Last year Joe was part of a team, Pigs in Sunglasses, with his classmates Ari, Miles and Patrick, they raised an incredible £925 and were one of the top fundraising teams at Rokeby. This year Joe is returning as part of the Sweaty Soccer Skins! We take pride in participants who come back – this is a huge compliment to the Triathlons and the impact they have on young people. Charlotte and Tamsin interviewed Joe to find out why he was motivated to take part, his fundraising tactics and his experience on the day.
What was your motivation for taking part in the triathlons?
The Schools Triathlons is a team sporting event; it’s not competitive, but promotes teamwork and enjoyment among classmates. Joe had only just joined the school when the triathlon team came to do an assembly. He saw it as a fantastic way to strengthen his new friendships, as he said himself, ‘it was great to be part of a team with my new school friends’.
After seeing the assembly, Joe was motivated to ‘do something fun and exciting for charity’.
Joe also explained; ‘I like doing things to help other people especially other children who are less fortunate. I felt very motivated to do my best for them and for my team.’ By raising money for Restless Development, and his schools chosen charity, Joe has supported young people around the world on issues they face in their communities, whether it’s combating the effects of climate change or helping young people off the streets and into employment.
What are your top fundraising tip for new Schools Triathlon participants?
Joe was in one of the top fundraising teams at Rokeby, raising £935 as a team and £320 individually – going way beyond his fundraising target.
80% of participants who take part in the triathlons fundraise through JustGiving, whilst 20% fundraise offline. Joe fundraised online, he offers tips about how to increase donations. He tells us how he used Facebook to promote his page; ‘[I would] keep updating it whenever I was out on my bike or running’. By keeping supporters updated with photos from training and reposting your page you can increase donations by up to 6% every time you share the page.
Joe used every opportunity to ask for sponsorship and made sure he spread the word about his fundraising. ‘Tell every grown up you know you are doing it and ask them to sponsor you,’ he told us.
What training advice would you give?
The triathlons are a fantastic way to get young people active; Joe tells us how he prepared for the triathlons by doing some ‘running and cycling’. He also explains that ‘if you’re active and you know how to swim and ride a bike, you don’t need to do lots of training.’ The triathlons are inclusive of all abilities, so whether you are like Joe and active outside the triathlons or haven’t touched your bike in months, the triathlons are a great way to motivate yourself to do some exercise.
Joe also filled us in on his favourite part, ‘the best bit was running over the finish line together’. It brings a sense of solidarity and achievement to these young people who have fundraised, trained and taken part with their team and with their classmates in a sporting event.
Crossing the finishing line doesn’t mean the day is over. There are so many other things to enjoy at the triathlons, from fun and interactive games, ice cream stands, food stalls, watching other classmates or having a picnic on the lawn, it is a great day out for the whole family!
And the main thing is, in Joe’s words; ‘It’s just really fun!’