From News Release, June 10, 2015: The giant food manufacturer owned by the Adventist denomination in Australia sponsored a triathlon series which has set a world record for the largest number of participants under 16 years of age. A total of 40,500 children across in New Zealand and Australia participated in the events sponsored by Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company, the largest provider of breakfast cereals in the two south Pacific nations.
The 2015 Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon series began in December in Manakau, New Zealand, and finished last month on the Sunshine Coast of Australia in the State of Queensland. The 14-event New Zealand series drew 24,043 participants and the 13 events in Australian had an additional 16,457 participants.
Now in its 17th years, the events encourage children to get active in swimming, cycling and running, the three sports that make up the triathlon. The program promotes physical activity in a fun and supportive environment where children are cheered on by family and friends.
“Parents tell us their kids receive a great boost to their self-esteem and confidence after completing the course,” said David Martin, community engagement manager for Sanitarium. “We’re excited to have achieved a new world record for the largest under-16s kids’ triathlon series across our 27 events.” The Sanitarium held the previous record as well, when 36,500 children participating in 2013.
The Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is designed for children ages 7 to 15. Every child who participates is a “TRY Champ,” qualifying for an official Weet-Bix Kids TRY gold medal and a champion certificate. Because of the role that Sanitarium has as a major food manufacturer in the two nations, the event is strongly community-based. Among the thousands of volunteers who helped organize the series of events, only 236 were from the Adventist denomination with only 14 local churches participating.
Sanitarium is the producer of Weet-Bix, Australia’s top selling breakfast cereal. The company is recognized for changing the country’s eating habits. It was the first to introduce healthy and innovative breakfast foods and soy products in Australia and began promoting a plant-based diet before vegan and vegetarian became trendy. Through the company the Adventist faith makes a major continuing impact on the quality of life in these two nations.