Monday, 27 May 2019

Kids' Fun Triathlon attracts national entries

MORE than 800 children competed in the fifth annual Kids' Fun Triathlon in Henley

MORE than 800 children competed in the fifth annual Kids' Fun Triathlon in Henley.

The event took place at Henley leisure centre in Gillotts Lane and in the grounds of neighbouring Gillotts School.

Children aged from seven to 16 swam lengths of the centre's pool then cycled and ran around a course on the school's playing fields.

They completed different distances depending on their age before collecting a medal from Henley Mayor Lorraine Hillier and a T-shirt.

Some entrants were from Henley and surrounding villages while others came from as far as London and Exmouth.

Among them was eight-year-old Harry Carlsson, from Crowsley, who has a neurological birth condition called hemiplegia. It causes muscle weakness down his left-hand side and he undergoes daily physiotherapy as well as exercising regularly.

Harry, who attends Shiplake Primary School, swam 25m before cycling 1km and running 500m.

He took part alongside classmates Lucas Edwards, Ruben Miller, Noah Mercer, Jack Renders, Charlie Rees, Noah Heilbuth and his older brother Freddie, 10.

Harry was inspired by his father David, who competes in triathlons, and finished despite recently overcoming tonsilitis and an ear infection.

Minutes after crossing the line, he said: "I want to do it all again right now - that was so much fun."

His mother Lucy said: "They all loved it. They were really excited about taking part and couldn't wait to get started. They all started together then each completed it at their own pace.

"It's a lovely family day out and there have been loads of people cheering each other on."

The team were raising money for Breathe Arts Health Research, a charity for children with hemiplegia. They aimed to collect £500 but have so far received £870 and donations are still coming in from friends and relatives.

Also taking part was seven-year-old Felix Richardson, of Hart Street, Henley.

He attended with his father Matt, a former Upper Thames Rowing Club rower, who last month set a world record for cycling the furthest distance in an hour on a vintage children's bike.

Felix was in the same age group as Harry so completed the same distance.

Mr Richardson said: "I don't know if he'll follow in my footsteps - he likes sport a lot but it's more important for them just to enjoy it at this age.

"Events like this are really good for children. They see grown-ups doing it and this is their chance to have a go at something similar."

Pictures and results will be published in this week's Henley Standard.

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