It’s been a busy year for kids’ triathlon – encouraging youngsters into the sport is something that Human Race is hugely passionate about, and we’ve seen fantastic growth across our portfolio of youth events with over 4,000 kids doing triathlon, duathlon and Scootathlons this year. The recent TIA UK Triathlon Market Report shows that ‘keeping tri in the family’ is a key consideration, with 23% of respondents stating that their children also participate in the sport.
The 2017 season kicked off with four Flight Centre Schools Triathlon events at Bradfield, Royal Russell, Marlborough College and Cranleigh, doubling the number of youngsters taking part compared to 2016. These invitation events for schools offer pupils the opportunity to tackle a triathlon as a team of four, completing each discipline as a relay with the swim hosted in a pool and the bike section completely off-road. This format presents a fun way for children and young people to be introduced to triathlon, and a range of abilities can take part, from competitive teams to those who want to have a fun day out with friends.
The events are also backed by Restless Development, an international development charity that puts young people at the very heart of dealing with the issues that affect them, their communities and countries. Each entrant is asked to raise a minimum of £50 (entry is free), and this year fundraising amounted to a staggering £250,000 across the four events indicating the potential for charity partnerships at youth events.
July 2017 saw the Human Race team heading to Dorney Lake for the popular SuperTri Children’s, Youth and Junior Open Water Triathlon. Dorney Lake is a leading venue for Senior and Elite triathlon events and gives young people the opportunity to feel what it is like to compete on a grand stage. With fast, flat closed-road bike and run courses, as well as clean, calm lake waters, it’s perfect for beginners as well as those gunning for a fast time.
Nearly 1,000 children took to the water, many tackling their very first swim, bike and run. There were some fantastic performances on the day including BTF selected Super Series competitors with the potential to be the next Jonny Brownlee. However, as well as those budding elites in the fast-paced draft legal races, SuperTri offers a supportive atmosphere for children who might just be dipping their toes into triathlon for the first time.
For those who want to try out multisport even earlier, Dorney Lake triathlons offer a Scootathlon option for kids aged 4 to 8, involving a scoot, cycle and run taking place over a small, enclosed area. As these youngsters can go to a triathlon with their parents or older siblings and take part themselves, it encourages them from an early age to get involved and enjoy being active.
In another effort to ensure as many children as possible are able to take part, Human Race offers group discounts which entices a lot of local, and indeed further-flung, triathlon clubs to join in. This year’s SuperTri saw a high turnout of club groups, such as the Reading Rascals and Southampton-based Chapel Tri bringing 30 participants apiece.
Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race said: “My daughter did her first triathlon at SuperTri this year aged 9. She loved it. And my son was back for his second. As a parent, I saw the Human Race team take amazing care and responsibility of these kids who are now part of this amazing sport. It provides so many lessons on top of doing the three disciplines that is an experience we’d encourage all kids to give a go.”
What’s next for kids triathlon?
Woburn Abbey Triathlon 10th September
- Junior Triathlon (aged 9-12) – 100m swim, 3km bike, 1km run
- Junior Triathlon (aged 13-16) – 300m swim, 10.5km bike, 2.5km run
- Scootathlon (aged 4-8) – 400m scoot, 400m bike, 150m run
Duchenne UK Triathlon 17th September
- Kids triathlon (aged 11+) – 200m swim, 5.3km bike, 1.8km run
- Scootathlon (aged 4-8) – 390m scoot, 390m bike, 250m run
Find out more and enter at www.humanrace.co.uk.