Survey response about opinion of the Club’s Elite Team: Change the stupid name and drop the word “Elite” from it. This makes them sound snobby and unapproachable when the reality is that most of them that I have met or interacted with are incredible nice. Call the team just The DC Tri Team. Everyone will know that these are the kick ass folks without shoving the word ELITE down their throat everytime someone mentions them. Just saying what’s true:)
Taking a little deviation from the value of membership response and looking at some of the other short answer responses, in particular this one about the DC Triathlon Club’s Elite Team. While I am in a position to answer the question about Club dues because I served as Treasurer for 4 years, I am also in a position to answer questions about the Elite Team because I am the Team Captain! Yes, I wear many hats in the Club.
My relationship status: dating the DC Triathlon Club. It’s complicated. 😛
Regarding the name of the Team and the use of the word “Elite,” the use of the term is really more for outward promotion than something intended for internal usage. I wish there was a better word to get the idea across, but the term is essentially an “industry standard,” for lack of better phrasing. In a lot of short course triathlons (Nation’s Triathlon was a great example; Luray Triathlon too), there is a division of participants called the “Open Elite.” These are the fastest of the amateur triathletes and they are required to have completed an Olympic distance triathlon under a set time (2:10 for a male; 2:30 for a female). In the application process for the Team, we evaluate short course specializing applicants by looking at their results to see if they qualify to race in this division, if they so choose.
So when potential applicants inquire about the Team and what it takes to be on it, my primary response is that we are an “amateur elite team” and that I expect anyone who is on the Team to be qualified to race in the Open Elite division of a triathlon if there is one. Long course specialists are evaluated differently because there is no “Open Elite” wave at these distances. When I talk to sponsors and partners and describe us an an “amateur elite team,” they know exactly what I’m talking about and they know exactly at what level the team members are racing at and where they can be expected to place in the overall category. This is not something that is unique to the DC Triathlon Club. There are other teams out there calling themselves “Elite Teams”. For some examples, a quick search would reveal the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis Elite Racing Team, Team FeXY Elite Squad, the QT2 Age Group Elite Team, Wattie Ink. Elite Team, the Tom Stronghope Elite Triathlon Team, and the PFC Elite Team, to name a few.
Now that is the outward facing aspect of the Team. There is an internal facing component of that as well and that is how the Club members interact with the Team. For that, I make concerted efforts to refer to them just as “the Team”. Wearing so many hats with DCTri, I have to distinguish between “the Club” and “the Team” when talking about or referring to the various aspects of the entity that is the DC Triathlon Club, but I also want to make sure that they are not perceived as elitist, because as you say: they are “incredibly nice.” When I took over as Team Captain back in 2017, I made a concerted effort to get the Team way more involved with the Club’s members and activities. I felt that aspect had fallen by the wayside under the Snapple oversight and I think we are still suffering that lingering reputation of a separate and aloof group which had developed back then.
So the use of “Elite” is not meant to sound snobby or to make them unapproachable. I repeatedly tell the Team members that they should be accessible to every single member of the Club, whether they be young or old, slow or fast, new or veteran, and I think they have done a great job over the last two years getting back into the mix of the Club and being approachable to every one. And we will continue to do so this year. The Team has been at the Splash & Dash, they were at Program Clinic Days, and we are working on a number of things for the rest of the year! If USAT-MidEast ever announces the regional club championships, the Team will be out in force helping the Club win like their 2000th (I literally have lost count…. 😛 ) Division I regional club championship!
Hopefully that gives an explanation of why the term “Elite” is being used in reference to the Team. It’s not meant to be pretentious but is really meant to define a category of triathlete.
President | DC Triathlon Club