The sporting facilities at Nuneaton 's Pingles Leisure Centre and the town's Air Cadets have received glowing praise from national sporting bodies following the inaugural Triathlon England National Schools Aquathlon Championships.
On Sunday 10 th July 2011 teams of young people representing schools from across the country converged on the Pingles Leisure Centre for the first ever National Schools Aquathlon Championships and the Nuneaton based Air Cadets were part of the large team of volunteers tasked with making sure that the event ran to plan.
Aquathlon is a two discipline event comprising of a swim and run. The event is continuous i.e. the timing of the competitors starts when they begin their swim and finishes when they cross the finish line at the conclusion of their run. The 2011 British Schools Aquathlon Championships is a new addition to the British Triathlon Federation's annual event calendar.
The national governing body for Aquathlon is the British Triathlon Federation (BTF), as recognised by the International Triathlon Union, UK Sport and the British Olympic Association.
The Aquathlon is an excellent introduction to multi-discipline events particularly for young people, helping identify and nurture potential talent who could go on to compete in the triathlon. The National Schools Championships are open to teams of four, two girls and two boys, representing their schools as part of a county/area team. There are three age groups based on school years: Years 7 – 8, Years 9 -10, and Year 11.
With the inaugural National Schools Aquathlon Championships proving to be a big success, Triathlon England is planning to make it an annual event with at least 2012 and 2013 being held in Nuneaton .
Following the event Sue O'Neil of the event management team, said, I Would like to thank all of the volunteers from the Nuneaton Air Cadets for their fantastic support. Their involvement helped to make sure that the day went without a hitch, and there has been great feedback from the two national governing bodies, Triathlon England and the British Triathlon Federation, and from the teams competing.
The excellent facilities at the Pingles combined with the run in Riversley Park really showed off the Borough to its best. The events team received a number of comments along the lines of “we didn't realise Nuneaton was such a nice place”, and about the high quality sporting facilities and fabulous park.
Also of particular comment was the welcome offered by the cadets and other volunteers for the day. The Air Cadets' smart turnout, and their calm and positive approach made a real difference to the experiences of the teams and to the event staff, some of whom had travelled very long distances for the day,
As you know this first year was really a “pilot” to test the concept and the suitability of the venue and infrastructure. With the very positive feedback that we have received so far, we are looking forward to sitting down with Triathlon England in the not too distant future, to plan for a bigger and even better event next year.