A helping hand to enter Tryathlon
One Rotorua school is anticipating a huge surge in student entries for a local sports event after receiving a donation from Sport Bay of Plenty.
Western Heights Primary School assistant principal Ben Mcfarlane says the number of pupils keen to participate in the area’s Weet-bix Tryathlon has increased dramatically since the announcement that students will receive a significant discount on entry fees, in addition to the loan of several bikes.
“Our kids don’t do a lot of biking because most of them don’t have bikes. If they do, they are often not in a safe condition to ride,” he says. “Having access to a bike and helmet, and the discount on the Tryathlon entry fee, is huge for our kids — their eyes light up.”
The Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust has provided 200 discounted entries to decile 1 to 3 schools in the region, with entries now allocated to 14 schools.
“Most of our kids don’t get many chances to learn how to swim, but once they sign up to the Tryathlon, parents start encouraging them to go to the pool, and practice swimming instead of just doing bombs — it has a really far-reaching effect,” Ben says. “It doesn’t just boost the kids’ The Weet-bix Tryathlon always draws a big crowd.
morale, it changes the way parents encourage the children, too.”
Sport Bay of Plenty spokeswoman Melissa Gordon says being involved with the Tryathlon was the perfect fit with the organisation’s goal to get more school-aged children active more often, particularly since the event is about participation rather than winning.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to give children from low decile schools in Rotorua the chance to participate,” she says. “These children get a sense of achievement, excitement and a huge confidence boost from being involved in such a great event.”
Trust chairman Stewart Edward says the decision to fund discounted entries to low-decile schools stemmed from the trust’s recognition of the importance of encouraging young people into exercise and outdoor activities.
The Tryathlon series is open to children aged between seven and 15, and consists of a swim, cycle and a run.
■ To register for the December 2 event go to try.weetbix.co.nz