UWTSD celebrates new partnership with IRONMAN Wales


This year’s IRONMAN Wales marked the launch of a new partnership between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and one of the world’s most prestigious triathlon brands.


The partnership, which includes sponsorship of the volunteer programme, will provide opportunities for students and staff to collaborate with IRONMAN on areas related to the University’s portfolio including sports, health and wellbeing, public services, tourism, hospitality, events management as well as film and media.  It will also provide opportunities for applied research including the possibility of undertaking impact studies and reports to inform IRONMAN Wales in its business planning and future strategy.  

The event, which took place on Sunday 15 September, is renowned as much for its toughness as for its spectacular location with athletes competing in an endurance triathlon involving a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle race around South Pembrokeshire and 26.2 mile run around Tenby.

Jacqui Jones, programme director for international tourism, hospitality and leisure resort management, said “We have been collaborating with IRONMAN Wales since its inception in 2011 to provide a wealth of experiences for our tourism and event students. As well as guest lectures and field trip visits this has already led to excellent internship and volunteer opportunities which have helped our students develop exciting careers in the tourism industry. It’s wonderful to now develop the partnership to include additional opportunities across the UWTSD Group for students and staff to further academic engagement with such an inspirational event.

“Living in Pembrokeshire and having been involved with Ironman Wales since it , for me personally UWTSD sponsoring the volunteer programme and developing an educational partnership with IRONMAN is incredibly special. For our students the  development offers exciting and unique opportunities to gain skills and experiences which will only be available to UWTSD students. IRONMAN Wales has a massive impact, not just upon Tourism and Sport in Pembrokeshire but also supports the economy and has a positive effect on health and community engagement. Whether studying Tourism, Hospitality, Events, Adventure Film, Sport, Marketing, Health or virtually any subject the University offers students will be able to  develop their professional skills at the event or undertake specialist research and project work linked to IRONMAN Wales.


"Back in 2012 Vicki Brace was the first student to undertake a paid  internship with IRONMAN,  the placement was so successful that in 2013 when she graduated she became Volunteering Manager for IRONMAN Wales. Today Vicki is running her own business Victoria Brace Marketing based in Pembrokeshire and specialising in tourism. The UWTSD IRONMAN Wales Education Partnership is the first of it’s kind and will provide more students with the opportunities Vicky had so they can gain valuable global experiences whilst studying locally."

Roger Maidment, Dean of the Institute of Management and Health: “The University is delighted to develop its collaboration with IRONMAN Wales and to sponsor the volunteer programme.  The University recruits a large number of students from Pembrokeshire and this partnership will enable us to work with IRONMAN Wales to provide a range of educational opportunities in communities across the county. 

“This first year we will focus on supporting the volunteers and our film and media students will be documenting some of the competitors’ preparations as well the event itself for use on digital platforms including the volunteers’ Facebook page. In anticipation of IRONMAN Wales’ 10th anniversary in 2020, we are integrating a range of activities across our portfolio to provide applied learning opportunities for our students. Academic staff will expand our engagement with schools in the area to promote physical literacy and health and wellbeing as well as to provide workshops, talks and activities across our disciplines”.

The partnership will also benefit from the University’s specialist High Performance Training facilities located at its Carmarthen campus.  Staff and students who have competed in the event have also benefitted for training and exercise plans and assessment from the University academic staff including physiologist Dr Peter Herbert.

Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost of the University’s Carmarthen campus said: “The partnership with IRONMAN Wales aligns well with the expertise and disciplines offered on the campus in relation to the Wales Academy of Health and Physical Literacy, the Creative Industries as well as Sustainability within rural contexts.  We look forward to developing the relationship over the coming years to provide opportunities for our own students and staff but also to the wider community”.

Sam Brawn, IRONMAN Wales Race Director added: We are very excited about the new partnership with UWTSD and the opportunities that will come from working closer with the students and the community!”

Pic : Jacqui Jones, Programme Director for International Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Resort Management, Dylan Blaine, Academic Director of the University’s Institute of Management and Health Carmarthen, Sam Brawn, IRONMAN Wales Race Director, Roger Maidment, Dean of the University’s Institute of Management & Health, IRONMAN Operations Director Rachel Jackson, Vicky Brace of Victoria Brace Marketing, Emma Morgan and Alex Maidment.

UWTSD and Ironman staff gather in Tenby to launch new partnership

Further Information

Eleri Beynon / Rebecca Davies - press@uwtsd.ac.uk