Olympic star Valerie Adams urges children to get on their bikes.
Golden girl Valerie Adams is urging Kiwi youngsters to get on their bikes and get fit in the New Year. As she recovers from shoulder and elbow surgery, the double Olympic shot put champion is encouraging children to give it their best in the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon series.
The series kicked off in Manurewa on December 3 and events in the coming months include Mt Maunganui on January 11, St Heliers on February 22 and the North Shore's Woodall Park on March 22.
"It would be great if youngsters made it their New Year resolution to get on the starting line and give it a go," Adams said.
"It is not just all about keeping fit or winning. It is also going to be a lot of fun."
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The mini-triathlons consist of a swim, cycle and a run. The distances vary across age groups and participants may compete individually or team up with a friend.
"Every kid taking part will get a medal and I know how good it feels to get one of those," Adams, a Tryathlon ambassador, explained. "Every youngster who crosses that finishing line will feel like a million dollars. They will feel as proud as I did when winning at the Olympics because the achievement will be special to them. That is the beauty of sport. You don't have to be a world beater to feel like a winner."
Adams, the 30-year-old four-time world champion, said being involved in the series was a nice way to give something back to younger Kiwis.
"We have to keep encouraging the next generation of kids to keep active and get involved in sport, just like I was encouraged when I was at school," she said.
Around 22,000 Kiwi kids took part in last year's series.
Pierre van Heerden, general manager of Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing, said the tryathlons were about building happy, healthy kids and communities. All entrants receive a certificate, a medal, a race T-shirt and a swim cap.
Adams said her recovery from surgery was going to plan and she expected to be back in action soon. She has her sights on winning a third straight Olympic gold in Rio de Janiero in 2016.