Community involvement is at the heart of Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds.
When the world’s elite athletes set off on Sunday, it marks not only the start of Leeds as a major supporter of triathlon excellence – but the end of a great weekend of mass-participation activities.
Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the country with participants, clubs and members increasing rapidly every year.
Leeds is looking to be a major supporter of this and has created four triathlon training hubs each offering free taster activities in swimming, biking and running.
These are fantastic opportunities to TRI SOMETHING NEW and enjoy any one, or all three, of the triathlon disciplines as sessions are tailored to suit all abilities, ages and fitness levels.
They are led by friendly and experienced leaders ready to welcome and support your journey.
At your first session, grab a TRI SOMETHING NEW reward card from a leader and collect a stamp each time you attend for some great freebies.
The training hubs are based at leisure centres in Fearnville, Middleton, Armley and the city’s universities.
Elsewhere, our opening GO TRI festival on Saturday has already proved to be a big success with every place taken, at the time of writing.
More events are being planned, but in the meantime you can pop down to GO TRI on Saturday, see all the fun and cheer on those in action at Roundhay Park.
Both TRI SOMETHING NEW and GO TRI are run by Leeds City Council, British Triathlon and Sport England. Visit leeds.triathlon.org or active.l .leeds.gov.uk to find out more information – including upcoming events when available.
Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds is the latest major event to be hosted by the city, as part of a bold and lasting legacy to sporting excellence.
From 2014’s Tour de France Grand Départ and the subsequent, annual Tour de Yorkshire races, Leeds and the wider region is internationally renowned for cycling – with Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme describing our part in 2014 as ‘the grandest Grand Départ’ in the 111-year history of the race.
Recent times have also seen Leeds host big-selling Rugby World Cup matches for both league and union tournaments, at Headingley and Elland Road respectively, as well as the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2013 at the first direct arena.
This rising international sports profile brings success and benefits that are mirrored locally.
Cyclist numbers have soared in Leeds and we continue to make the sport inclusive and accessible to all.
And that spirit extends beyond cycling.
Leeds City Council was named Aspire-Igen outstanding local authority at the Disability Sport Yorkshire Awards recently.
Judges were impressed by the city’s comprehensive disabled sports programme – one that also features football, athletics, bowling, swimming, cricket, golf and horse riding for people of all ages and impairment groups to enjoy.
Sport is important for now and the future.
Cycling, for example, promotes a sustainable form of environmentally-friendly transport, while the city council and agencies see greater participation as providing wide health benefits to the city.