The Future ChampioNZ Festival returns to Taupō this December for the 4th year.
The National Talent Festival attracts 150 young triathletes to the home of triathlon in New
Zealand for 3 days of racing and educational activities.
This year sees Penny Homes partner with Future ChampioNZ to enable organizers to provide
more learning opportunities for young New Zealanders.
“We’re absolutely thrilled that Penny Homes have agreed to partner with the festival. They
have a long history of supporting athlete development and their commitment to the festival
will ensure we can continue to grow and bring more young triathletes through” Sam
Warriner (Festival Co-Organizer and former World No.1 Triathlete).
The Festival began with 80 athletes in 2015 and has grown to an expected 150+ participants
this year. Racing takes place across various sites in and around Taupō, the athletes begin
with a ‘Lemans Criterium’ at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park on Friday 14th December.
An Open Water Swim race takes place Saturday 15 th December before various workshops
including advice from Drug Free Sport NZ. The Festival is decided on points and culminates
with a Grand Final Triathlon based around the streets of Wharewaka on Sunday 16 th
Penny Homes are proud sponsors of sport in New Zealand, just as their homes are built
from the foundations up - John and Kellie Penny recognize the importance of investing their
time into developing Kiwi talent.
“We are super excited to be supporting this event. It’s important for our up and coming
athletes to have these opportunities for development. We would also love to encourage
more local kids to be involved with the event” Kellie Penny.
The Mixed Team Relay (MTR) recently made its debut at the Commonwealth Games on the
Gold Coast with teams of 2 males and 2 females competing in relay. An Inter-Regional MTR
competition brings the festival to a close, the visiting Japanese National Team have figured
prominently in this for the past 3 years.
Taupō local Nicole van der Kaay is an expert at the MTR after bringing home a Bronze medal
from the Gold Coast, Nicole has benefited from the support of Penny Homes as a developing
athlete and will be in attendance alongside World U23 Champion Tayler Reid of Gisborne,
they’ll help inspire and motivate the youngsters with advice and commentary.
“I am hugely supportive of this event and welcome the support provided by Penny Homes
that helps us sustain the momentum and develop the festival further. It is great to see
athletes who have been involved in Future ChampioNZ events breaking into the Triathlon
New Zealand High Performance Squad and equipping themselves well on the World
Triathlon circuit” Graham Perks (Triathlon NZ President).
The objectives of the festival are not to just provide an event for our elite junior and youth
athletes but to inspire and encourage young New Zealanders to participate in swimming,
biking and running to increase participation; and enhance physical and mental well-being.
Athlete welfare is becoming increasingly important to sport and Future ChampioNZ
organisers see it as their obligation to the next generation of Kiwi triathletes to focus on the
athletes all round well-being.
“Whilst we provide 5 racing opportunities for the athletes, the festival is as much about an
inclusive start to the season for all athletes, with events that bring out the strengths in
different athletes at different times, and lots of learning opportunities and social activities
combined” Sam Warriner (Co-Organiser).