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Sittingbourne Striders establish junior triathlon section with help from Bayford Meadows karting track

Sittingbourne Striders’ new junior triathlon club comes with a unique selling point.

The club are reaping the benefits of a partnership with Bayford Meadows which gives them access to the go-kart circuit for bike training every Tuesday night.

Sittingbourne Striders have set up a junior section.
Sittingbourne Striders have set up a junior section.

It means a safe environment for the growing band of youngsters joining the Striders.

There are currently 30 members, aged seven to 15, and that’s set to increase as the club step up efforts to spread the word in schools.

The Bayford link-up is a real tonic as they make their mark in the town.

“I emailed Bayford Meadows, saying we need to find somewhere safe to get these kids biking,” said junior section founder Steve Fisher.

“Out of the blue, Corinne Murphy (the circuit manager) emailed back and said she thought it was a great idea.

“It’s one of the best things that could happen to us because effectively we’ve got a closed bike track.

“We’ve got 30 kids at the moment and Corinne believes that will balloon in six to 12 months as more people find out about it.

“There are very few triathlon clubs with access to facilities like that. People think of triathlon clubs as elitist and costing lots of money and what we’re saying is it’s not about that.

All smiles for the young Striders.
All smiles for the young Striders.

“It’s about getting young kids to learn bike skills in a safe environment and to have fun, with no cars, no traffic and no pedestrians.

“If they want to do competitions, great, but if they don’t, they have somewhere they can meet new friends and learn a new skill.

“We have that on a Tuesday and on Fridays we hire a field at the Sittingbourne School to learn running skills and have a bit of fun. They’re really good arrangements.”

Striders offer free trials and have even loaned bikes to youngsters to help out, while at £15 a month, the club feel the cost is significantly cheaper than alternatives.

“It’s all about creating a really good culture and a friendly atmosphere,” said Fisher.

“I’ve been toying with the idea of setting up a junior section for three or four years.

“It takes a massive amount of time and emotion and commitment to start a club but in the end, we took that leap of faith and said, ‘Let’s go for it’.

For information on joining the juniors, call Steve on 07496 242166, email stridersjuniors@gmail.com or visit sittingbournestriders.co.uk/juniors.

The club would also like to hear from any companies interested in sponsorship.

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