Paul Groves, een alleskunner maar ook allesdoener binnen de ETU heeft vandaag zijn definitieve afscheid aangekondigd van de triathlonsport. Jurylid, organisator, collega-speaker, mediapersoon, atleet en nog veel meer.
Jarenlang waren Paul en zijn vrouw Cecilia een vaste waarde binnen de ETU, in allerlei rollen. Vorig jaar al meldde Paul dat hij van plan was te stoppen, echter door omstandigheden kwam het er niet van. Tot vandaag.
Zowel Wim als ik hebben een aantal malen met Paul samen mogen werken bij grote evenementen en stonden beiden versteld van zijn triathlon- en talenkennis, het was steeds een groot plezier.
Paul en Cecilia, beiden bedankt voor al het mooie werk!
We hadden vandaag even contact met Paul en onderstaand zijn reactie:
I only came into the sport in the very early 1990’s and had my first penalty in my very first race, at the White Oak Triathlon in Swanley, Kent. A two-minute penalty for unfastening my bike helmet before racking my bike. Not that the two-minutes made any great difference to my overall finish time. Next thing was to read the rules.
Run the clock forwards and I got involved in refereeing at British events, became a director of British Triathlon, chaired the Technical Committee there and by the end of the 1990’s was sent to Blumau for the 1999 “Race Marshal’s” Course. That was the beginning of a truly amazing journey.
A journey that, more by luck than judgement, took me to Beijing (I was working there at the time) and London for the Olympic Games, to Manchester, Melbourne and Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and to Baku for the European Games.
As Technical Delegate at 14 European Championships, covering a whole variety of formats, 7 World Championships and 18 European Cups I got to work with dedicated officials and event organisers.
As referee at 11 ETU Championships & Cups and at 8 ITU WTS races, ITU Championships and Cups, I had to make some tough decisions and some easy decisions but invariably the athletes were great to work with.
As a commentator, I got to work with top speakers from all over the world at World and European Championships, World and European Cups and provided voice-overs for TV that showed me in detail how incredibly hard the “behind the scenes” guys work to bring you thrilling camera shots and live TV. As a “facilitator” or trainer, I updated the resources for the training of ITU Level I Officials and delivered courses all around Europe.
Working with so many different people and then seeing them progress through the ranks was a real delight for me. 36 countries visited in connection with the sport. A real journey amongst real and vibrant people.
When invited to apply for the role of “ETU Media Manager” in 2014 I did so with no journalistic experience but with a huge passion for the sport. Perhaps my varied background (officiating, commentating and delivering training) helped by giving me access to a vast pool of resources. Together with my wife, Ceci and her cameras, we have been incredibly lucky to be able to see so many events and to see them “close up”.
Between us, we have been able to share with you all that intense feelings of “WOW!” that makes our sport here in Europe so good. With the solid support of ETU President Renato Bertrandi, our last 6 years have been intense but rewarding. We made the announcement in 2019 that we would be stepping down from this job but for a number of reasons that did not quite work out.
However, the time is right now and, after over 800 website articles, thousands of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts and most certainly with a tear in our eyes, we say goodbye and thank you to everyone. We also say a very big welcome to Amé Venter, who will be taking over and who will no doubt bring new ideas, youthful enthusiasm and new direction to ETU Media.