Hundreds of children aged 8 – 15 will be lacing up running shoes, snapping on swimming goggles and fastening cycling helmets this weekend as they take part in the first ever kidstriathlon in Derry.
The firmus energy City of Culture TRYathlon is a ‘just for fun’ event and is taking place this Saturday ahead of next weekend’s official, adults’ triathlon on June 23.
Three local siblings from the McKane family, Odhran and Erin, 10, and Niamh, 8, will be competing in this weekend’s event before dad, Joe, takes part in next week’s adult competition.
Dad, Joe said the enthusiasm of the kids for the event provided him with great inspiration. “The kids are looking forward to the weekend and joining in the fun races. It has been great to see them out and about on their bikes, running and swimming as they train. They are definitely spurring me on to be at my best level of fitness and maybe one day they will be racing alongside me in competitive triathlons when they are old enough – they certainly have a taste for it now thanks to this great event.
“Both the TRYathlon and the inaugural firmus energy triathlon are landmark sporting events for the North West as well as Northern Ireland. The backdrop of our beautiful City as it is the City of Culture this year, just goes to make the events even more special.” Derry City Council is organising the event, in association with firmus energy, Culture Company, North West Peace III Cluster (funded by European Regional Development) and the North West Triathlon Club, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013. Thomas McCallion, Community Health Manager at Derry City Council, said: “We are delighted that so many children have committed to take part. This will be a great sporting event for the City during this special year and is sure to be an enjoyable event for all the family with fun activities and entertainment planned at Templemore Sports Complex on the day. We have had two practice events with the children and their enthusiasm is immense.”
Event supporter, Michael Scott, general manager of firmus energy, added: “We are delighted to help ‘power local talent’ and supporting potential local sports stars of the future. The children will be taking part in Aquathon, Duathlon and Triathlon events, which involve elements of swimming, running and cycling, as part of this weekend’s TRYathlon festivities. All of the children participating will receive medals so it really is all about the taking part.
“Getting involved in sport is a reward in itself and the children are bound to feel a huge sense of achievement after completing the event. They will hopefully have had the chance to make new friends and try new challenges, as well as becoming more aware of the importance of exercise and nutrition in keeping fit and healthy.
“The family fun day after the event at Templemore Sports complex will ‘fuel’ the party atmosphere long after the events are finished with plenty of music and free giveaways.”
For further information about the firmus energy City of Culture Triathlon, please visit www.firmusenergytriathlon.co.uk