The Newham event was organised by British Triathlon in partnership with Tata Steel and follows research into the positive effects exercise has on a child’s development. The scientific review by international expert Dr Richard Bailey has been released today and shows compelling evidence that sport and exercise improves the health and well-being of children and is translated into a healthy adult lifestyle.
The research explains the significant contributions sport and physical activity has on a child’s physical, intellectual and psycho-social development and how participation at a young age can positively impact health at later stages in life.
The research reinforces Tata Steel’s commitment to provide at least 50,000 8-13 year olds with a positive experience of triathlon by the end of 2012. Tata Kids of Steel events are free to enter, accessible to all and geared simply towards encouraging children to have fun and take part, regardless of ability.
Throughout the course of the fun-packed day, children from 16 local schools swam, cycled and ran their way around their very first triathlon. They were supported by British Triathlon Chief Executive Zara Hyde Peters OBE and Murray Bean, Director of Construction Solutions, Tata Steel Construction who cheered the wannabe triathletes along and awarded each child a medal in recognition of their efforts.
As well as being given the chance to swim, bike and run under the supervision of staff and volunteers, each child was fitted with the correct size bike and helmet, and given a swim cap, t-shirt and gym sack to help harness the very best of their inner triathlete.
Sytske Seyffert of Tata Steel said commented: “As the Corporate Partner of British Triathlon, Tata Steel is committed to nurturing the grass roots of the sport and enabling children to experience the sport of triathlon, regardless of ability. This year marks the sixth year of Tata Kids of Steel and, with more than 20,000 children expected to participate in 24 events nationwide, it promises to be the biggest and most exciting yet. Many events take place close to our sites, demonstrating our commitment to the local communities that we are part of. Tata Steel also actively encourages our employees to volunteer as helpers at these events."
British Triathlon Chief Executive Zara Hyde Peters OBE, added: “To see a thousand youngsters all enjoying triathlon in the Olympic Borough, is fantastic. With the support from our Corporate Partner, Tata Steel, who have provided equipment and support for all the participants, our aim is to ensure that every child walks away from today with a smile on their face and is inspired to come to Hyde Park with their friends and families and support our athletes as they race for Team GB on Saturday 4 August and Tuesday 7 August.”
Newham is the launch event in the 2012 Tata Kids of Steel triathlon series. Throughout the summer, the initiative is visiting 24 locations* to give even more youngsters the opportunity to sample triathlon than ever before.
Since launching in 2007, over 35,000 children from over 400 schools have taken part in Tata Kids of Steel events, many of which are held in the steel manufacturer’s key business areas, including Scunthorpe, Corby, Teesside, Swansea, Birmingham and Shotton.