The Knight Frank Schools Triathlon lets young people support charities they believe in and achieve as a team in a test of sporting endurance

At the end of April, 853 pupils from 29 local schools gathered at Croydon’s Royal Russell School to swim, cycle and run as fast as they could and raise funds for charity. This was one of eight such events over April and May in the Knight Frank Schools Triathlon series.

Devised by the charity Restless Development, the Knight Frank Schools Triathlon has become among the UK’s largest fundraising events for children – and a great way for them to participate in sport and support causes they care about. This year, more than 7,500 pupils have taken part to raise almost £1m and support more than 80 charities.

The children who take part are aged between 7 and 13 and they take both the training and the fundraising very seriously indeed. The triathlon is carefully designed so that all abilities can participate, and distances vary according to age group. For instance, Years 3-4 team members will each cycle 1000m, while at Years 7-8 they are expected to cover 2000m. 

Albane Top Fundraiser
Top fundraiser at Royal Russell Albane raised over £1,700 with her Flying Falcons team and received a Champion of Change medal

Every team member commits to a fundraising target of £100 (so a team target of £400), but at Royal Russell, top fundraiser and Champion of Change medal recipient Albane, 10, raised over £1,700 together with her team, Flying Falcons. Of course, not every team can reach these sums, but the sporting achievement and the sense of doing something really good makes it incredibly popular among children and local communities. Cranleigh, Sevenoaks, Oundle, Charterhouse and Clifton College, Bristol were among the triathlon venues this year, but new schools are queueing up to offer facilities and support to grow the Knight Frank Schools Triathlon series.

Since 2015, thousands of young people have swum, cycled and run their hearts out. When you include this year’s triathlons, the total raised by these brilliant 7-13-year-olds adds up to some £3.4m. For Restless Development – which focuses all its international charity work on youth-led work – this is a perfect example of why we can and should put our faith in young people to lead on positive change.

Further reading: Bedford School fundraising high flyers