Youngsters to try triathlon

2015-04-30 14:48

Richard Murray, SA’s top triathlete, meets the Virgin Active development tri-team. In front from left are: Faiez Basardien, Schalk Damons and Ashley Jacobs. Back from left are: Ana Maquina, Leigh-Anne Maroon, Bianca Lakay, Murray, Summer-Lee Deng

Richard Murray, SA’s top triathlete, meets the Virgin Active development tri-team. In front from left are: Faiez Basardien, Schalk Damons and Ashley Jacobs. Back from left are: Ana Maquina, Leigh-Anne Maroon, Bianca Lakay, Murray, Summer-Lee Deng

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Learners from Holy Cross High School in Maitland and Lavender Hill High School in Retreat will soon be experiencing the adrenalin rush of a triathlon as they team up to compete in a relay event at this year’s Discovery World Triathlon in Cape Town.

As part of the Virgin Active Future Crew Triathlon team these nine learners – aged between 15 and 18 – will be doing what they do best of in three sport disciplines – swimming, running and cycling – on a slightly shorter course than the full triathlon, but at the same time as the world’s best triathletes.

The tri-team will tackle a “sprint” distance: A 500m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.

The tri-team received an unexpected surprise during a recent training session when Richard Murray, South Africa’s top triathlete and ranked 6th internationally, popped by to give them words of encouragement and some race day tips.

All of the learners were selected for their passion for the sport, their commitment to training and their leadership potential. Although a triathlon is a fairly new sporting discipline at school level, they were all unanimous in their excitement to be a part of this prestigious international event.

“Both these schools have phenomenal leaders in headmaster Faseeg Manie of Lavender Hill and sports coach Randal Arendse at Holy Cross High and the learners’ participation in the race is a tribute to the work they are doing to uplift their learners and to encourage them to strive to achieve greater things in their lives,” said Melody Arendse of Virgin Active.

Murray’s advice to the team was welcomed as he calmed nerves, especially around the sea swim, which can be daunting, and the quick transition between the relay elements.

“By giving these youngsters the chance to interact with a professional athlete such as Richard Murray, we hope to show them the potential of the sport and how, by being willing to tackle challenges sporting or otherwise, they can determine their future,” says Arendse.

The second Discovery World Triathlon Cape Town is on Saturday and Sunday, with the finish at the new Green Point Athletics Stadium.

The route incorporates a swim outside Quay 6 at the Vandamp;A Waterfront, a cycle on the main roads through Mouille and Green Point and the run taking in the Green Point Urban Park. Around 130 elite (professional) triathletes from 80 countries are expected to participate in the full triathlon which is part of the ITU World Series.

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