CRAVEN Energy members are celebrating after their club became the first TriMark Silver-accredited club in Yorkshire and only the third in England.

The Skipton-based club, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year, has been given the award by British Triathlon after setting out ambitious plans for the future.

Club chairman Richard Wylde said: “I feel very privileged to be the chairman of Craven Energy and proud that we have achieved TriMark Silver Accreditation.

“It is a real reflection of the journey that the club has been on over the last 10 years and what our development journey will continue to be over the years ahead. All our members should feel very proud of what we have achieved together.

“For new and current members this clearly demonstrates the quality of the club and that we are continually striving to offer the best opportunities we can for both adult and juniors as recognised by British Triathlon.”

The club has grown quickly, from just 28 members when it was first formed in 2009, to current numbers of around 160 adults and 70 juniors.

The youngest members are around eight years old and the oldest are in their 70s. Abilities vary widely, from complete beginners to high-flying athletes who compete for GB at international age group events, complete Ironman events, or tackle the mighty Spine Race.

The club runs the very popular GO TRI Skipton events four times a year to encourage novices to try the sport for the first time, and they have helped hundreds of new people get involved with the sport.

They also deliver the GO TRI novice training day leading up to Skipton Sprint Triathlon, organised by Craven District Council, which they support by marshalling at the event.

At the end of the competition calendar/year, the club hosts the popular Craven Energy Junior Triathlon, which is the final race in the Yorkshire Junior Series calendar.

The club’s ethos is summed up by the Mat Green Trophy, given out every year to a member who might have worked particularly hard on an achievement or made a huge contribution to the club.

The trophy is named after Mat Green, an inspirational and respected coach and member, who died in 2013.

Carol Young, Junior’s Lead coach and one of the founder members, said: “Mat Green was very inspirational for a lot of people. He was a strong swimmer, but due to long-standing chronic kidney failure he had poor mobility out of the water.

“Although he was a quiet person, Mat’s positive attitude to getting on with life inspired other club members including the novices he took on coaching their swimming.

“Mat’s quality of life really changed for the better through the club especially through his introduction to open water swimming.

“People have joined the club for all manner of reasons – for friendship, as a way of getting fit, or for a personal challenge.

“Members have qualified to race for GB through training with the club, but we have complete beginners and people with disabilities. It’s a club for everybody.”

The club’s aims for the future include growing the number of coaches and TriActivators, developing the club website further and continuing to provide open water swimming sessions, which are currently available throughout the summer in Lothersdale for juniors and seniors.

Clubs that have achieved TriMark Club Bronze accreditation can apply for TriMark Club Silver accreditation.

The silver level is linked directly to Clubmark and the inclusion of junior members, the Sport England accreditation scheme that operates under the Club Matters banner.