Inclusive Splash & Dash A Huge Success On Tuesday June 27th Cork Sports Partnership and Triathlon Ireland in association with Cork County Council hosted Irelands first Inclusive Aquathlon at Fermoy Leisure Centre & Town Park. Participants from Cope Foundation (Cork) and Carriglea Cairde Services (Waterford) arrived from 9:30am and were both excited and nervous about participating in what was a new event for all athletes. A New ChallengeThe event involved a 50 meter pool swim followed by a quick transition into runners and t-shirt before completing a 300 meter run. Many of the participants have lots of experience with Special Olympics running and swimming competitions, however combining both disciplines in one event was a new challenge. Participants were divided into five waves with a period of five minutes between each wave. The official starter from Triathlon Ireland requested wave one participants to enter the water at 10:10am. Spectators were treated to some fantastic races with athletes pushing themselves to complete the 50 meter swim as fast as possible. On completing the swim they exited the pool and proceeded to the transition area. With runners and t-shirts on it was fast and furious to the run leg of the event around Fermoy Town Park.OpportunitiesSports Inclusion Disability Officer with Cork Sports Partnership, Padraig Healy said “the objective of this event is to give participants the opportunity to try a new sport. Triathlon is the fastest growing sport in Ireland and it is imperative that people of all abilities are encouraged and given the opportunity to challenge themselves by trying new disciplines such an aquathlon. We would like to thank Fermoy Leisure Centre and Cork County Council for supporting the event and all the volunteers who assisted to make the day a huge success. This is the first Aquathlon in Ireland to be held with disability services and plans are already underway to host a full triathlon”. Triathlon Ireland Development Officer Anna Grealish said “this is a fantastic event which really highlights what triathlon is all about. Everyone having a go, pushing themselves and enjoying it. I hope the event becomes a fixture on the calendar and more centres get involved."