As with many sports, you can easily part with thousands of pounds if you want to; but it really isn’t necessary with triathlon. You can give your child a good start in the sport with minimal outlay.
Here we look at how…
Swimming: For younger children (Tristart to Tristars 1, ages 8-10 years), and those starting out in the sport, triathlons will be pool-based. So equipment can be as simple as swimming trunks/costume and goggles. Joining your local swim club will likely save on pool costs and provide valuable coaching.
For aquathlon and triathlon events, a t-shirt with a number pinned on, will work perfectly fine for the transition to cycling and running. However, as your child progresses, they may like expand their kit to a tri-suit and number belt, which will save time in transition
Kit options are increasing for children, and you can typically buy a trisuit for £30-£50. A cheap, easy time saver in transition are elastic laces for trainers (around £5).
For the older children, and those wishing to progress, open water swimming may be of interest. This clearly will add the cost of a wetsuit – children’s wetsuits are available for around £100, but you may be able to find second hand or hire options.
Cycling: For starters, any bike will do! In fact many children’s triathlon races involve cycling on grass, so mountain bikes can actually be an advantage. The most important factor for cycling is the bike is well maintained and fits the child well. An overly large bike can be unsafe, difficult for the child to handle and easily put them off. Most children will probably already own a suitable bike, but if not, second hand options are a cost effective option. A suitable bike helmet and trainers are the only other essential items of kit. Bike shoes and clip-less pedals can always follow later on in the child’s development.
Running: the cheapest sport – just some suitable trainers for running!
Racing costs: There are an increasing number of races for Tristars, although they are quite costly (in the region of £20-25). Look out for cheaper races organised by local clubs, and there are always cheap/free single sport options to supplement the racing calendar, such as park run and swim galas.
So as you can hopefully see, children’s triathlon doesn’t need to be a massive drain on your hard earned cash, and the benefits of the sport for your child are immense!