View from Space to Earth Challenge comes to Scotland!

25th May 2018 | Written by Gemma Simpson

Last week Triathlon Scotland took to the road with the Triathlon Trust, the official charity of British Triathlon, to deliver the Trusts latest initiative ‘View from Space to Earth’ Challenge.

The role of the Triathlon Trust is to work with partners around the country using the triathlon as an engagement tool to inspire children to lead active and healthy lifestyles. This project, which is primarily funded by the UK Space Agency, and supported by British Triathlon sponsor, Accenture, challenges primary school children to take their fitness to new heights through a day of bike-run activity linked with the theme of Earth observation.

Over the course of 4 days we delivered to Burnfoot Primary School in Hawick, Craigour Park Primary School in Edinburgh, Ladywell Primary School in Motherwell and Wallace Hall Primary School in Thornhill.

In total more than 1000 pupils from these schools participated enthusiastically to bike and run the distance from earth, to the satellite (that is taking pictures of Earth), 717 kilometres above us!

Every child at each primary school from Primary 1 through to 7 took part in cycling and running activities and the cumulative total of their efforts was counted towards their challenge total. Our kids in Scotland did incredibly well with two schools managing to achieve the distance to the satellite AND back again, which is a fantastic accomplishment!

Burnfoot Primary School

Burnfoot Primary School teacher, Caroline Jack, who is an active member of Borders Triathletes, contacted us last year as she was looking for a way to introduce triathlon to her school in Hawick. The ‘View from Space to Earth’ challenge seemed like a great fit and the event was welcomed wholeheartedly by the school community who received us, our bikes and our turbo trainers into their dinner hall!

“It was absolutely amazing! For me to see the kids faces as they were racing from one thing to the next just made my day. I’m thrilled that it was such a success!” Caroline Jack, Teacher

The event was also supported by Caroline’s fellow triathlon club members from Borders Triathletes, and we hope that events like this can provide an opportunity for clubs to showcase what the sport is, and what they have to offer.


Craigour Park Primary School

Triathlon Scotland’s connection with Craigour Park Primary School in Edinburgh began over 8 months ago when they became involved in the Young Activator initiative with Liberton High School. The school was looking for ways to engage high school students in youth leadership activities and the Young Activator programme was a great fit.

Over the course of three weeks, 14 pupils from Liberton High School were trained as Young Activators. Once they had achieved this standard they were then paired with UKCC coaches from clubs in the city and deployed to 3 Liberton cluster primary schools to lead triathlon activities for Primary 7 children.

At the end of the 3 week block of taster sessions the Primary 7 children came together with Liberton High School’s S1 pupils for a duathlon festival, a fantastic afternoon that even doubled as a promotional shoot for IRONMAN 70.3 Edinburgh and their upcoming IRONKIDS event.

Encouragingly, the event also has helped to forge friendships, and when the Primary 7 pupils do make the move to high school, they will have a few friendly and supportive faces to look out for, during their school transition.

Craigour Park was also chosen by sponsors Accenture to receive special funding support and volunteers from Accenture’s local office staff.

Over the course of the day, 335 children (and enthusiastic teachers) were put through their run and bike paces and the result was that they were the first school in the UK to travel the distance to the satellite…and back! It was wonderful seeing the teachers become so involved in the activities and great to have volunteers Accenture helping us out on the day.

“What a wonderful way to begin a school week after a long summer weekend!  The children were so up for it as were the staff and such a huge thank you to you all for giving us this opportunity….what an achievement!

Thankyou again such a fun day ….we loved it …there and back…first school…glad we did not lose anyone!” Carol Cameron – Head Teacher

Ladywell Primary School

Next up was Ladywell Primary School in North Lanarkshire, identified by Active Schools in North Lanarkshire due to its proximity to Strathclyde Park where the triathlon (and rowing) events of the  European Championships will take place in August 2018.

Throughout the day, 373 took on the challenge and found out more about the action that will take place literally on their doorstep, and of course Bonnie the Seal! Hopefully the challenge will have inspired the pupils and their teachers to visit the park during the Games to watch the action unfold and inspire them to get involved in more triathlon activities, such as our participation event TRI in the Park on 12 August.

Wallace Hall Primary School

Inspiring children across Dumfries and Galloway, Rebecca Bryson, D&G Sport Coordinator for Triathlon identified Wallace Hall Primary as another school well set to take on the challenge.

With the school being very small, the challenge was modified slightly for the children to aim for the space station (c.400 km). However, as soon as Primary 1 & 2 had got going it became clear that this school was ready to punch above it’s weight and by the end of the day not only had they passed the space station but they had also passed the satellite! What an incredible effort by only 231 pupils and a willing teachers.

The final total distance travelled across all schools was 4,601 kilometers, achieved by 1,124 young people. Pretty incredible statistics all round!

Get involved

We love working with partners to facilitate these events, however in order for them to have the desired impact we need to work in partnership with local clubs, local authorities and enthusiastic volunteers. If you would like to get involved with any of our future events either as a club or a volunteer please contact Calum Reid – Development Manager here.

If you would like more details about our work in schools including a link to our brand new schools resource please get in touch with your local Triathlon Scotland Regional Development Officer.

If you would like information about our Young Activator course please contact Susie Benson – Coaching Development Manager here.





Our Partners

Triathlon Scotland is proud to work alongside the following partners and sponsors.

  • Equality in Sport
  • British Triathlon
  • sportscotland
  • University of Stirling
  • Winning Students Scotland
  • Cashback for Communities
  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Legends S
  • ImacImages Photography
  • Yonda
  • MPH
  • Knockburn
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