Last updated on September 29th, 2023 at 07:29 PM
Pentathlon GB, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon, has launched its 2024 National Events Calendar, including an all-new para programme.
Following the success of the para event at the World Championships held in Bath last month, Pentathlon GB is keen to further develop its para profile and has incorporated a series of para races and training sessions into its event schedule for next year.
Pentathlon GB is also hosting its inaugural Pentathlon Festival next July, in line with its ambition of increasing participation in its range of events, including Biathlon, Triathlon, Tetrathlon, Pentathlon and Laser Run.
The weekend promises to be an exciting celebration of the diverse disciplines within the sport, featuring ‘have a go’ competitions, thrilling spectator events and a lively BBQ party.
Steph Parsons, Head of Participation, Pentathlon GB says: “The Festival of Pentathlon is the highlight of our 2024 events calendar, and is an open entry event, meaning anyone can try some of our disciplines including – running, swimming, fencing, shooting and obstacle course racing (OCR).
“It’s the perfect opportunity for newcomers to give the sport a try. For instance, a competitive triathlete might fancy a new challenge and want to try fencing or the new OCR.
Modern Pentathlon offers great flexibility, allowing athletes to customise their experience and ‘mix and match’ the components they find appealing, essentially building their own sport. This opens up opportunities for increased participation and inclusion.”
In May 2023, Pentathlon GB secured new investment from Sport England, as part of its ambition to level up access to sport and physical activity.
Pentathlon GB will receive £357,400 funding over the next two years, joining more than other 120 organisations that have been picked for their ability to improve access to sport and to tackle inequalities.
Parsons, says: “We are working to grow our sport and are focused on taking participation to new heights in partnership with clubs and schools, making modern pentathlon more accessible and inclusive across the UK.
“We are also committed to providing further opportunities for athletes with diverse abilities, and are excited to offer a series of training sessions and competitions tailored specifically to the para-athlete community.”
The new events include Para Laser-Run (shooting and running or pushing), Para Biathle (a combination of the run or push and swim) and Para-Pent Triathlon (Laser Run and Swim), with six para classifications including physical impairment athletes (LR1-LR3), wheelchair athletes (LR4), visually impaired athletes (LR5) and intellectual impairment athletes (LR6).
Parsons continues: “We welcome all para-athletes to try our diverse and multi-disciplined sport. These events offer a chance to showcase your skills and compete against top para-pentathlon athletes in the country.
Whether you’re experienced or new to para pentathlon, these competitions will support your growth and offer valuable experience.”
Rio Booth, 20, is a para-athlete with cerebral palsy studying Sports Business at Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU), achieved a gold medal in the Laser Run Classification 2 event at the World Championships.
He gives his advice to future Para Pentathlon athletes saying: “Just take every opportunity given to you; if you don’t you will never know what your true potential is!
I competed in the long jump and 100 meters for Manchester Harriers and LJMU Athletics Team, was recruited to Modern Pentathlon by the Pentathlon GB coaching team and was lucky enough to receive specialist training from Dr Nicola Robinson at LJMU and Pentathlon GB Pathway Coach, Ian Aberdeen.
“I’m absolutely buzzing about Modern Pentathlon; it’s fun, exciting and all new to me. The sport gives me a massive adrenaline rush! I love the fact it’s multi-disciplined because I have to adapt to using different skills.
For example, shooting isn’t my strongest point however, I’m confident I can make up time with the run.“My hopes are to help grow the sport, make it more inclusive and give it the recognition it deserves. I want to inspire other para-athletes and to increase the number of members competing with cerebral palsy.
My pathway from taster sessions to potential selection for the World Para Laser-Run Championships in China next year, demonstrates just how inclusive and exciting Pentathlon can be.”