A selection of schools from Donegal got a taste of what the sport of Triathlon is all about recently.
Over 100 4th, 5th and 6th class athletes participated in a fun Aquathlon event organised by Triathlon Ireland.
Interest in the county for Triathlon has grown significantly over the last five years and Triathlon Ireland want to continue this with increased involvement in school, club and community activities.
The Aquathlon consisted of a 2 length swim and a 400 meter run. Feedback from the kids was very positive and they are keen to stay involved and looking forward to the upcoming events.
Over the last few weeks young athletes form around Ulster have also been competing in their area finals to gain a place in the Ulster Aquathlon Finals.
Schools from Derry, Strabane, Donegal, Omagh, Monaghan, Cavan and Fermanagh entered into what was a fascinating few days of competition. For some this was their first opportunity to compete in a multi-discipline event and test themselves against athletes form other schools.
The fastest 10 male and 10 female athletes from each area final were selected to represent their district at the Ulster Finals which took place on December 6th in Derry.
In the Primary school section the athletes completed 250m swim and a 2.5km run.
In the Secondary schools section there are two sections, Secondary A consisting of a 350m swim and a 3km run and Secondary B which was a 450m swim and a 3.5km run.
Donegal has two main clubs, Letterkenny 24/7 and MSC based around the Ballyshannon area.
Each of these clubs have a thriving membership base and are keen to develop their junior sections.
Triathlon Ireland will be hoping to continue these types of activities over the coming months with the introduction of a County championship structure which also leads to the Ulster Schools Championship later in the year. The overall plan will be to have an All-Ireland Championships for primary and secondary schools where the best kids get to compete against other kids around the country.
A special thanks must go to all the teachers who prepared the kids and who assisted in marshalling during the events. Also to the coaches in the local swim, run, bike and triathlon clubs who individually prepare these athletes every week.
For more information on Triathlon events, please contact Michael Black on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 083-3746607.