A schools triathlon has kicked off the 50 day countdown to Sunderland hosting the 2022 British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final in August.
More than 120 competitors from nine primary schools and seven secondary schools took part in the Active Sunderland Schools Triathlon at Silksworth Community Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre on Thursday 30 June.
Competitors from each eight-strong team took part in a timed swim, bike and run, ahead of trophies and medals being presented to the winning schools and individuals by the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Allison Smith.
Councillor Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant Sunderland, said: "I'm delighted to see the return of the Active Sunderland Schools Triathlon to celebrate the city hosting the British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final on the weekend of 20 and 21 August. It's incredibly exciting to think that we'll be hosting the Super Series Grand Final 50 days from now.
I hope that this and other major sporting events like the Tour of Britain on 6 September, will inspire more people to take up and enjoy swimming, cycling and running and join in with our swim, bike run programme. So it's wonderful to see so many youngsters signing up for this event.
"And who knows - some of the brilliant young people taking part in the Schools Triathlon could well go on to be the stars of the Super Series Grand Final in the future."
Iain Williamson is Head teacher at Dame Dorothy Primary School in Monkwearmouth, one of the schools taking part in the schools triathlon.
He said: "Dame Dorothy Primary School are delighted to be taking part in the Sunderland Schools Triathlon. We have fitness, health and daily activity at the heart of our school ethos, and this is a wonderful opportunity to engage our young people in an exciting new event that will hopefully inspire them to participate in events in the years ahead. The children have been so excited to be competing and couldn't wait to have a go."
The Active Sunderland Schools Triathlon is being run in partnership with British Triathlon, the organisers of the Super Series Grand Final.
Helen Marney, Director of Development at British Triathlon, said: "It’s fantastic to see so many young people getting involved and enjoying swim, bike, run especially as we continue the countdown to the British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final.
"The Schools Triathlon is a great component of the swim, bike, run offer in Sunderland, enabling children of all ages and abilities and their schools to get involved. The offer continues within the Super Series Grand Final in August where there will be a swim-run event specifically for families and an adult swim, bike, run aimed at individuals who want to try something new or are just starting out in the sport.
"We hope many people in Sunderland, including the families and friends of the school children here today, will take up the opportunity to be part of the event later this summer and other parts of the swim, bike, run offer we will be developing across Sunderland in the future."
The Super Series event over the weekend of 20 and 21 August will bring together athletes from the British Triathlon Youth & Junior, Senior and Paratri Super Series’ for an action-packed weekend of racing, including the British and Inter Regional Championships and a Great Britain Age-Group Team qualifier.
There will be something for everyone to get involved with across the weekend, whether that’s completing their own swim, bike, run activity, volunteering at the event or watching the action unfold around the seafront in Roker.
Families and adult participants can join in all the fun and excitement of the weekend by signing up to a swim-run for families and a swim, bike, run for individuals wanting to dip their toes into the world of triathlon by either taking part on their own or alongside family and friends.
The BIG Family Swim Bike Run, where families can take part alongside side each other, consists of a 50m swim and 1km run, while The BIG Swim Bike Run (Adult) consists of a 100m swim, 6km bike, 2km run.
Ahead of the event, there are two six week GO TRI Active sessions, starting on Wednesday 6 July, for anyone wanting to take their first steps into triathlon including helping prepare for The BIG Swim Bike Run coming to Sunderland in August. More information about the sessions can be found on the following links:
To find out more about the British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final, including how to sign-up for The BIG Swim Bike Run Sunderland, visit https://britishsuperseries.com/events/sunderland-grand-final/.