The organisers of next year's Michelob Ultra London Triathlon have named the event's four official charities. They are Get Kids Going, Leukaemia Research Fund, the National Autistic Society and the British Red Cross.
The organisations, as 'Gold' charities, will share the sponsorship money raised by celebrity 'ambassador' participants in the swimming, cycling and running event in Docklands next August. The ambassadors are expected to raise well over £1m.
Get Kids Going provides disabled children with customised wheelchairs and other equipment to enable them to take part in activities such as marathons, triathlons and skiing. The charity also supports youngsters with training, physiotherapy and travel and has produced many junior winners of the London Marathon and the Great North Run.
Jane Emmerson, the chief executive of Kids Get Going, said the event's organisers approached her because they wanted disabled youngsters to take part. "I'm sure some of our wheelchair athletes will be very keen," she said. "Being chosen as a Gold charity for the London Triathlon means we will be able to help more of these young people become record holders and Olympic champions."
Nick Rusling, event director for the triathlon, said: "Last year the event raised well over £1m for charity and we expect this figure to expand significantly this year, with charities such as the Autistic Society and British Red Cross supporting the event."
In 2004, 6,500 celebrities, athletes and amateur runners took part in the event, which is the world's largest triathlon, and this figure is expected to rise to 8,000 next year. Individual participants can raise money for charities of their choice.