services Club Triathlon Section.
At that time, together with a young nephew and a couple of co-workers from Tweed Shire Council Engineering Services Division, Doug organised a small friendly race based around the South Tweed Heads Indoor Pool. At that time, Doug was approaching his mid 40’s and racing a 16 year old, a mid 20 and a mid 30 year old. It was an imposssible task and for one who disliked losing as much as he did, the idea of a ‘handicap system’ soon came to mind. Here we are, 22 -23 years down the track and everything is operating under basically the same format.
At that time in late ’89 a chap by the name of Doug McClaren was employed at the South Tweed Pool and also about that time, “Oasis Pools” was completed and Doug subsequently acquired a position there as manager/coach etc. In order to increase pool patronage he approached Doug Neil and asked him to move his triathlon base to “Oasis Pools”. This was agreed upon and on Saturday 25th November 1989 Doug McClaren, Peter Whitcombe, Neill Kelly and Doug Neil kick started the TTSC Triathlon Section.
Surprisingly, by the end of March 1990 we were averaging 20-25 starters on a regular basis. During those early years the time were hurriedly scribbled down on a sheet of paper and Doug Neil would spend considerable time manually computing split times, corrected overall times, and point scores. Fortunatley in 1993, a young, fresh faced Chris Goldstone began racing and he very generously devoted many hours during the following winter towards writing our timekeeping/recording/registrar program. This program remains in use to this day. (But if any current member/s have any expertise in this field the committee would be delighted to hear from them.)
Some interesting statistics about our club. Since our inception we have had in excess of 1800 different people complete on our course and in total over 40,000 individual circuits have been completed. Out of the 93 different people that competed during our first season, Scott Collins, Alex Gilks, John Warren and Doug Neil still remain competing this year on a regular basis.
Obviously due to increases in traffic volumes and also the introduction of new roads in the neighbourhood, our bicycle course has required minor/signigficant changes over the years, but the distances have only had minimal changes although 500 metres have been added to the run leg about four seasons ago. Hopefully, what we have adopted at the moment will continue to provide us with a safe racing course for many seasons into the future.