Triathlon Australia has formed a new partnership with the John Maclean Foundation (JMF), a charity that aims to change the lives of young Australians who use wheelchairs through sport and fundraising opportunities.
The Foundation’s mission is to inspire, motivate and enable kids in wheelchairs to chase their dreams, and this is put into practice with their flagship program – the JMF Kids4Kids.
The Kids4Kids program sees participating children complete the distance of an ironman triathlon, incorporating a healthy regime of swimming, cycling and running into their daily activity over a 4, 8 or 12 week period.
The challenge can be done by all members of the family, individually or as part of a team.
Participating children raise much needed funds that go towards the purchase of new wheelchairs, house modifications, surgery and medical assistance for kids who are more physically challenged.
The inspirational John Maclean is the spearhead and driving force behind the Foundation.
John inspired the nation in October last year when he tossed his wheelchair aside and walked across the line at the Nepean Triathlon, more than 25 years after becoming a Paraplegic from a horrific truck accident.
For this he was presented with the inaugural President's Award by Triathlon Australia President David Ferrier.
Well known triathletes like Multiple IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander and Paratriathletes four-time world champion Bill Chaffey, Katie Kelly and reigning world champion Sally Pilbeam are on board as ambassadors of the program.
In its first year, the program saw four families complete the challenge, and this rose to 50 in the second year.
Triathlon Australia and the JMF are aiming to at least double this and will promote the opportunity to triathlon clubs, members and the broader triathlon community across Australia.
This is Triathlon Australia’s second supported charity partnership after recently announcing a partnership with the Amy Gillett Foundation.
CEO of Triathlon Australia Anne Gripper said today: “Getting young kids in Australia active is extremely important to us as a National Sporting Association, so the more kids and families enjoying the benefits of triathlon the better.
“Supporting the JMF is a perfect fit for Triathlon Australia as we are passionate about providing opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to take part in triathlon.
“We have a growing focus on ensuring that triathlon is available for people with a disability, especially given the inclusion of Paratriathlon in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
“We are very proud of this partnership and will be encouraging our members and the broader triathlon community to get behind the Kids4Kids program and the foundation in a number of ways throughout our agreement.”
CEO of JMF Tiffany Loftus-Hill said: “The JMF Kids 4 Kids and Big Kids 4 Kids Challenge is now in its third year and the emphasis is not just to raise funds for JMF Australia wide but also motivate individuals to create healthy habits through exercise.
“The challenge has been designed to include all ages, levels of fitness and abilities with its four, eight, 12 and teams programs.
“The challenge promotes health and fitness in the community whilst addressing the issues and creating awareness of the challenges for children in wheelchairs.
“New for 2015 is the adults, Big Kids 4 Kids and the teams option which is a natural progression for JMF to ensure that every age and ability can be included in this incredible challenge.
“What I love most about this program is that not only are we creating healthy habits through encouraging Australians to swim, bike and run a little every week but we are also emphasising the importance of helping others and creating change for young Australian’s in wheelchairs.”
The number of overweight children in Australia has doubled in recent years, with a quarter of children considered overweight or obese.
This program not only tackles the growing child obesity epidemic in Australia, but also raises much needed support for kids in wheelchairs and their families.
To donate visit http://donate.jmf.com.au/
To register visit http://supportjmf.com.au/event/JMFKidsandBig4Kids2015
About the John Maclean Foundation (JMF)
The JMF is a registered charity founded by athlete John Maclean OAM. The Foundation exists to encourage kids and adults to get active and be rewarded by a healthier lifestyle whilst appreciating the value of helping young Aussie kids in wheelchairs. Through the Kids4Kids program the Foundation aims to motivate, inspire and enable Australian kids in wheelchairs to chase their dream.
About Triathlon Australia
Triathlon Australia is the official National Sporting Organisation responsible for the management and delivery of the sports of triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and multisport within Australia. For more information visit: www.triathlon.org.au.