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School tries a modified concept


Image: Without access to a pool and enough bikes for everyone, Doncaster Primary School simulated a triathlon race - where the swim, bike and run legs encompassed buckets of water and scooter boards.

When it comes to triathlon, sometimes you have to get creative – and that’s exactly what Doncaster Primary School did last year.

Without access to a pool and enough bikes for everyone, the school simulated a triathlon race - where the swim, bike and run legs encompassed buckets of water and scooter boards.

The modified race was held in the second week of a Sporting Schools program, with the first week focusing on skill delivery, Triathlon Victoria’s club and programs manager Rob Ward said.

“This terrific initiative not only exposed participants to the concept of triathlon racing (something all the school and junior programs want to ultimately lead to), but provides us at Triathlon Victoria with vital learnings to build a ‘turn-key’ resource for schools delivering triathlon in the Sporting Schools program,” he said.

“Ultimately, this should lead to greater participation in racing at club and calendar events.”

Doncaster’s race day started with a warm-up (via an obstacle course) that included the run component of the triathlon, and a modified race in a team of four.

The swim component consisted of filling an empty bucket with a big car wash sponge and a bucket filled with water. When the small container was full, they went on to the next leg.

The teams then used scooter boards to get themselves over to the other side, one participant at a time. Students could push each participant on the scooter board, but the last participant had to get themselves there. They finished the race once all participants were on the other side.

Doncaster Primary School teacher Dimitra Ferizis said all 550 students from Prep to Grade 6 participated in the triathlon sessions.

“The children loved the competitive nature of the event and the fact that they were participating in a team,” she said.

As a result of the program, many students went on to participate in triathlons over the summer triathlon season.

Ward said he was excited to see the adaptation of the sport and the possibilities something like this could have for other schools.

“We couldn’t be more appreciative of Doncaster Primary School’s effort to deliver this initiative, and are excited by what possibilities it creates for us going forward.”

Sporting Schools is a $160 million Australian Government initiative to get more children playing more sport, before, during and after school. Want to run a Triathlon program at your school? Check out all the details on the Triathlon Australia page.

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