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Record Numbers of Kiwi Kids Taking on Triathlons

22 March 2018

Record Numbers of Kiwi Kids Taking on Triathlons - New Figures

The number of Kiwi kids participating in triathlons around the country is up 10.1 percent on the previous year, according to new figures from organisers of the world’s largest under 16 triathlon event.

More than 31,500 children aged between 7 and 15 will take part in the 2017/18 series of the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon setting a new record for the event which began in Auckland in 1993 with just 500 entrants.

This year, two new events were added to the series to cater for the increasing number of kids wanting to participate.

Along with a new West Auckland event, a second Christchurch TRYathlon was held, after the initial event sold out 7 weeks in advance and 400 names went on the waitlist, within 48 hours.

“The TRYathlon is a rite of passage for Kiwi kids, we have had over 400,000 kids participate in the series since it began 26 years ago.” he says.

“The last three seasons have seen the series grow exponentially. This year a number of events either sold out or set new attendance records. We’re expecting our final figure to be around the 31,750 mark.

He says Sanitarium has worked closely with local trusts, councils and the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon Foundation to encourage kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to participate. In most cases, help for the event has been provided in the form of subsidised entries and provision of bikes for kids who don’t have one of their own.

“The TRYathlon is about participating and giving it a go, rather than ‘winning’, a big draw for kids who want to be active in a safe and fun environment, and who want to experience the feeling of taking part in and completing a big event,” he says.

Chenery says Sanitarium’s research* shows there is a positive increase in a child's self-esteem after they take part in the event.

The study showed that 99% of parents surveyed believed the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon had a positive impact on their child. .

Seven out of 10 parents said their child was glowing with pride when they finished the event, and the vast majority (85%) of children really enjoyed participating in the event. Chenery says all participants receive a medal and a t-shirt, which many wear with pride for a long time.

“Many kids will take their medal to school the next day or wear their t-shirt like a badge of honour for weeks. One mum told me her daughter wouldn’t take her t-shirt off and even wore it to bed after taking part in her first TRYathlon.

“We’ve found that once kids participate for the first time, they tell their friends and family about it, and next time they come along too,” he says. Chenery says after such a successful season, the focus is now on continuing to grow the event.

“Our goal is to give every Kiwi kid the opportunity to participate in a TRYathlon, so we’re always looking at how we can expand the series, either through identifying bigger venues, or, as we did in Christchurch, creating a second event. Every improvement we make contributes to giving kids, parents, teachers and supporters a positive experience,” he says.

For more information on events around the country, visit


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