Super League Triathlon 2021: A Year in Review

Superleage Malibu 2021

2 Arena Games Events, a four event Championship Series, 2 industry awards, 1,000,000 social followers, and some truly groundbreaking partnerships. 2021 might not have been the year that anyone expected, and it certainly hasn’t been easy, but at Super League Triathlon we’ve seized the moment, and done everything we possibly could to make 2021 our best year yet.

Our first event of the year was the Super League Triathlon Arena Games, London. A truly ground-breaking event concept, born of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arena Games brings triathlon indoors and seamlessly blends live racing with virtual reality. This never before seen race format consists of a pool swim, static big leg, and treadmill run, all brought to life with in-your-face cameras, personalised race avatars, and real time data from the virtual world of Zwift. All in all it allows fans to delve further into the triathlon action than ever before. 

Beth Potter Superleague Triathlon Arena Games London 2021 London Aquatic Centre Womens Race 27th March 2021 0269

The season started with the inaugural Super League Triathlon Arena Games London, held in the London Aquatics Centre at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, before heading back to Rotterdam, where the Arena Games began. Jam packed with edge of your seat action right from the start, including a stunning short course triathlon debut by 70.3 World Champion Lucy Charles-Barclay, the event confirmed what we at Super League Triathlon already knew. The Arena Games might have been born in the covid era, but it is an event that is very much here to stay. 

This new format of racing has grown out of nowhere and keeps on growing and growing. 

Superleague Triathlon Arena Games London 2021 London Aquatic Centre Mens Race 27th March 2021 0408 1
LONDON, England- March 27 2021: during the mens race at the Superleague Arena Games London powered by Zwift at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Photo: That Cameraman – Darren Wheeler

Said Long Distance Triathlon British record holder and SLT Eagles Team Manager Tim Don.

The Arena Games 2021 was broadcast, live, to millions of viewers and reached over 175 territories. 2021 also saw the inclusion of Paratriathlon into the Arena Games format. It was great to see this disruptive, new concept thrive and spread its wings in 2021. 

Now, with the ground-breaking new partnership with World Triathlon comes a new era for The Arena Games. 2022 will see the birth of Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift. This new Championship Series will see the world’s first Triathlon Esports World Champion crowned in 2022. 

Super League World Triathlon Wc Female

“We are absolutely delighted with this partnership. Both organisations have been working hard and investing significant resources to evolve our sport. We both want to grow audiences, and give athletes the best stages on which to perform. So, it is only natural for both World Triathlon and Super League to invest and work together. I am absolutely convinced that the Arena Games Triathlon will be a fantastic event for athletes, broadcasters, sponsors and fans alike.”

Said Marisol Casado, World Triathlon President and IOC member. Super League Triathlon CEO, Michael D’hulst, stated.

“The Arena Games Triathlon powered by Zwift has already proved to be an award winning disruptor, recognised by athletes and the wider sports community. Now, with a growing appetite at the very top levels of sport to bring esport to a much wider audience, this is perfectly timed for the benefit of everyone in triathlon and to help deliver an even more exciting future.”

For more information see HERE.

Super League 2021 London Mens Race
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 05: during the Mens Pro Race at Super League Triathlon London event at West India Quay on September 04 2021 in London, England. (Darren Wheeler – That Cameraman/SuperLeague)

After the 2021 Arena Games came the Super League Triathlon Championship Series. This fast, furious and unforgiving tournament saw four weeks of back to back racing, in some of the most iconic locations around the world. Coming off the back of the Tokyo 2020(1) Olympic Games, and featuring no less than 11 Tokyo medallists, the calibre of the series was clear from the outset. 

2021 was a landmark year for the SLT Championship series. It opened with a debut event in London, before heading to another new venue and iconic Olympic city, Munich. The series then headed back to Jersey, the spiritual home of Super League Triathlon, before coming to a close at the legendary Malibu Triathlon. New to the Super League Family, Malibu Triathlon was unfortunately unable to go ahead in 2020, but came back bigger and better than ever in 2021, as a sold out event for the first time in over 5 years! An emphatic win by Olympic gold medallist Flora Duffy, and the tightest of sprint finishes, between Alex Yee and Marten Van Riel in the men’s race, brought the 2021 championship season to a close in fittingly spectacular style. 

Alex Yee Marten Van Riel Malibu
Alex Yee Marten Van Riel Malibu

At the end of the series, it was two double Olympic medallists, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Alex Yee, who bagged the top Super League prize. But, in an ever growing race format, featuring all the biggest names in the sport, the 2022 season could be anyones to win. 

2021 was not only a good year for Super League’s professional racers though. This year saw the successful launch of PQ and PQ Relay. PQ is Super League’s mass employee fitness platform. It celebrates milestones and offers tangible incentives to drive well-being at scale across corporate organisations. The first year of PQ Relay was a tremendous success, with sold out events in both London and Jersey. 

Pq Relay

Powered by SLT and our professional athletes, who provide ongoing inspirational content, PQ leads to real-life global sporting events. It offers a great opportunity for corporate organisations to support the wellbeing of their staff, while providing an amazing physical experience both through participation and hospitality.

Away from sport, SLT also enjoyed a successful year of awards and recognition. We won 2 industry awards for our ongoing innovation throughout the COVID- 19 era, the Sports Business Award: Best Response To Covid International and Sport Industry Awards: Cutting Edge, and were named on the Sports Technology Power List as a Power Brand for 2021. Most recently, Super League Triathlon announced a new partnership with performance sportswear brand Dryworld. They will now join us, as Official Apparel Partner, for the next three years. All of this, on top of a hugely successful season, has left us feeling positive, as we look ahead to 2022. 

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“At Super League Triathlon we pride ourselves on innovation and it is a great honour to be recognised for that by industry experts at The Sports Business Awards. The Arena Games is not only a response to COVID-19, it is here to stay. We are excited about the role it will play in the future of triathlon.”

“I am very proud and excited to have won the Cutting Edge Award at the Sports Industry Awards. These awards recognise the very best in the sporting world and for Super League to have put triathlon in this illustrious company underlines the innovation and growth we are driving in the sport.”

Super League Triathlon CEO and Co-Founder, Michael D’hulst said of Super League’s 2021 success and his hopes for Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift. 

Vincent Luis Invincible

We have also been proud, throughout 2021, to bring you the best in exclusive, intimate and never before seen content. Our Invincible documentary series is now complete and can be found in full on the SLT YouTube channel. Keep an eye on all our social channels in the New Year, as our latest documentary series, Every Second Counts, is due to land very soon and it won’t be one to miss!

From everyone at Super League Triathlon, we would like to wish everyone of you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Thank you for making 2021 a very special and successful year. Here’s to an even bigger and better one in 2022!

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