Distances are drastically different than those in adult triathlons with adjustments made according to age group.
Students of all ages will get the multi-sport experience at the fifth annual Try-me Try-Athlon.
The Parkland School Division opened registration for the June 7. Triathlon at the Trans Alta Tri-Leisure Centre this past week. Students between the ages of five and 18 who are interested in swimming, bicycling and running, or want to try something new are invited to sign up.
“We’re already just about at our numbers we were last year, so we’re looking to expand it. It will be the biggest it has been yet,” said Miranda Niebergall, collaborative teaching coordinator for PSD.
The event will be held in partnership with Alberta Triathlon Association’s Kids of Steel program. KOS designs their triathlons to introduce youth to the sport in a positive environment. They are recognized across Canada as safe, developmentally appropriate, and enjoyable activities that stress the importance of lifelong sport and healthy activity goals.
Distances are drastically different than those in adult triathlons with adjustments made according to age group. Athletes that are comfortable with the course can try competing a division up, and those who are newer have the option of dropping into a more relaxed, younger age division.
“We have some competitors that are really confident but we also recognize it’s brand new to some kids and we want it to be a positive experience. Students will be able to participate based on their age, one grouping higher or one grouping lower, to kind of allow the veterans to challenge themselves and to not scare off newcomers,” said Niebergall.
The five-to-seven year old age group will swim 50 metres, bike for two-kilometres and run for 500-metres. Athletes aged eight-to-nine will swim 100 metres, bike for four km and run for 1.5 km. Students in the 10-11 aged group will go 150 metres, six km, and two km, and the 12 and up age group will swim for 200 metres, run bike for 10 km and run for three km.
Students will train with their schools in order to get the hang of some of the skills and movements that can help them succeed in all three areas.
“The focus in school is to build physical literacy skills in multiple environments. This is one of those situations where they get to showcase in a number of environments. It’s an opportunity for kids to get exposure to a multi-sport event,” said Niebergall.
New to this year’s event, students will be able to sign up for individual legs of the event if they do not feel comfortable completing the entire course. Participants must have a bike, an approved hemet, running shoes, a swim suit, and a T-shirt in their race kit order to compete. Race kits must be dropped off the day before the race at the TLC.
“This is something we’re very proud of in PSD. The fact that it continues to grow showcases how fantastic it is, and what a unique opportunity it is for our students,” said Niebergall.