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Nov 17, 2006

Sol Belize triathlon scheduled for Sunday

Story PictureProfessional athletes, weekend warriors and the brave at heart will test their physical and mental endurance this weekend by participating in the first ever Sol Belize Triathlon. And as News Five’s Kendra Griffith reports, the highly competitive nature of a triathlon is fast becoming a mainstay on the Belizean sports scene.

David Gomez, Member, Triathlon Association
?We don?t want to be devilled with what other associations have been befallen with, so what we said, is look, we would provide an activity that is wholesome, it?s fun, the entire family can participate and it?s attractive to them. So even people who are not at a sporting Olympic level so to speak, they would be interested and can participate in the activity.?

Kendra Griffith, Reporting
Belizeans have been responding to the Belize Triathlon Association?s call to participate en masse. So far this year, B.T.A. has held six races. Number seven is scheduled for this Garifuna Settlement Day weekend.

David Gomez
?Shell wanted to do a launch of this new product and they thought that a good way to do that was partner with an activity or event that was wholesome, reflected their corporate values and ethics. We were grateful because we?ve been in a position now that we said: we?re in a position to start bringing on board those types of corporations in Belize that reflected our own values and ethics from the triathlon association.?

According to association member, David Gomez, the triathlon is open to students, the general public and corporation teams.

David Gomez
?We have a number of activities slated for high school students between different age brackets, twelve to fourteen, fifteen to nineteen, and then over we have the corporate triathlon, which is a team relay and then we have individuals. For the high schools, the first prize participants all get a bicycle, second prize get cell phones and third prize gets like a hundred dollar plus package. And then for the corporate relay, we?re giving away first prize like a two hundred and fifty dollar per individual in the team, two hundred and fifty dollars, for first place, worth of Shell products. So it means you can get vouchers towards free gasoline or towards other different products. Then second place has a hundred and fifty and third place is a hundred dollars per team member.?

And the event is not just for Belizeans … Gomez says fourteen Guatemalans have already confirmed their attendance for this weekend.

Kendra Griffith
?For those who will not be participating and just want to watch, where and what time??

David Gomez
?The Sandlighter?s Promenade, which is known as the Barracks, everyone knows the Barracks where you see all the kids swimming on Saturday or weekends. That is the Sandlighter?s Promenade. It starts at eight o?clock on Sunday morning and run through to about twelve, one o?clock on Sunday and we?ll have food and drinks available out there, so if you want to come out in the morning and enjoy yourself, perhaps listen to a few Garifuna drummers or something then the Sandlighter?s Promenade is where you should be.?

Kendra Griffith
?Where the Belize Triathlon Association wants to be is in the big leagues.?

David Gomez
?The long term objective of this association is to have somebody at an Olympic competitive level by 2012 and to host one of the World Cup circuit races in Belize on an annual basis within the next two to three years. So we are agitating for that and I think what you see is a different quality of race when you are out there.?

To help them achieve their goals, B.T.A. is raising the bar … the organization is already a member of the International Triathlon Union and Central American Confederation of Triathlon Associations. Partnerships that will benefit Belizean athletes and coaches.

David Gomez
?Through that now we?re starting to get scholarship opportunities for coaches to go out, we have a scholarship opportunity right now for one junior athlete to train for the 2008 Olympics. That will provide opportunity for training and a monthly stipend for the person up to the end of that period, but it has to go through a qualification process and then if that person meets the criteria from the I.T.O., they will provide the funding directly to him or her.?

Kendra Griffith reporting for News Five.

Registration is still open for anyone wanting to participate in Sunday’s triathlon. For fees and other information, contact Yvonne Robinson at 621-0952.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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