Trinity Triathlon proves Olympic sporting legacy is still burning bright in Croydon

By - Thursday 18th July, 2013

The Triathlon, organised by Trinity School, is a great example of Croydon’s proactive attitude towards sport

Michael Eagling (left) heading to a bronze medal in the age 13-14 category. Photo by Trinity School.

It’s been quite a summer of sport so far for south London. On Saturday 13th July, Croydon Harriers sprinter James Dasaolu ran the second fastest time ever by a Brit (9.91 seconds) in the British Championships – faster than Usain Bolt this year, no less. In the first week of July we saw Andy Murray’s heroics at Wimbledon (ok not Croydon, but not far), just a month after Crystal Palace returned to the Premier League after eight years, with winger Wilfried Zaha completing a £15 million move to Manchester United a month later. In late April, former Whitgift schoolboy and Olympian Lawrence Okoye was picked in the draft for the NFL by San Francisco 49ers. Sport would appear to be alive and well in Croydon, and the Trinity Triathlon demonstrated that at grassroots level too, there is much to be encouraged by.

The Triathlon, created by Trinity School in 2011 to demonstrate the legacy role of the Olympics in getting more young people involved in sport, took place on Sunday 30th June and involved over 300 boys and girls between the ages of 6-16. Event director, Rob Brookman, spoke of the “incredible numbers of young people who registered” which clearly demonstrates the enthusiasm in Croydon for what is a tough event.

Competitors cycle along Addiscombe Road. Photo by Trinity School.

Despite the name, the Triathlon is not exclusive to school members; however, the excellent facilities at the school are taken advantage of by all and even the closure of Addiscombe Road was secured for the cycling section of the event. This was a real society event; over 100 mentors from both the school community and the Crystal Palace Triathlon Club were present to ensure the event was a success. The event played host to five different age categories, and the spirit of competition was in full force as prizes for the first three places in each category were up for grabs. From Christo Chilton (from Balham) and Melissa Eve Cooper (representing Chapel Tristars, from Southampton), aged 8 and 7 respectively, to the oldest winners, Emily Reeves of Hillingdon Triathlon Club and Alex Yee of Crystal Palace Triathletes (both in the 15-16 age range), the combination of swimming, cycling and running did not prove too much.

Whilst the spirit of competition is important however, the sheer number of athletes who took part in a variety of age ranges demonstrates the importance of involvement in sport from a young age; not only the health benefits, but the camaraderie between fellow athletes and the acceptance of defeat, and determination to win, are fantastic attributes to carry through life in any situation. Brookman continued “it was fantastic to see so many young people enjoying sport for its own sake and having a good time in the true spirit of the Olympic legacy. “ He also thanked Transport for London for allowing the closure of Addiscombe Road.

As this time of the year finally shows some signs of earning the right to be called ‘summer’, there are plenty of opportunities in Croydon for young and old alike to get involved in sport. There are numerous athletics, cricket and cycling clubs at this time of year across the borough which welcome new members with open arms, no matter what the ability, and joining a sports clubs is a great opportunity to meet new people and, first and foremost, have some fun.  The Olympics last year were a fantastic showcase for London, for global sport, and British abilities in particular, and it is important that these positives are not forgotten. The Trinity Triathlon should remind everyone that no matter how tough the event, and no matter how young the participant, with the right level of training and determination much can be achieved.

Tom Lickley

Tom Lickley

Contributing a variety of roles to the Citizen since early 2013, Tom now focuses upon regeneration, urbanism and real estate writing. After three years spent working within the real estate industry, he now works in regeneration and PR following a move back to Croydon.

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