Vancouver, Canada (February 15, 2008) - A world record attempt for the largest youth triathlon series on the planet has received official sanctioning from the International Triathlon Union (ITU). Tens of thousands of Australian and New Zealand kids will have the chance to make history when they come together for an amazing world record attempt at the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRY-athlon series running from February to April.
Organisers are aiming for 25,000 children from New Zealand and 15,000 from Australia to swim, bike and run towards making an unassailable claim to the world record. This follows an extraordinary level of participation over the life span of the TRY-athlon series, which has inspired over 160,000 kids to get active since its inception in New Zealand 16 years ago and its adoption by Australia in 1999.
Brian Mahony from the International Triathlon Union applauded the series, for generating such impressive involvement over the years.
"The International Triathlon Union is committed to supporting the development of the sport worldwide, but more importantly to promoting the benefits of getting involved in sport as part of a healthy active lifestyle," said Mr Mahony.
"Youth participation is a fundamental principle of ITU, and with the announcement of the Youth Olympic Games, this record attempt comes at a great time. We are proud to challenge Australian kids and their New Zealand counterparts in this trans-Tasman challenge to show the world how easy and how much fun it is to get fit and participate in a triathlon."
Weet-Bix TRY-athlon National Ambassador Jessicah Schipper, a World Champion and Commonwealth Games swimming gold medallist, said the TRY-athlon is a fantastic way for kids of all abilities around the country to get moving.
"No placings or times are recorded, everyone who enters gets a medal, and there are variable distances for different age groups. More than 60,000 Aussie kids have taken part in the event since it started here ten years ago. It's a brilliant way to get active with your mates and best of all it's great fun," said Schipper.
Dr. Christine Bennett, MBF Chief Medical Officer and Chair of the MBF Foundation Steering Committee, said the KidFit Triathlons are important initiatives to help combat childhood obesity in Australia.
"About one in five Australian children are overweight or obese¹. Numerous studies have shown the obesity crisis is due to a combination of poor diet and low levels of physical activity because of increasingly sedentary lifestyles," said Dr. Bennett.
"The MBF Foundation KidFit Triathlons is a great reminder for children that exercise can be enjoyable and hopefully will lead to a lifetime commitment to being active as part of an overall healthy lifestyle."
Running from February to April, the Weet-Bix Kids TRY-athlon is open to all kids aged seven (7) to 15:
photos Janos Schmidt