Getting my wetsuit on for the first ever diversity triathlon

Brighton and Hove Triathlon are proud to announce the first ever UK Rainbow triathlon, this is to celebrate the diverse culture in Brighton and promote triathlon as a fully inclusive sport.

With 1,500 entrants racing along Brighton’s iconic seafront, there will be several wave starts. Brighton and Hove Triathlon have already provided the opportunity to race in a ‘WomenOnly wave’ for women who feel more comfortable racing alongside other likeminded women and a ‘Mates Wave’ where friends can race together.

The Rainbow Wave will be the first ever race of its kind at an international triathlon. The wave will provide a welcome opportunity for individuals to race, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, in a city with an amazing diversity and LGBT heritage.

The Rainbow Wave will not only celebrate the diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity but also the diversity of human characteristics as a whole. The Rainbow Wave is open for anyone to compete in, should they choose.

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The race ambassador for the Rainbow Wave Sophie Cook is the first transgender TV newscaster in Europe, Head of Diversity for Latest TV and first transgender woman to work in the Premier football League. Since her transition, Sophie travels across the UK giving talks about diversity in sport to break down barriers and to provide support for people who are unsure of their identity. She was the special guest speaker for The Football Association at Wembley Stadium and also at the Diverse Identities in Sport Conference in Glasgow.

Sophie Cook comments: “The race offers the opportunity for the whole community to support LGBT rights. This is not about segregation, or creating a separate part of the race. It is about showing support for the LGBT community. It would be my hope that the Rainbow Wave becomes the largest wave in the race with allies joining together to send a clear message that homophobia and transphobia have no place in sport.”

Another event ambassador, Former Ex-GB Triathlon Elite, Gay Games Gold medallist. Mark Edmonds says:

“I think the Rainbow Wave at the Brighton and Hove Triathlon is a really positive move forwards and will hopefully attract some new people into this wonderful sport to make them feel welcome.”

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Sophie Cook with Race Director John Lunt

The Event Director John Lunt says: “The sport has always been about equality, diversity and inclusion, and I’m very proud that we have got the first ever LGBT event off the ground in a City which celebrates human diversity. It’s fantastic to be welcoming people from all over the world.”

Supported by Triathlon England and British Triathlon, the Brighton and Hove Triathlon will take place on Sunday September 11th. The event will also run in conjunction with the new Sport and Fitness Show on the Hove Lawns along the seafront.

In support of the sport’s first ever Rainbow wave, Jack Buckner, CEO at British Triathlon, says:

“We are really excited about the introduction of the Rainbow Wave. Triathlon has grown significantly over the past decade and it is exciting to see our audience diversify also. This move exemplifies how open and accepting our sport is to anyone hoping to gain the physical and psychological benefits of taking part in triathlon. Good luck to everyone taking part.”