TRI-ing For The Rovers – UpdatePrint This Post

Carol Smith has sent us an update on her triathlon challenge… she has survived the first event and is very excited for the next!

With one event under the wetsuit and the big one approaching I thought it was time to explain in a bit more detail why I do this, what motivates me and maybe even inspire others. Thanks for your support.

A few years back I found myself suddenly out of work and in desperate need of something to brighten my days. During this period I found myself looking forward to Saturdays more than normal. Raith Rovers Abroad was providing their fantastic service, the Trust and others were posting information about the club and projects on social networks. For more than 90 minutes every week I could forget about my troubles and listen to the football, be with fellow fans and just enjoy a wee bit of sport. Even in Barcelona the wee community of Raith fans were keeping me going.

With these extra hours on my hands I decided to sort some photos on the computer. While flicking through ones from a recent trip to see some inspirational performances at the World Junior Athletics championships I saw snaps from a couple of nights out that had got mixed in. Long story short I was shocked by how I looked. To this day I’m still not sure why I did it but the next morning I put the trainers on and went for a (short, exhausting) run.

Not being able to run two days in a row meant I dusted off my old Burntisland Swimming Club skills and went to the pool instead. To save cash I had just given the old bike a good dose of WD40 and was cycling around the city… so the obvious next step was to sign myself up to the super sprint triathlon which went past my flat. All I had to do was swim (in the sea!) 400m, bike 10km (on my commuting mountain bike) and run (walk, crawl) 2.5km. One of the fantastic things about triathlon is there are events for the most amateur of novice triathletes.

The day of my first dip in the sea to do a few lengths training was nothing short of disaster. I couldn’t put my head under the water, Jaws was coming to get us and the doggy-paddle would have been an improvement on what I was doing. Help was needed. Advice was sought and many said “do it for a reason, something close to your heart, it has to make you want to get to that finish line”.

The event was getting closer and I was struggling to see how this was possible. Running was not enjoyable and even though swimming in a pool was causing no problems at all, the open water swims were still the source of nightmares. I didn’t have to do this, did I? What was I TRIing for? … and TRIing for the Rovers was born.

I started watching Raith Rovers as a kid and this has always been the source of my love of sport. Fond memories of members of the team coming to the school to promote the game and connect with future lifelong fans. Not so fond memories of hard times and supporters having to come together to raise funds and save the club from some sticky financial situations. The Raith Supporters Trust unselfishly works for the good of the club and community that supports it. This is not an easy task and to me and so many involved with football, this is not just a sport, a club is a community. Raith Rovers have been at the heart of Kirkcaldy and beyond for a good few years now and I, and many others, want to see that grow and continue. I want to see future fans find that spark in sport. The best way, I think, to do this is to be part of a sporting community.

So why TRI?
Cause it is fun, no really it can be. When I started this journey I thought “just get to the finish line, that is all you have to do.” 3 years on and the journey hasn’t stopped and so the 4th TRIing for the Rovers is upon me. I couldn’t have got this far without motivation and inspiration. My life has been changed for the better, friends have been made and I have done things I never thought were possible. I’m almost half the woman I was and have gone from 17 stone to 11 stone, from someone who couldn’t put their head under the sea to it becoming my second home and, yes, it has been hard. I have needed that motivation from Fife to get me thru. Not sure my partner will ever forgive me though as he now has been signed up for several running events and has had to stand guard for jelly fish on many a swim session!

Let us admit it, we have all needed a little motivation to get us to going. On several occasions I have questioned the human (mainly my own) ability to run, but you know what, it’s been the best fun ever. TRI for Rovers is really just TRIing to have fun, maybe inspire a little and raise awareness of the great work of the Trust.

For those of you who are unaware of the great work of the supporters trust here is a wee run down of some of the great work they do.

Raith take sport into the community in many ways, not just playing a weekly football match. Volunteers at the supporters trust take the time to come up with ideas, organize events and drum up support within the Fife community. Burn’s suppers, family fun days and many more activities don’t organize themselves. The trust and its members volunteer their time and skills to help promote community empowerment. They also put a lot of time and work into making sure that the fans can have their voices heard during the decision making process at the club. Something many fans, and myself, want to see more of in clubs far and wide.

At the heart of the Trust’s community policy is giving back to the community that provide the support for the club, working with local schools, groups, and business to promote sport, health and fitness. Usually with a little hand (or paw) from Roary the Rover and his helpers. The Roary Club works hard to help increase the support at the club.

“Everyone needs a little extra motivation to get to that finish line, a wee club in Fife are mine.”

Please show your support by liking our Facebook page and follow to see how the training and events are going.

You can support me by making a donation to the Trust.

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