It is not every day that we come across a group of like-minded athletes who are so committed to their cause and willing to shed blood, sweat and tears together to achieve their goals.
They are truly an inspiration to us all as they not only train hard, compete and perform well in competition but also strive to use their sport for the benefit to society.
They are a special breed of athletes who have broken down barriers, defied the odds and controlled their own destiny. RunSociety finds out more from Jacob Low, co-founder of Club Breakaway.
RS: Jacob, tell us more about Club Breakaway.
Jacob: We are a triathlon/multi-sport club, established in 2018 that provide world-class triathlon/multi-sport coaching for athletes of all levels. As Southeast Asia’s leading triathlon club, we believe in nurturing athletes of all backgrounds to enjoy the sport of triathlon.
Not only do we train hard and compete, we also use triathlon as a way to provide socially sustainable solutions. We’re the first in the region to have community clinics, workshops and keynote presentations for everyone of any ability to introduce them to safe practices of the sport.
We hold a non-profit status and are the first triathlon/ multi sport club in the region to adopt corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. As part of our CSR initiatives, we are dedicated to generating employment and opportunities for all through our love for triathlon and multi-sport.
We have to date supported and engaged more than 100 athletes locally and internationally. We strive to support and engage athletes every single day.
RS: As a team, what does triathlon mean to you?
Jacob: Firstly, triathlon means friendship. Club Breakaway was developed from scratch and we faced many obstacles and challenges. It was friendship and the strong bonds that we share that got us through our toughest days.
Triathlon is not simply just a sport to us, but it also taught us the importance of friendship and a whole lot of other values along the way that is applicable to life.
Secondly, triathlon to us means being a force for good. This is why we are nurturing and supporting triathletes and coaches across the region by generating sustainable jobs and creating innovative solutions such as conducting clinics and workshops, to address social problems in the region.
RS: What is the best way to effectively handle the stress and pressure of competition?
Jacob: That’s a tricky one and everyone is different, but some things are uniform across all athletes. For example, quoting Breakaway athlete mentor Bryce Chong, Youth Olympian and SEA Games Silver Medalist, he would always say #justchill.
He believes in removing unnecessary pressure that is caused by yourself and to have fun while racing. This comes with experience as the start is always daunting. But it gets better with time.
Having a team also does help with this as everyone can have fun with each other, in and out of training. This helps elevate team spirit and morale to ensure that the whole team is able to achieve their very best during competition.
RS: What is the club’s training schedule?
Jacob: We conduct training 4 times a week. On Mondays, we have swimming sessions. Wednesdays, running sessions. On Saturdays we have a brick and open water skills training and on Sundays, we alternate between a bike skills session or a long ride where the whole team would participate in.
RS: You have taken the club this far and have had many ups and downs along the way. We would like to know what advice you would give to our readers who aspire to become a successful triathlete.
Jacob: You will need to surround yourself with the right people. Having a team and coach that understands your level of racing to suit the needs of your personal growth as a triathlete is crucial.
This will make you love the sport more as a budding athlete. Make sure that you keep working on the basic skills that form the building blocks of a successful triathlete.
Engage a coach who believes in you and who has the experience to bring you to greater heights faster than the trial and error approach that majority of athletes are taking nowadays. Through the proper coaching process, anyone can reach their full potential.
RS: Last but not least, share with us what Club Breakaway’s most memorable moments are.
Jacob: There are so many, but here are 6 of our most notable highlights:
- Together with Triathlon Singapore, we hosted the professional athletes competing in Singapore’s first ever Super League Triathlon in training rides and community engagement sessions.
- We led 5 nationwide community clinics for open water swimming and bike handling skills with Triathlon Singapore.
- We established 10 partnerships with key stakeholders in the industry, including global sporting brands.
- We conducted CSR engagement with our adopted charity and provision of training packages and apparel sponsorship to deserving under-privileged athletes.
- We launched our own triathlon development program led by ITU accredited coach and national athlete, Shuwen Chang, with aspirations to be the pipeline to Singapore’s main talent development resource for the sport.
- In the 2019 Southeast Asian Games held in the Philippines, Singapore won a Silver in both the triathlon and Duathlon mixed team relay events. 3 of our athletes were members of the triathlon mixed relay team and 2 were on the Duathlon mixed relay team. In total, we brought back 5 Silver medals. In addition to that, one of our athletes also clinched a Bronze in Pentathlon.
Hope you enjoyed reading about Club Breakaway and their philosophies, achievements to date and what sets them apart from the rest. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.