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An introduction to officialdom


There are dozens of governing bodies in the UK that oversee all manner of endurance sports, amongst the largest and most powerful are UK Athletics, British Triathlon, British Cycling and Cycling Time Trials. These governing organisations have rules and regulations that their affiliated clubs and competing individuals must adhere to, essentially in order to ensure credible and fair competition. Each of these governing bodies is covered in more detail in the pages that follow, but for a starter here is a brief introduction of how far-reaching their regulation extends – or sometimes doesn’t!


The rules and regulations are heavy going and full of exemptions and exceptions, some are very clear whilst others are very open to interpretation, some are rigorously enforced, some are virtually ignored. If you spot any howlers in our interpretations, please tell us.


Sometimes it is necessary for individuals to join an affiliated club in order to compete in a particular kind of competition, sometimes it isn’t. Additionally, in some cases it is necessary for individuals to affiliate directly to governing bodies as well as – or instead of – joining an affiliated club. If you do join a club affiliated to one of the ‘big four’ you will very likely come across the concept of 1st and 2nd claim status.


Very generally, if a club is affiliated to one of the ‘big four’ regulatory bodies and you are a member of that club then, by default, you will be regarded as 1st claim for that club. This usually means that when you compete you will do so in the club’s name and will count for any team prizes etc. However, you are at liberty to join as many clubs as you wish. You may want to do this for all manner of reasons including training / coaching opportunities, the social scene, or just to show support. Again very generally, you usually cannot enter races, wear the kit of, or count for any team competitions in the name of a 2nd claim club. There are many exceptions though, and each governing body has rules to cover this scenario.


A further complication is that you may wish to compete in several different disciplines overseen by different regulatory bodies such as, for example, road running (regulated by UK Athletics) and duathlon (regulated by British Triathlon). In order to do this you may choose to join two separate clubs, each of which is affiliated solely to the relevant governing body. You will be 1st claim for both these clubs, but there is no conflict here as the running club is not affiliated to British Triathlon and the cycle club is not affiliated to UK Athletics.


However, many clubs have members who compete across different disciplines and so may be affiliated to all of the ‘big four’ regulatory bodies (and more besides). In this case you have to nominate your claim status for each of the disciplines. So, for example, you could be 1st claim status of ‘Allsports Athletes’ as far as running races are concerned, but also, simultaneously, hold 2nd claim status for the very same club as far as triathlon is concerned. None of the ‘big four’ allow you to change your 1st claim club - or indeed status within the same club - without some regulation and it is often the case that you are only allowed to make such a change once per year.

What this means for us


We are not a ‘club’ in the conventional sense and are not affiliated to any governing body. What we are, as a legal entity, is an 'association'. Simplistically we are a loose community of people who simply wish to do their bit for animals and promoting the vegetarian cause by training and racing (where allowed) in GO VEGGIE kit. As such – even though we do fully respect and adhere to the rules and regulations of the various governing bodies – we steer clear of getting unnecessarily embroiled in bureaucratic regulation. You do not have to worry about such troublesome things as being 1st or 2nd claim for us. We are not a 'club' and are not affiliated to any organisation, you are free to join us and wear our kit regardless of your attachment or otherwise to an existing club.


In essence, when you know what the rules are, it’s often surprisingly easy to perfectly legally wear GO VEGGIE kit in all manner of competition, and of course our colours can be worn whilst out training all of the time.


For more information regarding how officialdom impacts upon us you can select your area of interest from the menu at the top of the page or click on the following links to learn more about GO VEGGIE and, running, cycle time trialling, road and MTB racing, and multisport.