Community Assist Schools Triathlon Challenge continues to grow

DATE 21/11/2011

Tasmania's largest triathlon/multi-sport event has grown even bigger and better again in 2011 with another record number of school students registering to take part in the event.

Organiser Tim Smith and World Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Rower Anthony Edwards today launched The Community Assist Schools Triathlon Challenge that will take place on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Now in its fourth year, event organiser Tim Smith said the event has grown so rapidly it now boasts a record 2,852 school students from 96 different schools.

"We started with 1,861 students participating in the first challenge in 2008, and now with an over 35 per cent increase in participation since the inaugural event, it is testament to schools really embracing the event's philosophy of adopting healthy, active lifestyles.

"The event consists of swim, bike and run legs, with all students being encouraged to simply participate in physical activity, regardless of previous experience or sporting ability.

Mr Smith said the challenge encourages students who do not regularly participate in sporting events to have a go and personally challenge themselves.

"This year students are travelling from Riverside, Devonport, Deloraine, Triabunna, St Helens and many other regional schools which is wonderful as the event is overcoming many of the geographical barriers to participation that these students might normally experience.

"This year will also see the participation of seven students with special needs who will be supported throughout the event by their teacher aides. This will be a wonderful and inspiring part of this year's event".

638 Secondary school students and 2,214 Primary School students will descend on Bellerive this week to take part in the event.

The Schools Triathlon Challenge is sponsored again in 2011 by the Forestry Tasmania Community Assist Program.

The program assists individuals and organisations that make their communities better places to live and who share Forestry Tasmania core values.

The Challenge was chosen to receive sponsorship due to its large-scale community benefit through contribution to sport, health and well being.