By Brad Culp on 20/05/10 at 9:25 pm
Recent reports from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, coupled with the continued rise of USA Triathlon’s annual membership total, demonstrate the sustained growth of multisport - specifically triathlon - within the United States.
According to the SGMA, there were 1.2 million on-road triathlon participants in the United States in 2009, and another 666,000 Americans participated in an off-road triathlon last year. The 1.2 million on-road triathletes represent a growth of 11.1 percent over the last year and a 51.4 percent growth since 2007, according to the SGMA.
The 666,000 off-road triathletes in 2009 marked a 10.6 percent improvement over the last year and a 37.9 percent growth since 2007.
Additionally, USA Triathlon’s annual membership total reached an all-time high of nearly 133,000 on March 31. This figure, which was a 4.8 percent improvement over March 2009, included nearly 31,000 youth members - a 24.8 percent growth over this same time a year ago.
“The continued growth of the multisport lifestyle across all disciplines and distances is a strong reflection of this country’s desire to focus on healthy living,” said USA Triathlon CEO Skip Gilbert. “Incorporating not one but a multitude of sports into an individual’s training and competition schedule has simply exploded in popularity, and we at USA Triathlon are proud to be able to support these individuals’ passions.”
USAT’s recent annual membership total demonstrates the organization’s continued growth, specifically over the past decade. USAT had 21,341 annual members in 2000 and totaled 58,073 annual members in 2005. The current total of nearly 133,000 annual members represents approximately 523 percent growth since 2000 and 129 percent growth since 2005.
According to the SGMA, there are 694,000 core on-road triathlon participants in the United States and another 413,000 core off-road triathlon participants. The SGMA defined core participants as athletes that competed in at least two races per year.