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Emphasis On Safety At Iron Kid Triathlon

News Release
For Immediate Release
February 14, 2006

Emphasis On Safety At Iron Kid Triathlon

The emphasis will be on cycle safety at next Sunday's Tabak Iron Kid Triathlon.

This is the longest running children's triathlon in Tauranga with the Sunday, February 19, event being the seventeenth.

Staged by Community Sport Trust, in association with Cycle Action Tauranga and Triathlon Tauranga, the Iron Kid starts at 10am.

A special feature of the Iron Kid is the event te-shirt, which always carries a cycle safety message.

Organiser Iris Thomas says at the end of last year, school children were asked to design a poster with a 'bring back the bell' theme.

Senior sergeant Ian Campion of the Strategic Traffic Unit judges the winning poster, which is then reproduced onto the t-shirt. The young designer wins a new Repco mountain bike sponsored by Bike and Pack.

"What better way to get the message to kids than have it printed on their chest? The t-shirts are a novel way to encourage children to get out and ride a bike and show a cycle safety message.

"I chose the Bring back the Bell promotion because we need to get cyclists back to using a bell. The future transport system will bring shared pathways and pedestrians need to know when a cyclist is approaching. This is even more important in Tauranga with the high percentage of retired population, and Tauranga City Council being strongly supportive of alternative methods of transport."

Iris says the directors of Tabak Better Business Sales are such keen cyclists they were happy to sponsor an event which has such a strong emphasis on getting kids onto bikes and encouraging safe cycling practices.

Based at Maxwells Road beach, the Iron Kid will involved about 700 children from Tauranga and Mount Maunganui who will splash, pedal and puff their way through the event.

Two courses cater for all levels from primary to secondary school level. Iris says while it's not necessary to be a good swimmer and children are encouraged to use some type of stroke in the water but can stand up at any stage if they wish.

Kids can also make up teams of two or three if they don't want to do the whole event themselves.

All roads in the area will be closed while the Iron Kid takes place, with members of Triathlon Tauranga and the Police on hand to assist with the event.

"I hope children take part just for the fun of it and their own sense of achievement. A number of age group heats will send the children off so they are spread throughout the courses, making for lots of spectator action and room to move. All the children are winners on the day because no one is too concerned who wins the actual events."

There's $2000 worth of spot prizes up for grabs, with generous sponsorship from Bike & Pack, Repco Bicycles and the $2 Shop. The major spot prize is a Repco mountain bike.

Entry forms have been posted out to all primary and intermediate schools in Tauranga and Western Bay and are available in all local cycle and sports shops and at More FM.


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