Stef Hanson aka. Chief – I spend a lot of time writing about other people and to be honest, that part is easy, after all they’re greatness and so is the sport! But, when it comes to writing about myself, blergh! – it’s a tough gig. So excuse the vaingloriousness of this ‘About Us’ section as I tell you a little bit about me, the Chief and founder of WITSUP.
I started in triathlon as an age group triathlete, and like most civilians who dare step across the start line of a swim, bike, run event, I too was instantly addicted.
A stubborn back injury led me to a physiotherapist, and mid-elbow-in-my-backside he mentioned the Noosa Triathlon he had recently competed in. Triathlon sounded like just the right amount of insanity to suit my somewhat energetic, hyperactive, goal oriented and often referred to as ‘crazy’ self. However, that nagging back injury would keep me sidelined for a few more years to come, until one day Noosa called, and I answered – my life would never be the same.
My passion grew with every swim stroke, pedal revolution and foot strike on the road and I knew that training and racing just wouldn’t quench my thirst for the sport.
A chance meeting with an editor of one of the triathlon magazines resulted in an offer to add my expertise as a personal trainer/coach to the pages of the publication, and in time that role grew from strength and conditioning articles to race reports, interviews with professional triathletes, age group “goose bump” stories and other feature articles.
I’ve always been known as a chatterbox however, generally heard before I’m seen, and words on a page just weren’t enough and the next goal was commentary at local triathlons.
“I can’t believe people pay you to talk. I’ve been trying to shut you up for over thirty years!” my oh so loving father exclaimed – and also mentioned in his toast at my wedding – when he found out about my commentary role which has expanded from local triathlons, to the Weetbix Kids Tryathlon series and the occasional long course event.
My knowledge of the sport grew from a variety angles which was fascinating. Once you go behind the scenes in the industry your views, understandings and perception of the triathlon world changes. Even though at the heart of it all I am still a triathlete who loves to train and race, I also want to see and help the sport grow and flourish. During my time in the sport I started to recognise these trends throughout the industry:
* Women’s coverage in race reports and previews in comparison to the men’s was poor;
* Female triathletes didn’t get as much exposure as many of the men;
* The women’s racing seemed to be an after thought;
* The female to male ratio in participation numbers was small – growing over the years, but still between 18-30% depending on the distance of the event, and;
* The barriers to entry for the sport were high for women especially – anything from walking into a bike shop to swimming in the open water.
So with my experience, passion, observations and drive the idea of WITSUP.com was born and the rest is history amongst these here pages. The concept of WITSUP.com was to provide an informational portal on the glorious world wide web, but more than that it was about creating an online and real life community for women in triathlon. My passion for the sport combined with my sense of humour, commitment to greatness and hopefully engaging personality is obvious throughout the different platforms of WITSUP.com – and that is one of our points of difference.
Enough about me, who are the awesome people who have been on board the witsup train: Who are our contributors?