The Taupo Ironkidz Triathlon on March 1 is for all school-aged youngsters – competitive or not – and even includes an option where kids aged five-seven don’t need a bike – they can just ‘Splash & Dash’.
“The event is all about participation, maybe achieving a personal best and having a heap of fun,” says Taupo Ironkidz committee chairperson Fleur Bromley.
“And those aged five-seven that are put off signing up because they don’t have a bike should not worry – the Splash & Dash section is a swim-and-run only event that doesn’t require any wheels.
“We’ve got this section available as we really want children who don’t have a bike, or may feel uncomfortable about taking part in a triathlon, to give it a go.”
The triathlon section – which has a bike, swim and run – is open kids aged seven-15 and there is an elite section for those youth who are more serious about the sport, says Fleur.
“Another thing parents should know is the Splash & Dash swimming runs along Lake Taupo’s edge. Only the elite section is a deep water swim. This is because safety is a top priority.”
The event attracts about 900 kids with 700 in the triathlons and 200 in the Splash & Dash.
All funds raised go to Waipahihi Primary School, which Fleur says will be used this year for upkeep of the school’s pool.
“For our school it is really important to keep our pool open, because with the lake nearby we feel children learning swimming and water skills is crucial.”
The event is made possible thanks to support from two local farming businesses. Wairakei Estate has been naming rights sponsor of Ironkidz since 2012, with Blue Grass Contracting Ltd joining as a sponsor the same year. Blue Grass now sponsors the elite section.
Wairakei Estate is one of the largest environmentally-sustainable pastoral holdings in the Southern Hemisphere while Blue Grass Contracting Ltd is a major agricultural contracting company cultivating and harvesting large numbers of hectares in the Waikato/Taupo area.
Blue Grass Contracting Ltd’s John Nettleton says his business is very focused on encouraging young people to participate in strong sporting activities. “We believe the team and competitive environment helps develop strong and healthy values for life.”
Fleur says the school hugely appreciates the support from Wairakei Estate and Blue Grass Contracting, and other sponsors.
The Ironkidz triathlon is on Sunday, March 1, with entries capped at 200 for the Splash & Dash, and 700 for the Ironkidz triathlon. Enter online at: https://www.ironkidz.com/entry/
If the event hasn’t reached capacity by February 29, organisers will take registrations on the day.