Getting Kids Moving in Ealing

Local children get chance to sample a triathalon

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Hundreds of local school children flocked to Gurnell Leisure Centre this week as they took part in a free and fully equipped mini-triathlon event, aimed to give the youngsters a hands-on experience of one of the UK’s fastest growing sports.

The Ealing event was organised by British Triathlon in partnership with Tata Steel and follows a national survey of 1,500 children. The research, commissioned by the steel manufacturer, revealed a generation of children who are turning their back on physical activity in favour of keeping ‘digitally fit’ by watching TV, playing video games and chatting on social networks.

The results also indicated that 38% of kids in Ealing don’t own a bike compared to nearly three quarters (73%) who own a video games console, 11% can’t ride a bike, 17% can’t swim and 1 in 5 (20%) have never run a distance of 400meters – three issues Tata Kids of Steel hopes to address.

The research findings reinforce Tata Steel’s commitment to provide at least 50,000 8-13 year olds with a positive experience of triathlon by 2012. Tata Kids of Steel events are free to enter, accessible to all and geared simply towards encouraging children to have fun and take part, regardless of ability.

Throughout the course of the fun-packed day, 500 children from local schools swam, cycled and ran their way around their very first triathlon. Each wannabe triathlete was awarded a medal in recognition of their efforts.

As well as being given the chance to ‘tri’ the three key disciplines of the fast growing and dynamic Olympic sport under the supervision of staff and volunteers, each child was fitted with the correct size bike and helmet, and given a swim cap, t-shirt and gym sack to help harness the very best of their inner triathlete.

Karl Köhler, CEO of Tata Steel in Europe, commented: “As the Corporate Partner of British Triathlon, Tata Steel is committed to nurturing the grass roots of the sport and enabling children to experience the sport of triathlon, regardless of ability. 2011 marks the fifth year of Tata Kids of Steel and, with more than 14,000 children expected to participate in 18 events nationwide, it promises to be the biggest and most exciting yet. Many events take place close to our sites, demonstrating our commitment to the local communities that we are part of. Tata Steel also actively encourages our employees to volunteer as helpers at these events."

Zara Hyde Peters, British Triathlon CEO, added: “Bringing our fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic sport back to Newham today and seeing so many people championing youth participation in sport within their local community is fantastic. With support from our partner, Tata Steel, providing equipment and support for all, right through to awarding every participant a medal for completing their personal triathlon challenge, our aim is to ensure that every child walks away from today with a smile on their face and happy memories of our sport.”

Ealing is the second event in the 2011 Tata Kids of Steel triathlon series. Throughout the summer, the initiative is visiting 18 venues and giving more youngsters the opportunity to sample triathlon than ever before.

Since launching in 2007, nearly 25,000 children from over 300 schools have taken part in Tata Kids of Steel events, many of which are held in the steel manufacturer’s key business areas, including Scunthorpe, Corby, Teesside, Swansea, Birmingham and Shotton.




29th December 2010

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