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Jonny Brownlee helps local children ‘give it a tri’ at training sessions

Posted on 15 November 2019

Two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee met local children yesterday at York Sport Village at the University of York to help deliver the York Sport Junior Triathlon training programme.

Launched in 2018, the programme gives children of all abilities the chance to learn and develop skills in cycling, running and triathlon with additional optional swim sessions, focussing on skills such as open-water technique, drafting and group swimming. 

Yorkshire born Jonny is recognised as one of the World’s best triathletes, having scooped the Bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympics, and Silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics just behind his brother Alistair.

Alongside Coach Alex Wormald and his team, Jonny spent time coaching the children and joined in with a number of fun team challenges.

Alex explained “Triathlon is a great way to help get children excited about staying active. Many of our juniors love racing around the playground at school or jumping on their bike at home, so it’s a really natural course for families who are passionate about getting out and staying active.  The sessions are open to all children and if you can ride a bike comfortably or enjoy a bit of exercise we are confident you will have fun and learn a lot”.

Each week focuses on a different skill or technique used in triathlons such as bike control, cornering, gears and group riding. Transitions between the swim, bike and run phases are practiced too. The programme is designed to help children build on their existing skills in a fun, friendly and accessible environment.

After helping coach at the session Jonny said “It’s brilliant to see so many youngsters getting involved in triathlon. It’s always been a real passion for Alistair and I, which is why we set up our Foundation. We want to see more young people getting involved in sport at every age and level. I’m really pleased to see how much the children are enjoying the swimming, cycling and running sessions at York Sport”

Keith Morris, Head of Sport at the University of York said “The programme was developed off the back of the Brownlee Foundation Schools Triathlon event, which is held annually at York Sport Village at the University of York. We are proud and excited to work in partnership with the Brownlee Foundation to offer children a regular opportunity to be physically active whilst developing the skills needed for a triathlon. It is fantastic to hear from parents about how much their children love the sessions and how the programme has improved their fitness, skills and all-round confidence.

Allie Campbell, whose daughter Isla has been taking part in the sessions for over a year now said “since starting York Sport Triathlon, the coaches have helped Isla to find her confidence after a few years of health problems. She is now a wee girl who loves sport again. She absolutely loves the sessions and also took part in the UK Triathlon event at York Sport which she really enjoyed. The determination on her face during the race was replaced with the biggest smile ever at the finish. We appreciate everything the coaches do and we are looking forward to another fun year ahead”

Another parent Elizabeth Fathers also added “the children support each other to do their best and the emphasis is on improving their own performance. I really recommend the programme to any child that wants to give triathlon a go, get some solid activity into the week and have fun at the same time”. 

Max Moody (11) who joined the programme last year summed the Junior Triathlon sessions up saying ‘Wednesday’s are my favourite day of the week because I look forward so much to triathlon. I love learning new skills on my bike and have so much fun practicing the transitions. My favourite games are the helmet relays and Shrinking Islands. I can’t wait to take part in some fun triathlon events next summer!”

The Junior Triathlon hourly sessions are run at the York Sport Village on Mondays and Wednesdays. More information about the programme can be found on the York Sport website.