Kensal Rise Triathlon team raises £130,800 for local charities

Some members of the 237-strong Kensal Rise Triathlon team.

Some members of the 237-strong Kensal Rise Triathlon team at just before the Bleinham Palace Triathlon took place. - Credit: Giles Deards

Twenty-five charities in Brent got a much-needed financial boost this weekend thanks to the fundraising powers of a giant Kensal Rise Triathlon team.

The team of 237 neighbours – including forty children from five local schools – made up Blenheim Palace Triathlon’s largest team, taking on 7,000 people from around the country in different swim, cycle and run challenges.

At the lake at the Bleinham Palace triathlon. 

At the lake at the Bleinham Palace triathlon. - Credit: Giles Deards

Nearly all were triathlon first-timers who hadn’t met before training for the event when they signed up four months ago.

Giles Deards, organiser of the Kensal Tri Team, said: “This has been a really difficult year for everyone and we decided we wanted to beat the Covid blues, get people together, get fitter and raise as we could to support local charities.

"The response was overwhelming."

Salusbury School team members at the finish line.

Salusbury School team members at the finish line. - Credit: marathonphotos.live


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Giles added that local gyms, fitness instructors, business and clubs got involved in the event and hundreds of people sponsored the team.

"Now we all feel exhausted but thrilled to have together raised more than £130,000," the organiser said. 

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Salusbury Primary School Head, Michelle Ginty did not expect to be taking part in a Triathlon this year but said that the school's fantastic team of 25 parents and staff "more than persuaded me".

She added: "I’m very proud of our Salusbury Team for being a key part of such a huge community effort, while also raising more than £15,000 towards our new school playground."

The Kensal Rise Triathlon team has so far raised over £130,000 for local charities.

The Kensal Rise Triathlon team has so far raised over £130,000 for local charities. - Credit: Giles Deards

Mary Mitchell and teammates, fundraising for Harlesden-based Refugee Education UK, raised nearly £16,000 for the charity.

She said: “A group of us heard about the Kensal Tri team back in May, signed-up straight away and we had a great time at the weekend."

The Bleinham Palace Triathlon saw thousands of people take part in swimming, running and cycling events.

The Bleinham Palace Triathlon saw thousands of people take part in swimming, running and cycling events. - Credit: Giles Deards

Councillor Ellie Southwood, who captained one of the Kensal Team’s 29 Relay Teams, said: “This was a brilliant experience – running through Palace grounds with a massive local group raising a huge amount of money for great causes.

"I’m also proud to be a blind runner who can also now say I’ve captained a Triathlon team and would like to thank Neil, Chloe and my companion runner Sophie."

Councillor Ellie Southwood with Sophie Barnard. 

Councillor Ellie Southwood with Sophie Barnard. - Credit: Giles Deards

Team Malorees Infant & Junior School

Team Malorees Infant & Junior School. - Credit: Giles Deards

Alice, Pearl, Toby and Talullah helped the Ark Franklin team raise over £15,000 for the school.

Alice, Pearl, Toby and Talullah helped the Ark Franklin team raise over £15,000 for the school. - Credit: Giles Deards

For some runners, like Rachel Boothroyd, the event was a personal challenge. The Brent local who represented Brent Centre for Young People said she has recently suffered with heart disease challenges and was nervous about taking part. 

Rachel added: "But I wanted the personal challenge, to inspire my son and the opportunity to help teenage mental health in our area. This was the perfect opportunity with such a supportive group”.

The Salusbury Team helped raise more than £15,000 towards the school's new playground.

Fundraisers from Brent Centre, Cricklewood Library, Salusbury World and Lexi Cinema celebrate - Credit: Giles Deards

Sally Long, Chair of Friends of Cricklewood Library and part of the Blenheim team said: “Small local charities are struggling to survive with little access to grants and funding.

"We’ve fought a ten year campaign to get our library open again and we need the support of our community more than ever to keep going. We’re thrilled that our Triathlon team has raised over £5,000 and this brings us nearer to being able to open a café at the Library right next to Gladstone Park”.

Kensal Rise swimmers get ready to take a dip. 

Kensal Rise swimmers get ready to take a dip. - Credit: Giles Deards

The Brent & Kilburn Times were also delighted to support the work of Elders Voice with a Relay team, raising £590.

Chief reporter William Mata said: "I greatly enjoyed the experience and loved cycling through the beautiful grounds of the palace. I am proud of my teammates and to be raising money for a great cause."

Reporters Nathalie Raffray and Holly Chant with Councillor Neil Nerva. 

Brent and Kilburn Times reporter Nathalie Raffray and Hackney Gazette reporter Holly Chant with Councillor Neil Nerva. - Credit: Nathalie Raffray

Giles Deards added: “I’d like to thank all our partners and sponsors including Akoya, Bags of Love,  Swimming Nature & the Maqam, Moberly Sports Centre, Storm LDN, Cuore Italian Deli, Sanzio, Daniels, Winkworth, Rigby & Marchant, and Jamie Baird, Mariangela Cireddu, Lizzie Barker, Maciej Gross and Daniel Bingham for all their personal training.

Kensal Rise cyclists celebrate with their medals. 

Kensal Rise cyclists celebrate with their medals. - Credit: Giles Deards

The supported charities were Ark Franklin Primary SchoolArk BrunelAvenues Youth Project, Brent Centre for Young PeopleBrent FoodbankCricklewood LibraryElders Voice, 'Gift Your Neighbour' Food ProjectGranville Community KitchenKensal Rise LibraryKilburn Park SchoolLaurences LarderLexi Cinema Community HubMalorees Infant & Junior SchoolNorth Paddington FoodbankRefugee Education UK (REUK)Queens Park Primary SchoolSalusbury SchoolSalusbury WorldSolidarity Fund - Mutual AidSufra NW LondonWormwood Scrubs Pony CentreWillesden Mutual Aid Foodbank9Kitchens Food Project.

The Brent and Kilburn Times team made up of reporters Holly Chant, William Mata and Nathalie Raffray.

The Brent and Kilburn Times team made up of reporters Holly Chant, William Mata and Nathalie Raffray. - Credit: Giles Deards

Kensal Rise Tri runners on the track. 

Kensal Rise Tri runners on the track. - Credit: Giles Deards

Next year the Kensal Rise team wants to bring over 300 adults and children to enjoy the event and to train together.  

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

To donate to any of the Kensal Rise team's charities visit www.kensalqueenspark.com/sponsor-a-blenheim-team


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