The count-down begins as thousands of elite athletes will gather at Tenby’s North Beach to for the start of IRONMAN Wales 2019.
The event, to be held on Sunday 15 September, is renowned as much for its toughness as for its spectacular location with athletes competing in an endurance triathlon involving a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle race around South Pembrokeshire and 26.2 mile run around Tenby.
This year IRONMAN Wales will also see the launch of a new partnership between the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and one of the world’s most prestigious triathlon brands.
The partnership, which includes sponsorship of the volunteer programme, will provide opportunities for students and staff to collaborate with IRONMAN on areas related to the University’s portfolio including sports, health and wellbeing, public services, tourism, hospitality, events management as well as film and media. It will also provide opportunities for applied research including the possibility of undertaking impact studies and reports to inform Ironman Wales in its business planning and future strategy.
Jacqui Jones, programme director for international tourism, hospitality and leisure resort management, said: “We have been collaborating with IRONMAN Wales since its inception in 2011 to provide a wealth of experiences for our tourism and event students. As well as guest lectures and field trip visits this has already led to excellent internship and volunteer opportunities which have helped our students develop exciting careers in the tourism industry. It’s wonderful to now develop the partnership to include additional opportunities across the UWTSD Group for students and staff to further academic engagement with such an inspirational event.”
Roger Maidment, Dean of the Institute of Management and Health said: “The University is delighted to develop its collaboration with IRONMAN Wales and to sponsor the volunteer programme. The University recruits a large number of students from Pembrokeshire and this partnership will enable us to work with IRONMAN Wales to provide a range of educational opportunities in communities across the county.
“This first year we will focus on supporting the volunteers and our film and media students will be documenting some of the competitors’ preparations as well the event itself for use on digital platforms including the volunteers’ Facebook page. In anticipation of IRONMAN Wales’ 10th anniversary in 2020, we are integrating a range of activities across our portfolio to provide applied learning opportunities for our students. Academic staff will expand our engagement with schools in the area to promote physical literacy and health and wellbeing as well as to provide workshops, talks and activities across our disciplines.”
The partnership will also benefit from the University’s specialist High Performance Training facilities located at its Carmarthen campus. Staff and students who have competed in the event have also benefitted for training and exercise plans and assessment from the University academic staff including physiologist Dr Peter Herbert, who will this year compete in the 75+ category.
Gwilym Dyfri Jones, Provost of the University’s Carmarthen campus said: “The partnership with IRONMAN Wales aligns well with the expertise and disciplines offered on the campus in relation to the Wales Academy of Health and Physical Literacy, the Creative Industries as well as Sustainability within rural contexts. We look forward to developing the relationship over the coming years to provide opportunities for our own students and staff but also to the wider community”.
IRONMAN Wales Race Director Sam Brawn said: “The ninth edition IRONMAN Wales is taking place this weekend and we are looking forward to another great year in Tenby!
We are very excited about the new partnership with UWTSD and the opportunities that will come from working closer with the students and the community!”