Brent charities helped by Kensal Tri efforts at Blenheim Palace Triathlon

The Kensal Rise team celebrate before the triathlon

The Kensal Rise team celebrate before the triathlon - Credit: Limelight Sports

Twenty-four charities in Brent are to share a kitty worth more than £70,000 after fundraising by the Kensal Tri team. 

A team of 194 raised the proceeds for the Kensal Rise community after completing events at the Blenheim Palace Triathlon. 

The group, which included 35 children, were the largest team at the event - which saw around 5,000 swim, walk and/or cycle various distances. Triathlons could be completed individually or in teams of three. 

Ark Franklin Primary School fundraisers celebrate

Ark Franklin Primary School fundraisers celebrate - Credit: Giles Deards

Giles Deards, organiser of the Kensal Tri Team and trustee at charity Salusbury World, said: “We’re all buzzing after the most incredible weekend and past few weeks of training.  

“Our goal was to connect neighbours around the community, of all ages, shapes and sizes, to get a bit fitter together and to help as many great local causes as possible. 

“We’re all hugely grateful for the £71,000 raised.”

Allan and Peta Wickham celebrate

Allan and Peta Wickham celebrate - Credit: Giles Deards

The group was formed of Kensal and Queen’s Park residents or workers and most had not attempted a triathlon event before. Many had not met each other until the day.

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Queens Park Community School headteacher Jude Enright, was one of those to take part.

She said: “It was a tough swim but a beautiful setting at Blenheim. We pretty much turned the palace blue for the day with so many of our team tops.”

Sally Wilton, captain of the Lexi Cinema contingent, said: “We put three relay teams together and everyone was a bit nervous. Although we hardly broke any speed records we had a fantastic time.

“Thanks to everyone’s generosity, it also now means we have £10,000 to continue to keep our community Film Club free to Salusbury World’s refugee families.”

The Cricklewood Library team

The Cricklewood Library team - Credit: Giles Deards

Gilly Cross, captain of the Ark Franklin Primary School Tri Team, added: “Both the local training and the day at the beautiful palace have been great ways for our school community to come together and to raise some crucial funds. 

“Big kudos to Mr Woodroffe, Mr Wernick and Ms Wolak for leading our teachers’ team and to the 20 parents and children who took part this year.” 

The Kensal Tri team is also taking part in the Banana Triathlon at Lake Dorney on July 2 and the Hever Castle Triathlon on September 24. The team will be organising swim, bike and run opportunities through the summer.

QPCS relay team at the finish line led by team captain Jude Enright

QPCS relay team at the finish line led by team captain Jude Enright - Credit: Marathon Photos

Sonal Shah, fundraising for Sufra, said: “I’d never have expected to call myself a triathlete but it’s just happened.

“This year I was in one of our relay teams doing the swim but next year I may be back to try the bike and run as well. 

“Our foodbank has also raised more than £4,900, which will help us support some of Brent’s most disadvantaged people. A big thank you to everyone who’s sponsored us.” 

Giles added: “More than 300 people have now joined Kensal Tri over the past nine months and we want to build on this even further, particularly to reach those who might think they can never do this.

“We’re not a club and we want there to be no barriers to entry. We’re every age, shape and size and our network will help fund anyone who needs financial support to be able to learn how to swim, become confident on a bike or start running. You also don’t have to fundraise or do a Triathlon to access any of this. So please don’t be shy about getting in touch."

One of the six Princess Freds Relay teams reaches the line

One of the six Princess Freds Relay teams reaches the line - Credit: Ross Thompson

Partners and sponsors included Bags of Love, Swimming Nature & the Maqam, Moberly Sports Centre, Storm LDN, Cuore Italian Deli, Daniels, Winkworth, Rigby & Marchant, and Jamie Baird PT.

The supported charities were Ark Franklin Primary School, Avenues Youth Project, Brent Centre for Young People, Brent Foodbank, Brent Schools FA, CAD - Brent, Cricklewood Library, Dalgarno Trust, Elders Voice, 'Gift Your Neighbour' Food Project, Granville Community Kitchen, Kensal Green Under 5s Nursery, Kensal Rise Library, Lexi Cinema Community Hub, Malorees Infant & Junior School, Princess Fredrica Primary, Promise Foundation, Refugee Education UK (REUK); Queens Park Community School; QPG Hub, Salusbury World, St Agnes Primary, Sufra NW London, 9Kitchens Food Project.

Contact kensaltriathlon@gmail.com if you would like to join the team.

To donate to any of the Kensal Rise team's charities visit www.kensaltri.com/localcharities