First-time competitor Lucas Breeze would never have signed up to a triathlon event in previous years, but is now looking forward to crossing the finish line of the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon.
The Waimea Intermediate School student has signed up to complete the running, biking and swimming challenge in March, but says he wouldn’t have been able to do it until now.
“I wasn’t really that confident when I was younger, but my teacher encouraged me to play more sports, so I started playing cricket and tennis, and I got more confident,” explains Lucas (11).
“Now I want to do the TRYathlon because I know it will boost my confidence, and I can encourage my brother and my cousins to do it too.”
Lucas’ mother Jess says he wouldn’t have considered the idea before now as he was shy about joining in with sports teams or events, but encouragement from his teacher two years ago to give them a go had transformed his attitude.
“It’s been the absolute making of him as he’s opened up so much, it’s helped with friendships, and given him more confidence,” says Jess. “Now he’s doing it, as well as encouraging his cousin and telling her she can do the TRY too, which is a really cool thing to see.”
Lucas is looking forward to the biking section of the event, and thinks the best part of the day will be the end of the TRYathlon “because there will be lots of people cheering for me, and it will feel good to finish the race,” he explains.
Meanwhile mum Jess is simply excited to see her son give the challenge a go. “Seeing him cross the finish line will be great, but also just seeing him do it with his family group and knowing he’s having a good experience,” she says.
“We are really lucky that it’s an amazing event you can enter as a kid which is not that expensive, and that they get a great t-shirt and to take part with all their friends and family around them.”
According to a survey of 2500 parents and children throughout New Zealand about the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon*, 90% of parents surveyed would be very likely to recommend the events to others, with 84% believing it had a positive impact on their child’s self-esteem.
A further seven out of 10 (72%) parents said their child was glowing with pride when they finished the event, and the vast majority (84%) of children really enjoyed participating in it.
The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is taking place in Nelson at Tahunanui Recreation Ground on Sunday 6 March, with events running around New Zealand until 10 April 2016.
The events are open to children aged between 7 and 15 years old, and consist of a swim, followed by a cycle and a run.
Registrations are open online at try.weetbix.co.nz until midday on Tuesday the 1st of March. Entries on the day, between 7.00am and 8.00am will be accepted if there are spaces available.