Ross Archer and Thomas Bertrandi

Loughborough students win the first European Triathlon Union Innovation Award

Two Loughborough students have accepted the first European Triathlon Union Innovation Award.

Ross Archer picking up ETU Award

Ross Archer and Thomas Bertrandi won the award for their project  –  LEAP – which aims to create products that innovate sport and has sustainability at its core.

Mechanical Engineering student, Ross, accepted the award on behalf of the duo at the European Triathlon Union (ETU) gala in Minsk, Belarus.

Thomas, a Sports Technology student, was inspired after his experience competing in triathlons where he noticed the excess waste produced by the rubber bands used to hold shoes in place. He began to develop his concept with Ross after they met at the University’s IDEA programme.

The pair have developed a reusable device that can be adjusted to suit the athlete’s preference and will mitigate the need for rubber bands.  

Andy Salmon, the Chief Executive of British Triathlon commented: “It was fabulous to see Ross and Tom win the inaugural ETU Innovation Award. As triathlon and sport in general challenges itself to take better care of the environment, it was especially pleasing that their innovation looks set to have such a positive impact.”

Thomas added: “Receiving the award confirms that we are on the right track and that all our efforts are not in vain. It fuels our motivation to get this project really up and going. University is, in my opinion, the best time to work on side projects and try to make them become actual businesses, from resources to networks there isn't much that you can't figure out."

Currently, LEAP is still in its development stage but you can follow the project’s journey on Instagram.