Common Types of Volunteer Roles

An athlete and guide riding a tandem bike.

Volunteers are needed to ensure the success of Dare2tri athletes with physical disabilities or visual impairments. There are plenty of ways to get involved, whether you have triathlon experience or not. Explore the most common types of volunteer roles below.


The volunteer will serve as a one-on-one guide for an athlete and participate in swim, bike, and/or run training sessions alongside the athlete. 

The most common type of guide is a sighted guide. Athletes with a visual impairments perform every stage of a triathlon with a sighted guide beside them. During the swim and run portions, a sighted guide may be tethered to the participating athlete. During the bike segment, athletes with visual impairments must ride a tandem bicycle piloted by a sighted guide.

On-course race guides are paired with athletes with disabilities who are participating in a training session or race. These guides often swim, bike, and/or run alongside an athlete for safety, motivation, and pacing purposes.


Handlers are paired with an athlete and are responsible for assisting the athlete during the swim-bike or bike-run transition of a race. The athlete will inform the handler about what assistance they need, including but not limited to handing them a prosthetic, crutches, or wheelchair, removing or replacing a bike from the bike rack, buckling helmets or race belts, and other similar tasks. There may be a pre-race meeting with race organizers and/or athletes, so that all involved have a clear understanding of the rules, expectations, and guidelines.

Water Entry/Exit

Some individuals with a physical disability require assistance at water exit. Individuals volunteering for water exit duties must be able to lift athletes out of the water and carry them to their wheelchairs using a two-person lift.  There will be pre-race training prior to an event for water exit volunteers to ensure the safety of both the volunteers and the athletes. Water exit volunteers should be prepared to get wet!

Equipment Assistance

Dare2tri has a fleet of adaptive equipment used during camps, clinics and training sessions. Volunteers are needed to help Dare2tri staff with the loading/unloading of equipment trailers and setting up/breaking down equipment prior to training sessions and races. Volunteers will also assist athletes as they get set up on their equipment and make adjustments as necessary.

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