THE inaugural Putrajaya Perdana Triathlon held at the Water Sports Complex in Putrajaya proved to be a big hit, attracting more than 650 participants from 18 different countries.
Organised by Team M3X of the Tri-Amateur Triathlon Club with main sponsors Putrajaya Perdana Bhd (PPB), the three-stage race (swim, cycle and run) saw 16 categories involving those from as young as seven to 76.
Although more than a quarter of the participants took part in the Children and Youth categories, there was also an Elite category which featured national triathletes Zoe Natasha Bowden and Ryan Tan Qai Shen, both of whom took part in the 2017 SEA Games.
The winners included Gabriel Ding (TriDiscovery Kids), Mimi Adriana Lee (TriKids), Matthew David Trott (TriYouth), Sam Mcinnes (TriJunior), Xian Hao Chong (Elite), Ang Ye Koon (Aquaswim TriAdult), Claire Hawkins (TriPrime) and Ichiro Saito (TriMaster).
One of the many parent-volunteers, Raymond Moy, 51, said his whole family would usually compete at the same event but they were too busy helping out with organising the event.
His wife Katherina Lee and daughter Joanna, also sat out the event, leaving his son Jeremy, the only one in the family to compete.
“I was inspired by my son’s pursuit in the sport after getting bored of sitting around just watching. Now, I believe this is a good platform for families to get together and compete as a team,” Raymond said.
“M3X is an all-volunteer club driven by members and parents, so it is like a big family and it is the good company and everybody’s encouragement that drives this.
“Without PBB, we wouldn’t have the courage to run a full-fledged event like this,” he added.
Jeremy, who finished sixth in the Elite category, said watching the competitors in his category perform was inspiring. He found the the 20km ride challenging because of the hot weather.
“It was hard riding solo, especially with the scorching heat and windy conditions, but overall, I am pretty happy with my performance but I want to do better in upcoming competitions.”
The Putrajaya Perdana Triathlon was part of the National Sprint Triathlon Championship and sanctioned by the National Federation/Triathlon Association of Malaysia.
It was the second of a two-part series following the Putrajaya Perdana Aquathlon 2017 in September and set to be an annual affair alongside the aquathlon in a joint effort to popularise the sport.
PBB, a construction, property development and concession group, has been sponsoring the community-based triathlon club and their race outfit, Team M3X, since 2015.
With a focus on the younger age group to develop triathletes, both sides are driven by their hopes to develop individuals or teams who can go on to represent the country someday.
Tri-Amateur Triathlon Club secretary Amy Ho, pointed out the importance of introducing the sport to children from an early age.
“Being involved in a sport like triathlon will teach children vital life skills such as discipline, motivation, commitment and cooperation,” she said.
PPB group managing director Datuk Rosman Abdullah who shared the sentiment, stressed on wanting to promote a healthy lifestyle among the youth.
“To ensure that the youth grow up to be healthy and successful individuals, we need to impress upon them the importance of a healthy lifestyle from an early age. This is a key focus area for our corporate social responsibility programmes,” he said.
“The Putrajaya Perdana Triathlon 2017 was a good start and we look forward to an even bigger youth turnout next year,” Rosman added.
PBB was recently awarded the 2017 HR Asia “Best Companies To Work For In Asia Award”, which pays homage to world-class corporations with high levels of employee engagement and excellent workplace cultures.