AROUND 1,100 smiling youngsters basked in glorious sunshine and ran, swam and biked to the finish line at the annual Tata Kids of Steel triathlon.
Children from 22 Corby schools took part in the event yesterday, swimming at Corby International Pool and cycling and running along Westcott Way.
Steel giant Tata, which is one of Corby’s biggest employers, laid on the event for eight to 13-year-olds.
The whole of Year 5 at Studfall Junior School took part. Teacher Karen Roberts said: “Ever since it’s been going we have done it. The children always really enjoy it. They don’t get the opportunity to do these kind of things on the school premises.
“Even if the children can’t swim or ride, it is about taking part to whatever level they can participate to.”
Daniel Burt, 10, said: “I thought it was really good and quite hard. I enjoyed the biking because it was the most relaxing.”
Chantelle Laurie, 10, said: “It was tiring but I did it. I would come back and do it again.”
Cameron Callaghan, 10, said: “It was really exhausting but I really enjoyed it. The biking was my favourite. All the roads are closed off just for you.”
Tom McGurn, a mechanical fitter at Tata, volunteered as a helper and also watched his son Joe, 10, compete.
Mr McGurn, 39, of Shire Road, said: “I’m glad I have come – it has been brilliant. I’m definitely proud of him and he is happy to see me, which makes it all the better for him.”
ABA heavyweight champion Simon Barclay was offering boxing taster sessions for the competitors.
He said: “You don’t see a sad face here – everyone is enjoying themselves. It is brilliant for the kids.
“We had a few kids on the pads who had a lot of natural talent, so hopefully they will come along to the gym and learn some new skills.”
Zara Hyde Peters, CEO of British Triathlon, said: “We have 24 of these and this is one of the original and biggest. It is just an amazing event.”
Tata HR director Bernard Curran said: “This is our sixth year and every year is better than the last. With all the bad news around in the industry it is great to be able to support it.
“We want to encourage kids to take up sport and be interested in being the steelworkers of the future.”