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New wave of volunteers sought

Volunteers helping a group of children safely across the pool. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED

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The Kids Triathlon Series is a summer institution heading into its fourth decade.

And the organisers hope that there are some enthusiastic Wairarapa folk who would be interested in keeping the series running for the next generation of Wairarapa children.

It’s been run by the Wairarapa Multisports club for the past 30 years and each triathlon gives children a chance to complete the swim, bike, and run course.

After 25 years running the Kids Triathlon Series, organiser Judy Brown is looking for her replacement

Organiser Judy Brown said the series started in 1990 and is the longest running children’s triathlon series in New Zealand. It was originally called the Tin Kids Triathlon after the Ironman triathlon races.

“The club operates a timing system for the event which doesn’t happen with other Kids Triathlon events. It adds to the workload but allows each child to come back each week and try and better their time adding to a sense of achievement.”

In the early days, the events were restricted to ages nine to 14 years. But with popularity increasing, the event now has children from as young as two years old up to 17 taking part.

Sixteen participants finished the first race but now numbers are more than 500 per event.

The team of volunteers have been helping for more than 20 years and it was time to get a new generation in.

Brown has had 25 years at the helm of the series.

“The success of kids [triathlons] has grown from the dedication of all the volunteers, and the great support from local businesses,” Brown said.

John Allen, left, Ian Bowie and Pam Blackburn helping children at the bike transition.

“We’re looking for people who want to come along and keep this event going.”

She said the reason she had kept organising year after year was because of the children.

“It’s the look on kids’ faces when they come over the line that makes it all worthwhile, and they wear the T-shirts with pride.”

She said it would be hard for her to hand it over, but she hoped the series would continue for generations to come.

“The kids are our future.”

This year’s series starts on Monday, February 17, and continues on February 24 and March 2.

Information and entries are open now online at wmsc.org.nz/Triathlons/Kids-Tri

The cost for pre-registration through the website or on any of the three pre-registration venues is $10 for all three races. Entry on the night, $10 per event. For more information, contact Judy Brown on 06 378 7867.

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