STUDENTS from across Tasmania donned their sneakers, bathers and helmets recently, putting their physical skills to the test as they competed in the Schools Triathlon Challenge, held at Bellerive Beach in November.
Organised in partnership with Diabetes Tasmania and the Pennicott Foundation, this year marked the eighth anniversary of the popular event, which saw 130 schools and more than 3,000 students from across the state take up the challenge.
Schools Triathlon Challenge organiser Tim Smith said he was proud of Tasmanian schools for encouraging participation in the event.
He said this year’s participation was “outstanding.”
“The triathlon aims to give students an opportunity to enjoy the feeling of being physically active – it’s all about finding the right fit for the individual and hopefully, from there, they can take on other active pursuits,” he said.
“We are also proud to have two prominent Tasmanian partners for this year’s event who support our mission.
“Diabetes Tasmania and the Pennicott Foundation are actively working within the community to spread our message of healthy, active lifestyles for children.”
With student participation acting as the cornerstone of the event, students were encouraged to get involved despite their fitness levels and abilities, previous experience or preferred sport.
The courses ranged from a 50-metre swim, 2.5-kilometre bike ride and 500-metre run to a 400-metre swim, 12-kilometre bike ride and four-kilometre run.
Diabetes Tasmania chief executive officer Caroline Wells said it was never too early to practice good habits of healthy eating and active lifestyles.
“We are always looking for ways to encourage young people to engage in healthy eating,” she said.
“By getting the message out there to children at such a crucial age, we hope we can help get them into good habits.
“We worked with Schools Triathlon Challenge to give healthy eating tips, information on how to prepare for the challenge and what to pack for the day, as well as providing some delicious and nutritious recipes.”
Robert Pennicott, from the Pennicott Foundation, said the Schools Triathlon Challenge was doing a great job of getting children active and that healthy eating messages were a vital part of helping students connect with an overall healthy lifestyle.
“Outside of competitive sport, Tasmania is well placed to offer Tasmanians an amazing range of physically active lifestyle choices right in their own backyards,” he said.
For more information about the Schools Triathlon Challenge visit www.schoolstriathlonchallenge.com