By Brad Culp on 20/05/10 at 5:48 pm
Britain’s most successful multi-sport athlete, Daley Thompson, has signed up to act as team coach for the 25 fundraisers racing for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series event in Hyde Park, London, on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July.
With Olympic-distance places sold out and the Sprint-distance field nearing capacity, demand for starting spots is high for the race, which uniquely offers participants the chance to race over the London 2012 Olympic Games triathlon course. Having recently become the Global Charity Partner of the International Triathlon Union, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is able to offer 25 places to fundraisers.
Backed by the Laureus World Sports Academy, a unique association of 46 of the greatest living sporting legends, the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation will be calling on its celebrated sports stars to ensure that racing for the Laureus team is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the 25 triathletes, whether “newbies” or seasoned campaigners.
Double Olympic decathlon gold medallist and founding member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, Thompson enjoys watching triathlon and is looking forward to fulfilling his duties as team coach. He said: “I’m looking forward to helping the guys along as best I can, but I hope they’re not expecting any short-cuts. There are no magic exercises that I can give them to replace hard work - like everything in life, they will get out what they put in. That said, we’ll try to have some fun along the way!”
“I have followed triathlon with interest over the past few years and really enjoyed watching the competitions in Melbourne at the Commonwealth Games and at the Beijing Olympics,” continued Thompson. “We’re two years away from the London Games and we stand a good chance to be amongst the medals in triathlon. We’ve got the current men’s world champion Alistair Brownlee and good strength in depth across both men and women. I’m really looking forward to the event in Hyde Park, and working with the Laureus team.”
As well as scripting training tips for the Laureus team’s race preparation, Thompson will be hosting a training day in Battersea in June for all team members and will be there on the race day itself for a pre-race briefing and to cheer along his charges.
Thompson, who last year presented a Laureus report entitled ‘Breaking the Cycle of Violence’ to the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, following a 367-mile awareness-raising cycle ride from Manchester to London, will be leaning on his fellow Laureus World Sports Academy members both to contribute to team preparations and to come along to support. Mark Spitz, winner of seven swimming gold medals at the Munich Olympics, Miguel Indurain, winner of five successive Tours de France, and Sebastian Coe, the double Olympic 1,500 metres gold medallist are all in his sights.
At the announcement of the partnership between Laureus and the ITU last month in Sydney, Laureus World Sports Academy Chairman Edwin Moses detailed how all funds raised by the Laureus triathletes and supporters would go to help the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in some of the 78 projects around the world that utilise sport as a means of helping young people tackle some of the many challenges facing them in their communities.
For the Hyde Park race, each member of the Laureus team will be asked to raise a minimum of £500. Local project beneficiaries will include the London Active Communities Project in Lambeth, which is committed to the use and promotion of sports, arts and cultural activities in order to improve youth citizenship, social inclusion and community cohesion.