Triathlon Ireland Welcomes Investment to Improve Programme Access Triathlon Ireland welcomes a significant State investment of €56,000 aimed at improving access to the sport for young people; and to expand its virtual activities as a response to Covid-19. This investment is awarded by Sport Ireland through the Dormant Account Funding Scheme.The funding will help Triathlon Ireland increase its outreach to young people through the launch of a new Tri Captains Secondary School programme. Funding will also be directed at expanding Triathlon Ireland’s virtual training and racing initiatives and increasing access opportunities to these programmes..The funding was awarded to Triathlon Ireland as part of Sport Ireland’s €7.3 million allocation to engage with communities across the country, focusing on people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged and from disadvantaged communities.Tri CaptainsTriathlon Ireland’s Tri Captains programme, which will introduce secondary school students to the basics of triathlon, is a progression from the successful Tri Heroes primary school programme that has seen thousands of younger kids complete their first triathlon, and learn the basics of safe swimming and cycling in the process.The Tri Captains programme will have a strong emphasis on mental health and highlight the benefit of physical activity to teenagers. The programme will see Triathlon Ireland’s regional development officers and qualified coaching team visit schools, clubs and Local Sports Partnerships throughout the county to deliver the activities directly to students.Triathlon Ireland CEO, Darren Coombes said: “Through our rapidly growing junior club network, triathlon has become a sport that young people can increasingly engage in. 24% of Triathlon Ireland members are children following a number of years of investment and development - these children are training and racing with junior clubs all over the country, supported by a network of fantastic volunteer coaches, safeguarding officers and parents.""The Tri Captains Programme was piloted successfully in 2020 by our Development Team, and through this funding we are delighted to be able to expand the programme into 2021, at a time when both the physical and mental health of our young people is so in need of investment. We are enormously grateful to Sport Ireland and the Department of Sport for their investment in this programme."Virtual ActivitiesAs part of the funding allocation, Triathlon Ireland will also be able to increase the reach of its virtual activities and is planning an exciting roster of programmes for the winter and spring of 2020/21 which will include the return of an expanded Zwift League; a new virtual running competition and the innovative Run and Ride for Pieta programme. Mr Coombes said the Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of sport for physical and mental wellbeing and has challenged all Governing Bodies to pivot and develop new offerings for society. “The Triathlon Ireland community - Board, Staff, Clubs and Volunteers has responded in an inspirational way to this challenge - delivering hundreds of hours of training content, virtual bike training and racing for our members. We are delighted to receive this investment from Sport Ireland that will allow us to refine our approach and expand our reach to attract people to our sport who had never previously considered a triathlon and tap in to the growing interest nationally in the core National Sports Policy activities of running, biking and swimming.