The Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon is back!
Back for its 26th year, the Sanitarium Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon kicked off on December 3rd in Mount Maunganui. The series, held at 17 locations around New Zealand,is all about getting Kiwi kids active and involved in sports, and is now regarded as a “rite of passage for Kiwi kids.”
Since 1992, over 300,000 Kiwi kids have participated in the event which sees children between the ages of 7 and 15, swim, cycle and run around an age appropriate course. For children and families, the events are all about embracing an active lifestyle and celebrating achievements.
How ASICS partners with the TRYathlon
ASICS has been a committed sponsor of the event since 2012. We sat down with Jason Niles, ASICS NZ Sponsorship Manager to talk about ASICS involvement with the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon.
Why has ASICS chosen to sponsor the Weet-Bix TRYathlon?
“As a brand we are committed to supporting sports and active lifestyles in New Zealand. Supporting an iconic event such as the Weet-Bix Kids TRYathlon with its emphasis on inclusiveness is something which we feel fits our brand and our values really well.
“The event is a great opportunity for kids to challenge themselves, build confidence and be inspired to lead a healthy lifestyle in an environment which celebrates all achievements equally.”
How has ASICS been involved?
“As a Gold Sponsor our investment goes towards helping make the 17 events around the country happen. On the day of the event we have activities for the kids and their families to participate in before or after the event.
“We try to get our sponsored athletes along to the events to encourage and congratulate the participants on what is for many of them a significant achievement. We’ve got ambassadors across a variety of sports and it’s pretty exciting for the kids to meet and get to talk to the people they normally only get to see on TV.”
What are you excited about for this year's TRYathlon?
“We are really excited to see growth in the number of participants yet again. Seeing more and more Kiwi kids participating in, and getting excited about active lifestyles is a really positive thing for New Zealand.
“We can’t wait to feel the energy that each participant brings to each event. It really leaves a lasting impression on everyone that is involved and hopefully inspires not only the children to lead active lifestyles but everyone who is there supporting them.
“ASICS’ has always been focused on helpings kids reach the finish line the best way they can. That’s why we’re continually developing the latest shoe technology and designs that help active kids stay supported and get the best performance out of their footwear.”
Why active kids need the right footwear
Supporting kids isn’t just about cheering from the sidelines, it’s also about making sure they’ve got the right gear that backs up their active lifestyles. Having the right footwear from an early age means your child is set for a healthy life and is supported as they develop.
What better way to understand what’s best for your kid’s development, than hearing from an expert? Podiatrist Cameron Palmer shares his tips and knowledge on children’s foot development.
Why is it important for children to have the right shoe fitted?
“A perfectly fitted shoe is even more important for a child than an adult. This is due to the foot being under a near constant state of growth and change. If a shoe does not fit well, it can place stress on the growth plates and bones, leading to possible foot issues.”
How do children’s feet develop?
“Children’s feet are developing from the day they are born and continue growing up until the age 20 in some individuals. The majority of foot development is however completed by the age of 15, with girls developing slightly earlier. Different bones are growing and setting at different times.”
“Overall children’s feet are slightly broader in the forefoot and shorter in length, with a narrowing towards to the heel bone. This makes buying a shoe that is designed for children very important.”
Important things parents should know about their children’s foot health and development
- “Pain is not normal.”
If this occurs, firstly check your child’s shoes for fit and age. If a good pair of footwear doesn’t help, it’s important to talk to a specialist like a sports podiatrist.
- “Time without shoes is a healthy thing to have, as long as the environment is safe.”
Shoes are however a vital piece of athletic equipment to protect us from the unnatural surfaces we exercise on.
- “Flat feet aren’t always bad”
Younger children have the appearance of having flat feet, this is common and normal and not an issue for the vast majority of kids. Again, pain is an indicator of issues, or if there is a family history of foot issues.
What is a common foot issue you see among children?
“Undoubtedly the most common issue we see in children is Sever’s Disease, this is not actually a disease but an irritation to the growth plate of the heel bone.
“This occurs when the heel bone is in an active phase of growth and is either bruised from below or pulled on by the calf/Achilles tendons. Harder grounds at the beginning and end of sports season often bring out a flurry of Sever’s cases.”
How can this be prevented? Are there any warning signs?
“Good quality footwear can help prevent this issue by cushioning the heel and by reducing the pull of the Achilles/calf on the heel bone. Footwear does this through its use of high quality cushioning materials and by having a slight raise in the heel area.
“There are no warning signs that Sever’s disease may be about to occur but the important thing to remember is that it will not cause any long term damage or side effects. Treatment will reduce or resolve the symptoms until the growth plate fuses and allow children to continue living a healthy active lifestyle.”
Cameron’s top 3 things to look for in a shoe
1. “A shoe should not bend or twist in the middle. Your foot does not do this, neither should your shoe.”
That means finding a shoe with good quality support technology that provides stability. Designed with children’s feet in mind, the ASICS kids shoe range features the same technologies that go into the adults range. Especially important for growing feet are forefront and rearfoot GEL to minimise shock and Dynamic DuoMax Support System to maintain stability. All shoes in the ASICS kids range also have a raised heel gradient to counteract Severs Disease.
2. “Comfort! This is key!”
It can be hard for kids to communicate if they’re feeling pain, or even to know what they should feel. That’s why it’s so important to see a reputable expert and shoe store that has the right fitting process.
We recommend visiting an ASICS Running Expert Store for an expert fitting service and the best range of product.
3. “Get an upper that keeps the foot on the sole of the shoe.”
One key sign of this, is the firmness of the back of the shoe around the heel bone. When you squeeze this, you should not be able to pinch this together.
Get the right fit for your kid
Most sports stores will stock a range of specialist kids footwear. ASICS recommends visiting one our Running Expert partner stores to get the best fitting advice and range selection.