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May 20, 2021

A Tree For Every Elite Athlete At Aj Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds

As part of the event, British Triathlon are sponsoring a tree to be planted for every elite athlete racing at AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds as part of Leeds City Council’s Woodland Creation project.

This year sees a number of changes taking place across AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds as the event seeks to become more sustainable in the materials used across the participant experience and infrastructure and set up.

With this in mind and in conjunction with Leeds City Council’s Woodland Creation project, 219 trees will be planted, one for every elite athlete on the start list across both the World Triathlon Para Series and World Triathlon Championship Series races at this year’s event.

For the first time, the highest level of international paratriathlon racing will take place in Britain on Saturday 5 June and, with both races taking place within the qualification window for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, athletes from Britain and around the world will be competing to secure their spot in their nation’s team for the summer.

Team GB have already announced two-time Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee, 2016 bronze medal winner Vicky Holland and Olympic debutants Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth, with the rest of the men’s team still to be decided and the ParalympicsGB team still yet to be announced as the sport marks its second inclusion having first featured in Rio in 2016.

On top of the elite action, AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds will welcome thousands of amateur participants to Roundhay Park on 5-6 June. They too will notice sustainable changes around the event as they will be presented a wooden finishers’ medal made from sustainably sourced British wood.

As well as the medal, the finisher gift, a pair of event branded socks, and a range of event merchandise will be made from recycled and sustainably sourced materials.

There will also be numerous changes that participants won’t see, including more environmentally friendly and recyclable signage materials, the use of bio-diesel and post-event recycling and turning waste that can’t be recycled into refuse derived fuel rather than sending it to landfill.

As part of Leeds City Council’s ambition to be carbon neutral, the parks and countryside service will plant 5.8m trees over 25 years to combat climate change and increase biodiversity across the city. All the trees are grown at the Arium, Leeds City Council’s plant nursery and garden centre, and many are sown from seeds collected by Leeds school children.

The woodlands planted include public access and are for future generations to enjoy. Sponsorship from British Triathlon will help towards the planting and the long term maintenance of the trees. Go to the Arium website to find out more about woodland creation - https://www.theariumleeds.co.uk/woodland-creation.

Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “We’ve always prided ourselves on providing a great experience for participants right through the triathlon community, and this year AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds sees the biggest move to ensuring we’re providing a great experience for the natural environment too.

“Planting a tree for each elite athlete competing at AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds and using recyclable materials are part of our long-term thinking, knowing that our sustainable actions can have an impact beyond the event weekend.

“Working with local suppliers to source sustainable materials and event partners like Leeds City Council and their Woodland Creation project, we’re making changes to how we operate and the materials we use, however know that there is more that we can do at future events.”

Jess Learmonth said: "I think it's brilliant that the AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds is sponsoring a sapling on behalf of every elite athlete. It's a great way of giving back to the city.

"I'm really impressed with the work that is going into the Leeds City Council's Woodland Creation project. It's been great to see the trees and hear about where they're going to be put around Leeds."

Wayne Coyle, Event Director AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds, said: “The event attracts athletes and interest from around the world, however, has a very local feel through connecting with the local community both inside and outside of swim, bike, run.

“Being able to support Leeds City Council, one of our event partners, in their Woodland Creation project by sponsoring a tree for every elite athlete racing is a great way in which we can connect with a local initiative and demonstrate our commitment to making the event as sustainable as possible.”

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council Executive member for Climate Change, Transport and Sustainable Development, said: “We’re incredibly pleased that British Triathlon wanted to get involved with our Woodland Creation project which will see 5.8 million trees planted on council land over the next 25 years.

“We want to create a city where everyone has access to green space and nature and planting new trees is a vital part of that. The trees will be valued by our local communities for years to come as well as helping to tackle climate change and achieve our ambition for Leeds to be a carbon neutral city.”

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Environment and Active Lifestyles, said: “I am delighted that British Triathlon have chosen to get involved with our fantastic Woodland Creation project this year.

“Planting new trees brings huge benefits for the health and wellbeing of residents and the protection of the city’s wildlife, flora and fauna, now and in the years to come. Climate change presents our city with an unprecedented challenge and we are pleased with the efforts to make this year’s triathlon event more environmentally friendly.”