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Triathlon effort for charity

A RECORD-BREAKING number of students have tied up their laces and participated in Tasmania’s annual Schools Triathlon Challenge, raising important funds for Diabetes Tasmania.

More than 5,600 students from 161 schools registered to participate this year – the highest number of registered participants and schools since the first annual Schools Triathlon Challenge in 2008.

Event director Tim Smith said there was more than 20 school children fundraising this year for Diabetes Tasmania.

“Over the past four years, students have raised $20,000 for Diabetes Tasmania,” he said.

“Hopefully we can grow the number of kids who are fundraising so that next year we will be able to donate more money to this worthy cause.”

Diabetes Tasmania fundraising and marketing coordinator Ange Headlam said many of the children fundraising this year were doing it because they knew somebody who had diabetes.

“Whether they have diabetes, their cousins have type one, their grandfather might have had diabetes or their uncle, most of the kids fundraising have that connection,” she said.

“It’s kids helping kids and their families, and it’s so great to see.

“This is also a great way to teach the kids to be community minded and through this fundraiser they are able to help people living with diabetes around them.”

Ms Headlam helped the students who were fundraising set up an online donation page on Everyday Hero.

“We have some kids who have raised up to $700 this year and its really amazing to see,” she said.

“We really hope that all kids who participate in the triathlon will do some fundraising for Diabetes Tasmania, because every cent counts.

“If we have 5000 participants next year and every child is able to raise $20, that’s an amazing effort and would be a significant help.”

Ms Headlam said the money would go directly towards Diabetes Tasmania children’s camps, where people living with diabetes can learn how to manage their diabetes at all stages throughout their adolescence.

“There are more than 300 children living with type one diabetes in Tasmania,” she said.

“The money raised from the Schools Triathlon Challenge goes towards these children being able to attend camps which can help them manage their diet, exercise and insulin levels.

“The camps are important because they give the kids the opportunity to meet other kids living with diabetes – they can relate to each other and share stories.

“The kids also benefit from learning about each other’s experiences with diabetes.”

Ms Headlam and Mr Smith are hopeful that next year’s Schools Triathlon Challenge will see more registered participants and more children fundraising for Diabetes Tasmania.

Caption: From left, Clarence High School student Chelsea Millhouse and Howrah Primary School students Abbey Geappen, Tom Geappen and Max Geappen get ready to run with Captain Hurricane.