Over the years, the number of athletic clubs founded within DLSU has been steadily increasing. Catering to those who live and breathe the pro-active lifestyle, these sports clubs provide students with an avenue wherein they can not only relieve themselves of stress but also discover a place to meet new friends with similar interests.
Enter the DLSU Triathlon Club. Not for the faint of heart, the organization engages its members in rigorous and competitive triathlon meets that involve running, swimming, and biking long distances. The LaSallian caught up with members of one of La Salle’s newest organizations and got some insights on the life of a triathlete.
Despite the existence of several triathlon enthusiasts within the campus, there was no formal club to speak of back then. At that time, the team had no member structure, the team was only officially established last year. The recruitment of sports clubs last year marked the first time the club gathered members as a recognized school club.
“It started officially last year. We’re starting to be recognized. Magiging actual organization na siya like Dragon Boat or Judo,” says former club president Mike Tampengco.
Entry into the organization doesn’t require one to be incredibly athletic or one to have a complete set of gear. They do not require members to own a bike, as only running shoes, swimming trunks, and an extra shirt are needed. Partaking in all three sports is also optional, as one can be a duathlete or an individual swimmer, runner, or cyclist.
“We don’t compel members to have all the equipment agad, especially if they’re not that serious in being a triathlete,” current vice president Gabriella Venturina notes.
Besides the physical prerequisites required for participation, the officers remarked that it is the inner traits that are most important if one is to become a good triathlete. They emphasized the importance of being committed to training, as preparing for races can be extremely demanding on one’s time and body. A prospective member also has to have the heart and the mental preparedness to endure not only races but also the rigorous preparations.
In charge of the whole organization for this school year is president Anton Mendoza and according to him, commitment is the best asset an aspiring DLSU triathlete can have. “We are [not so strict] with the training regimen, although we still demand that the members practice. You can’t join now and race tomorrow,” he explains.
The club has weekly training sessions held every Friday at the Enrique M. Razon Sports Center’s pool area for swimming practice. The members also run laps at Razon’s eighth floor for speed and endurance training. In addition, some of them also cycle around the Mall of Asia grounds during the weekends, although attendance isn’t required.
More than a club
It is a fact that there are several triathlon clubs outside of the University already present that cater to the Lasallian community. However, what makes the club unique is that it is the only one authorized to bear DLSU’s name, a big responsibility to be carrying.
Even so, the officers remained firm on their purpose, that is to build a healthy community of triathletes that are made up of students, alumni, employees, and even teachers from La Salle. “The most important thing is to take on the challenge,” the club officers mention.
Although the club traces its roots to camaraderie and teamwork, the club still seeks to have more exposure, to the point of it competing against other schools. “We want to compete with Ateneo, UE, UP, and all the other established clubs,” Tampengco concludes.
As sports clubs in the University continue to increase, it is nice to know that these organizations not only care about competing, but also remain firm in their principles as well.