Dubbo Triathlon Club has adopted an exciting new name and mascot ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The Dubbo Hippos Triathlon Club is the newest name for the group which follows the example set by other clubs around the region who adopt animals in their titles.
Dubbo Hippos president Jason Dearmer believes it was the right time to make the change to add an animal their club title.
"We just recognised that other clubs in the central west have got a mascot as part of their club name," he said.
"We decided if we don't make that change ourselves then it would be made for us.
"We want to create our identity and relate to the community.
"It's a little bit tongue-in-cheek as well I guess.
"Because Taronga Western Plains Zoo is such an iconic location in Dubbo, we wanted to relate back to that a little bit.
"As well as having a mascot which was good in water as we utilise the Macquarie River for most of our races."
As COVID-19 restrictions are in full swing for most of the population of Dubbo, the opening round of the season has had to be pushed back until lockdown ends.
However, Dearmer admitted once lockdown was over the Hippos would get straight into racing.
"We did originally have a race scheduled for next weekend as our season opening race being a ride and run event," he said.
"But our next event will hopefully be in October the weekend after the lockdown lifts."
While it has been difficult for some people to stay motivated to training during lockdown, Dearmer is confident the members of the club have been doing their best to keep fit.
"As far as the club goes a lot of people have still been training where they can," he said.
"A lot of cycling and running throughout winter.
"The last few weeks people have been ramping up to that.
"The clubs social cycling groups have been fairly active throughout winter."
The Central West Inter-Club Triathlon Series is scheduled to start later this year and could be relatively unaffected by COVID-19 depending on the restrictions in place in November.
The state government has said community sport will not be allowed to resume or begin until the NSW population reaches 80 per cent fully vaccinated.
Dearmer believes the opening round should not be delayed and the later starting date should give triathletes plenty of time to prepare for the event.
"Not that we've heard at this stage," he said.
"The first inter-club event is in November which is the Mudgee triathlon event.
"We will see how we go with that one I guess.
"It should be enough space for everyone to train and get organised."
Mudgee will host the first round of the Central West Inter-Club series on November 20 depending on COVID-19 restrictions.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: