Triathlon is one of New Zealand's fastest growing sports and a new event in Auckland is hoping to be the most accessible multisport event for kids in the city.
Last weekend, Fitter.co.nz, an Auckland-based endurance sports coaching company, launched the BNZ FitterKids Duathlon Series, which has a real point of difference.
"It's unique in that we're providing the bikes that kids compete on as well as taking a food and hydration stance that's 'anti-sugar'," said Bevan McKinnon, the Tri NZ Coach of the Year in 2011-2012.
"We're pushing the healthy kids, healthy families approach. The goal for this event is to be the most accessible multisport event a kid can do as all they need is a helmet and pair of shoes to compete."
The BNZ FitterKids Duathlon is a four-race series for children 5-12 years of age.
Fitter.co.nz has made the series accessible to all children. With the help of Bike Barn they have provided the bikes for kids to compete on.
All athletes have to do on race day is turn up with their running shoes and a helmet to participate.
It is a duathlon (run/bike/run) as this is a great way for newcomers to first try their hand at the sport.
The event is also delivering a clear health message about the benefits of kids having fun through physical activity while eating real food.
"You won't find any processed or sugary foods at this race."
The event has also partnered with Tri NZ. Along with individual prizes the event will also donate some of the event income back into schools with participation and overall winning school prizes.
McKinnon said that triathlon in New Zealand has a proud legacy. This event looks to build on that history of success with the next generation.
"The sport of triathlon promotes a very active and healthy lifestyle. You never know ... this series may inspire the next Hamish Carter or Bevan Docherty."
The series is hosted by the New Zealand Navy, which has provided the use of its Ngataringa sports grounds in Devonport.
This venue allows full road closure on a private 1.2km road circling the sports fields.
This makes for an incredibly safe, traffic-free race course that spectators can see in its entirety from the elevated vantage point of the Navy Clubrooms.
The BNZ FitterKids Duathlon Series
Where: Ngataringa Sports Grounds, Devonport, Auckland.
Who: Children 5-12 years of age.
When: Event 2 - Sunday, August 11; Event 3 - Sunday, September 8; Event 4 - Sunday, October 13
The events will be held regardless of weather conditions unless it is deemed that the safety of competitors may be compromised. In this case event organisers will replace the Duathlon Race with a fun run.
For more information visit fitterkids.co.nz.