North Antrim MP Ian Paisley and Olympic hero Jonny Brownlee welcomed children from schools from around the country to the 100th Tata Kids of Steel Triathlon at the Terrace Pavilion of the Houses of Parliament today.
In the first triathlon event ever to take place in the Houses of Parliament, kids from around the country as well as many others from around the country swam, cycled and ran to help Tata Steel towards their target of completing an Olympic-length triathlon in an hour and a half. Olympic bronze-medal triathlete Jonny Brownlee and Paralympian Lauren Steadman attended the event, providing much appreciated training tips and advice for the junior triathletes.
The success of Team GB triathletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a massive boost to the sport of triathlon in the UK, inspiring the next generation of triathletes to be more involved and active in the sport than ever before. Tata Steel and the British Triathlon Foundation, the sport’s charitable arm, collectively aim to introduce youngsters to the sport and encourage them to take it up.
Mr Paisley said: “The work TATA Steel and the British Triathlon Federation have been doing to promote a healthy lifestyle for young people has been invaluable so I hope they can build on the work they have already done. From a Northern Ireland perspective I am delighted to welcome such a major employer in Co. Antrim to the Parliamentary Terrace for this wonderful event.”
Zara Hyde Peters OBE, CEO of British Triathlon Federation and Trustee of the British Triathlon Foundation Trust, added: “We’re delighted to continue to work alongside Tata Steel in this partnership, which has been a big success in our seven-year relationship, benefiting both UK children and the development of our sport.
“The series has been the catalyst for the creation of our charitable arm, the British Triathlon Foundation, which was set up to help us inspire a generation.”
Sytske Seyffert, Director of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Tata Steel, said: “2013 has been the seventh year we have worked alongside the British Triathlon Federation to organise Tata Kids of Steel™ and we are delighted to be able to celebrate the series in Parliament with this 100th event. Nearly 60,000 children have experienced triathlon since the series launched in 2007. Our events enable children to have a fantastic day out while actively participating in sport. Many of our employees volunteer at the events, which help us to strengthen the long-term partnerships we have with our communities.”
Tata Kids of Steel is a children’s triathlon series organised by British Triathlon in partnership with Tata Steel, with the aims of encouraging children across the country to have a fun, positive experience of sport and of inspiring them to adopt a healthier lifestyle through sport and exercise.
This year’s Tata Kids of Steel series has seen more than 8,000 youngsters take up the challenge to each swim, cycle and run part of the distance between London and the next Olympic host city Rio de Janeiro, our way of inspiring a generation to take up sport and to help in securing the 2012 Olympic legacy.