Working in local communities across London, Badu Sports use physical activity as a tool to engage young people for both educational and community development, with a team of five taking part at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon on Saturday 11 September.
Taking place on Saturday 11 September, the Blenheim Palace Triathlon is one of the largest multisport events in the country and is held in the grounds of the iconic Blenheim Palace, with the Badu team taking part in the supersprint distance which will see them complete a 400m swim, 13.3km bike and 2.9km run.
As an organisation, Badu work across a variety of settings including sports clubs, events, schools and community groups to help provide opportunities for young people and support them in developing healthy bodies and healthy minds.
One of the team taking part is Naomi Donkor, who said of the programme, “Never in my life would I have thought I’d ever do a triathlon. However, when the chance was offered to me, I jumped to the opportunity and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life so far.
“I can’t thank my teammates around me and my coaches enough for the support and dedication that they have all shown in this process. Cannot wait for the hard work to have paid off once I cross that finish line.”
Despite coming from sporting backgrounds, this will be the first time that any of them have taken part in a multisport event.
As part of their training, the team of five have undertaken regular training across the three disciplines, swimming together four times a week, cycling three times a week and running on their own throughout the week.
Another of the team is Miles Buffong, who commented, “This is the start of something new for me, being able to experience something like this has never crossed my mind. Joined the team late but I joined in going from strength to strength, it’s been wonderful having the major support from my coaches and teammates. It's been fun and tiring but we pushed through these early mornings.”
Three of the five are predominantly non-swimmers, so have been developing their skills in the pool before getting into open water for the first time for most of them. To support them in their swimming, they have been working with two British Triathlon qualified coaches who have helped them progress from pool to open water.
With young people being the focus of Badu and the work they do, the triathlon project is being led by Zeniece Hall who is leading on organising the programme for her peers racing at the weekend.
Off the project, Hall added, “Seeing the progress each athlete has made and being able to work with them on every step of this journey has been special. I am in awe of the capabilities of each athlete and what they have become. I am grateful that we have been on this journey together. I can't wait until we are able to celebrate their dedication and hard work at the finish line.”
Nana Badu, CEO and Founder of Badu Sports, said: “As an organisation we are all about inclusion and access so when this project was brought to me, my answer was always going to be a yes. I have utter belief in our organisation, our young people and our leaders which is why assigning Zeniece as project lead was key. Her determination and understanding of the barriers that may prevent athletes from taking part means she is totally committed to improving athletes and building excellence. I felt this was a great opportunity to inspire and include the community and young people we serve.
“Mark from Limelight Sports was instrumental in breaking down any barriers that may have prevented the young people taking part. I am so grateful to all the coaches and mentors who were happy to support the athletes to make it to the start line of the triathlon. I hope this is a start to more inclusion in events like this.”
To find out more about Badu Sports and the work that they do, click on the button below.
British Triathlon and the Home Nations continue to provide guidance to event organisers and event participants to help them to run and take part in swim, bike, run events in a Covid Secure way. The Blenheim Palace Triathlon has demonstrated its application of these requirements in addition to the safety processes required to receive an event permit from British Triathlon.
You can view the guidance for event participants and search for other permitted events and beginner focussed GO TRI events by clicking on the buttons below.