Looking back to my childhood, I was a mini triathlete in training. I rode my bike everywhere with my friends and even to school. I wasn’t very good at football but I became a pretty strong long distance runner and I was a fish in water. My parents had taken me since I was a baby and my Oma (my Grandma) ran a swim club which I attended every week. Eventually, I needed something with more excitement to do and in walked, or skated, Ice hockey. This became my life for the next 15 years.
I had the perfect background for triathlons and I didn’t have a clue. I grew up knowing nothing about the sport. Never linking the activities I enjoyed together and it was never talked about at school. This was pre the 2012 Olympics and before the Brownlee Brothers helped to put Triathlon on the map!
As adults, taking part in a triathlon might seem quite daunting. Taking on one discipline is tough enough, let alone three, but that is where Triathlon shines!
It is such a varied, widespread sport with events happening everywhere, in so many different distances and forms. Whether you want to complete your first Ironman or take part in a super sprint. Whether you’d prefer to swim in a pool and run on a treadmill or jump off the back of a boat and run up a mountain, there will be an event out there for you!
The Castle Race Series are an organisation that run great events across the UK and beyond, from full triathlons to swim/run events or swim bike races and duathlons. There really is something for everyone!
TRC Runner use code: 25TRC to Get 25% OFF ANY CASTLE RACE SERIES EVENT
Below are a few ways you can try and introduce multi- sport events to your pupils and hopefully create an opportunity for them to have a go, even if you haven’t got a pool.
- Link it to swimming: When you are taking your children, show them how learning to swim can lead to other active opportunities! Here you are showing the children that running doesn’t have to mean laps of a track, and that swimming doesn’t just mean going up and down a pool.
- Work with your local community: Find out if you have a local tri club, or even if a colleague or community member has experience and is happy to talk to the children and staff about triathlon.
- Creating activities linked to triathlon in school: Such as bike-run-bike, or run-scoot-run, not every event has to be swim-bike-run!
A duathlon is run-bike–run and a brilliant and inclusive way of introducing transitions between sports.
- And the big one…Put on your own event: Could you work with your local leisure centre or use your own pool (if you have one).
Maybe you could use swim teachers to host the swim section of your triathlon, speak with bikeability trainers to use their bikes, or encourage the children to bring their own bikes or scooters if they have them. finally you could even think about linking up with your local Junior Parkrun or athletics club as their coaches may be happy to come and support the run section of your event.
I really believe that there is a sport or activity out there for every child. Not necessarily for them to be the absolute best at but something that they can enjoy, find friends within and hopefully help them to develop a lifelong love of movement.
So, I guess the question is, could that be a triathlon? There are many barriers to the sport but there doesn’t have to be. Triathlon can be a fun, rewarding and accessible sport.
You can start with what you have…the expensive bikes can come later!
Castle Race Series put on the schools road show that takes place every year at Hever Castle in Kent. The children get to take part in swimming, cycling and running activities as well as learning about the art of transition. All the equipment they need is supplied which makes it as inclusive as possible. Find more information here: