St Mary's School's Chilli Triathlon Challenge raises funds for PE equipment in the new school

Written by Tony Millett on .

Triathlon completed: Lucas & Adam Blundy with their medalsTriathlon completed: Lucas & Adam Blundy with their medalsEighty-nine pupils from St Mary's Infant school took part in a very serious triathlon on Saturday (September 24) - held at the College playing fields and swimming pool with help from Marlborough and District Rotary Club.

Each entrant had secured sponsorship - raising money to buy PE equipment for the new combined primary school: Marlborough St Mary's.

In professional triathlon fashion the four-year-old to ten-year-old  athletes began with the swimming part of the challenge.  After widths in the College baths - with the smaller entrants splashing across the pool's raised floor - they went up onto the windy playing fields to ride round the cricket nets, and finally they ran round a rugby pitch.  

The ages varied from bikes with stabilisers to business-like off-road bikes - and, of course, the bike riders' ages varied to fit.  The tasks set for each participant varied with age - but some of the entrants where distinctly underwhelmed to be restricted to just once round the cricket nets and did two or three circuits.  

The event was sponsored by Marlborough and District Rotary Club - providing the medals and refreshments for the tired but excited athletes.  The triathlon itself  was organised by Rachel Haines, St Mary's PE subject leader.
Rotary President Sally Wolfenden told Marlborough.News:  "When I first mooted this to the Head [Anne Schowdler] at the then Infant school, she felt it was a lovely opportunity for staff at the two schools to work together for the good of the new school."

"It has worked out well. Twenty-five staff and Friends of the new school turned out on Saturday to enable the 89 children to complete the course and get their medals."

Just one more circuit: Morgan and Elise Haines Just one more circuit: Morgan and Elise Haines Svea Rosedale's dash to finishSvea Rosedale's dash to finish Good exerecise for fathers too...Good exerecise for fathers too... ...and encouragement [click on photos to enlarge them]...and encouragement [click on photos to enlarge them]

While the main sponsor was Marlborough and District Rotary Club, shops in the High Street chipped in too: Deacon's the Jewellers, Quality Stationery, Andrews the Butchers, DIY Rainbows and Lotus House:  "As a result of their generosity we shall be able to hand over ¬£332.50 to the school to join the amount the children raise through their own individual sponsorship."

"I was just delighted to see how an offer from the College to use their facilities on an exeat weekend could be used so well by the newly created Marlborough St. Mary's. Not only was it wonderfully organised by the school, one could not but be impressed by the sense of achievement and pride on the faces of the 4-10 year olds as they received their medals."

And where, we grandparent-types asked, did the Chilli come in? For some activities at St Peter's the children could chose a level on the Chilli spectrum. Mild, Spicy. Hot or Ghost. This has been adapted for use at the new Marlborough St Mary's. The children and/or parents chose the challenge for each triathlon discipline according to approved chilli ratings. So, for example, the Mild swim was one width supported by an adult in the water, the Spicy eas one width independently‚Ķand so on. Simple really!

Ready for the second stage...Ready for the second stage...  ...another member of Team Haines sets off...another member of Team Haines sets off