The Sovereign Tri Series which runs throughout the summer around the country offers a chance for Kiwis, young and old and of any ability, to have a go at a triathlon or duathlon.

Age and inexperience is no barrier for Lily Pearce, 10, of Tauranga who has entered the Sovereign Tinman, which will be held at Pilot Bay tomorrow morning.

Lily is a competitive swimmer for local swimming club Otumoetai. The Pillans Point Primary School student is ranked in the top three for all events in the up-and-coming Bay of Plenty junior swim championships in Rotorua next month. She is Bay of Plenty champion in freestyle and butterfly.

The talented young athlete has also been a multiple Wellington swim champion in her age group.


The Wellingtonian turned Tauranga local (her family moved from the capital to the Bay of Plenty in January this year), has decided to push herself and do the Short Distance race in Mount Maunganui at the Sovereign Tri Series event.

"I did a 1:2:1 (100m swim, 2km bike, 1km run) in Wellington two years ago and want to step up to the 3:9:3 (300m swim, 9km bike, 3km run) since we are now living in Tauranga. My goal is to do my best and have fun. I want to be able to finish with a smile on my face," she said.

"This event will be a great experience for me especially as I will be able to learn from other people. I am looking forward to the challenge of racing at the Mount in what is an awesome looking course."

Being able to race in her local area is appealing for Lily and she's really excited to give the longer distance race a decent shot.

"I really just want to do it for a bit of fun. It doesn't matter what I come, I just want to have a go. I am up for the challenge and for the experience as well."

Lily's focus is very much fun and doing the best she can. She is exactly the type of youngster that the sport is further encouraging with the National Talent Programme (NTP) and National Talent Squad (NTS).